Science used to be just one of those esoteric topics rarely spoken about in discussions and conversations. But it has broken through that mold. Now, science and technology are more widely used and benefited from by Filipinos.
Gracing the opening ceremony of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) National Science and Technology Week on July 24, DILG Secretary Mar A. Roxas affirmed this welcome development in his keynote address.
“No longer is S&T just for talking purposes or for compliance purposes; it is in fact in the very fabric of decision making for national development,” he said during the ceremony attended by DOST officials and staff, members of the scientific community, stakeholders, and special guests.
According to Roxas, important decisions made by government such as budget allocations, consider the S&T agenda.
“The contribution of DOST,” Roxas stressed, “is in the nature of actual, practical, and actionable information that saves lives, that every single one of those communities, of those families who live in them, actually use and benefit from these.”
In particular, the DILG secretary mentioned the 5-day window now being provided by local weather forecasting, as it allows LGUs to strategize, mobilize, and implement their disaster preparedness and response measures.
Roxas also mentioned the significant drop in the number of casualties from storms that hit the Philippines between the latter part of 2014 and the present rainy season, due to the science-based warnings issued by the Department.
“The harmonized national S&T agenda is focused on specific and measurable results that address the pressing concerns of Mang Juan and Aling Maria,” DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo earlier stated.
Disaster preparedness is one of these concerns. Employment and livelihood are another.
According to Montejo, information communications technology has generated 1M jobs for Filipinos mostly in the countryside via online jobs. “Here, the only things they need are a computer and Internet connection,” he stressed.
Furthermore, Montejo explained that DOST’s Free Wi-Fi Internet Access in Public Places project will help solve the digital divide in the Philippines. “By the end of the year, up to 20 M Filipinos will have internet access in public parks, plazas, libraries, the public spaces in high schools, colleges, universities, government hospitals, rural health units, public transport stations,” Montejo said, adding that the people will benefit from the Internet’s educational component, as well as from the employment and livelihood opportunities available in it, among others.
“Incomes and livelihood in the past were generated from land, a physical resource,” Roxas said in his keynote address. “Today, income and livelihood is generated from knowledge, from applying theory into practice.”
NSTW will run until July 28, 2015 at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. Available for viewing are fun interactive exhibits and scale models by DOST’s PHIVOLCS and PAGASA, robotics, product displays by small enterprises, S&T career talks and fora, and many others. Admission is free. For more information, log on to www.nstw.dost.gov.ph and www.science.ph. #nstw2015 #dostph (S&T Media Service)