The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the DOST Region VI, gives honor and recognition to different stakeholders and individuals who have shown their full support for prioritizing the science and technology (S&T) agenda. The recognition was done during The Sci-Night: Stakeholders’ Night, one of the main events of the three-day event dubbed Science Nation Tour (SNT) Western Visayas: “AngSci-Ya, Sci-Yasa West V!” held on February 22-24, 2015 at the SM City Iloilo and the Diversion 21 Hotel.

The awarding, held at the Anne Margaret Hall of the Diversion 21 Hotel, recognized S&T advocates who showed excellence in promoting the use of science, technology and innovation by developing products of unique features and world class quality.

The program kicked off with the welcome remarks of DOST Region VI Director Engr. Rowen R. Gelonga who lauded the SNT for Western Visayas as a firm commitment of the DOST to pursue development initiatives that will propel the region to become a vibrant economic hub in the Visayas. On the awarding, Engr. Gelonga said that awards were given to different stakeholders, especially micro, small and medium enterprises who were able to prove that science and technology work.

DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo conferred the awards to the recipients. The special recognition was dubbed the “Dungog S&T Award” where “dungog” means pride in English or “dangal” in Pilipino.

“Tonight is very special for all of us and particularly for those who have devoted great time and effort in making science and technology work for the ordinary people through their innovations and there is no better way to show our appreciation for their achievements but to recognize them as our partners in nation building by using S&T to improve our lives,” said Secretary Montejo.

The Dungog S&T Award was given to outstanding local government units for espousing the importance of S&T to the overall development of the province, city or municipality. Given the award were Negros Island Region, and the provinces of Iloilo and Aklan.

The same award and recognition was given to the private sector and national government agencies that exhibited unwavering support for S&T projects and initiatives. These were the following: SMART Communications for spearheading the establishment of a river monitoring system that included installation of automated weather stations and automated rain gauges; Pfizer Philippines; Department of Health Region VI; and the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Unit VI.

Non-government organizations were equally recognized for promoting economic development and cooperativism through S&T. The awardees included the following: Negrense Volunteers for Change Foundation, Inc.; Negros Prawn Producers Cooperative; Association of Negros Producers; Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc.; and the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges.

Best DOST beneficiaries of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) were also awarded recognition for developing innovative and unique products that are highly competitive both in the domestic and international market. These awardees included the following: Filbake Food Corporation, the best SETUP adoptor in 2015; Trappist Monastic Food Products, the best SETUP adoptor in 2014; and the Herbanext Laboratories, Inc, the company that was the best SETUP adoptor in 2013.

DOST also recognized former S&T scholars who made substantial contributions to their fields of expertise and became living examples for others to emulate. Conferred were Engr. Abraham A. Porcal, now working at the DOST Region VI Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office; Engr. Remington B. Salaya, Jr., a cum laude graduate and a top plum finisher in the chemical engineering board examinations.; Roxzien Shaye Sesbreno, a magna cum laude graduate and 10th placer in the licensure examinations for chemists; and Engr. Joe Val P. Alipin, a summa cum laude graduate who placed 3rd in the chemical engineering board examinations.

Not to be outdone were young and budding scientists from the Philippine Science High School-Western Visayas Campus who have already exhibited exemplary achievements in S&T research and innovation, namely: Joachium Regalado, Felicia Alodia Marie Rentoy, and Dyan Reizl Valencia, all members of the team that produced an eco-movie that reaped international acclaim; and Mickel Lyle Angelo Pe, Dominic S. Yap and Czarina Apdon, all math whiz kids who won in international mathematics competitions in Singapore.

To make the celebration and tribute more special and memorable to the awardees, there were cultural presentations of the Ati Tribe Dance performed by Tribu Panayanon, showcasing the traditional dances of the region. Likewise, another treat was the very entertaining musical numbers provided by the Dyevest Band who performed both modern and standard songs with a twist to the delight of both the young crowd and those who were young “once.”

To cap the night, Secretary Montejo gave an inspiring message to the DOST scholars and outstanding entrepreneurs by saying that there is “ONE DOST in Western Visayas”, an affirmation of the commitment of the DOST to provide opportunities to talented students and innovative business owners and innovators to achieve success in the field of science and technology. 

“The DOST strives hard to integrate science to everyday living like in education and livelihood and we will always be with you in every step of the way because we believe in ourselves; the belief that Filipinos are creative capable of having world class innovations, new products, new services,” concluded Montejo.

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