"Local technology works!" is the emphatic message of Secretary Mario G. Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Secretary Montejo said that the National Innovation Agenda dubbed ‘Filipinnovation’ represents the policy direction of the new administration. Citing the advances made by the science community in the past, he said that the country can count on Filipino researchers given a climate conducive for innovation; supporting and working with local firms to come up with products, services, and technologies that are competitive.
“Remember that we are encouraging complementation where initiatives are harmonized for the various disciplines to work together with the goal of making things simple yet beneficial,” Secretary Montejo explained.
What’s important, according to the new Science Secretary, is the Department’s effort of promoting technologies that have been developed by the Filipinos. “Another good side of this effort is that we are attacking problems via strong partnership. The government, academe, and private sector are working together towards attaining a common goal,” he added.
Of the many plans the DOST wants to realize, according to Secretary Montejo, is the locally manufactured mass transit system which is already on the initial stages of development. The railway track for the planned prototype will be established at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He disclosed that groundbreaking will be by November 2010 and will be completed within six months after the groundbreaking. “What makes this mass transport system different is that it will be locally manufactured and would cost much less that other mass transport systems developed from other countries,” he said.
Secretary Montejo also shared the DOST is also considering the possibility of using wind energy by way of windmills. “But we are seriously looking at the most cost-effective design unlike the ones currently used in Ilocos. We hope to bring down the cost of production to at least 50 percent compared with what is currently in use,” he added. Other aspects that DOST is considering are flood monitoring and flood control. On the monitoring side, the DOST is currently upgrading the existing sensors along the Marikina River and designing flood control systems together with other agencies.
Various initiatives are also underway as far as information and communications technology is concerned. The DOST is determined to develop a PC tablet for students that would cost as low as PhP3,000.00. This would come in much cheaper than those available in the market and would be advantageous to students. “Imagine a PC tablet at PhP3,000.00. If mass manufactured, there is still the possibility of pulling down its cost to make it even more affordable,” Secretary Montejo said.