Department of Science and Technology Sec. Mario Montejo announced recently science and technology (S&T) ambassadors who will champion S&T programs in Davao Region.
The initial batch of science ambassadors include Senator Paulo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, chair of the Senate Committee on Youth; Representative Mario U. Piamonte, senior vice chair of the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives; Maria Belen Sunga-Acosta and Marissa S. Abella, Davao City councilors; Joey Ayala and Ronulfo “Popong” Landero, both Davao-based singers-songwriters.
Sen. Aquino, the youngest senator of the 16th Congress, is a member of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology. He authored the S.B. 1091: Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom which includes provisions on security and privacy of data and information, establishment of an executive department for information and communications technology, and penalties for cybercrimes and other prohibited acts, among others.
Moreover, in 2013, Aquino was unanimously adopted by all the ten tribes of Davao City as “Datu Matulangod”, meaning “the dependable, sincere and trusted leader.”
“This DOST plaque is very special to me,” announced Compostela Vallley Vice Governor Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora. “When I get home, I can throw away all of my awards and keep this one.”
Way Kurat was not kidding 100 percent. His humble beginnings had him working as a farmer and an agriculturist who relied on science and technology to be more productive. In fact, he even invented a bicycle pedal-powered peanut sheller that won him third prize at an inventor’s contest in Mindanao in the early 1980s.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mario U. Piamonte of the A-Teacher Party List is considered as a true advocate of science in the House. Among the bills he authored or co-authored include House Bill 3512, which mandates the provision of computer laboratory in every school campus, the computerization of teaching modules and the equipping of teachers through training programs.
Other named S&T ambassadors include Davao City Councilors Maria Belen Acosta and Marissa Salvador Abella, as well as Joey Ayala and Ronulfo “Popong” Landero, both Davao-based performer-song writers and environmental advocates.
The S&T ambassadors were awarded with plaques and officially charged with their envoy duties during the ScienceJam concert recently at the University of Southeastern Philippines Gymnasium - Obrero Campus, Davao City. The concert likewise featured Lloyd Edisonne Montebon, World Championships of Performing Arts - Grand Junior Performer of the World, and a new band called BOB Band.
The announcement of S&T ambassadors is a part of the campaign called “Science Nation Tour” which aims to bring to the regions relevant science and technology programs that help boost the economy of local governments. The campaign uses conventional and alternative activities, such as concerts and physical fitness, to make people appreciate how S&T weaves into their daily lives.
Earlier in the day, Sec. Montejo turned over 56 hydro meteorological sensors to local chief executives in Davao Region. The Hydromet project, a component of Project NOAH or Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, uses state-of-the-art weather tracking equipment to provide a better picture of the country’s surface waters. (Text and photos by S&T Media Service, DOST-STII)
Sec. Montejo (second from left) with one of Davao’s S&T ambassador, Sen. Bam Aquino (middle). Others in photo: (from left) Asst. Sec. Raymund Liboro, DOST-XI Regional Director Anthony Sales, and DOST-ARMM Regional Director Myra Alih.
S&T Ambassador Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora said that his plaque as an S&T ambassador is the “most special” of all his awards and recognitions.
(L-R): DOST Asst. Sec. Raymund Liboro, Sec. Mario Montejo and Rep. Mario Piamonte.
S&T Ambassadors Councilor Maria Belen Acosta (5th from left) Ronulfo “Popong” Landero, and Joey Ayala are joined in this photo by (from left) DOST-Technology Application and Promotion Institute Director Edgar Garcia, DOST-XI official, DOST-ARMM Regional Director Myra Alih, DOST-XI Regional Director Anthony Sales, and DOST Asst. Sec. Raymund Liboro. Not in picture is S&T Ambassador Marissa Salvador Abella.
Se. Montejo turns over 56 hydromet sensors to Davao Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario through an unveiling ceremony (above) and signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (below).