A deeper look at our science and appreciating our arts

Published February 23, 2021, 12:38 AM

by John Tria


John Tria
John Tria

I must confess to following local science developments. The Department of Science snd Technology’s social media pages are effective resources.

There is much excitement over local scientific developments such as the launching of the second Maya satellite and the development of the local diesel engine, and the continuous work of the onestore.ph online portal to promote locally processed products to a larger market.

With the further studies into virgin coconut oil’s antiviral properties and the local herbs to boost health, research and development advancements such as these demand our attention, and the people in the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) deserve our appreciation for patiently pushing such research.

As innovation is the necessary order of the day as economic prospects improve, a deeper look at how these developments can help is needed.

As last year’s president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we collaborated with the DOST’s regional office, the DTI, and local academic institutions to promote local innovations we can share through the Regional Inclusive Innovation Center.

I recommend that other local chambers of commerce pursue similar partnerships with their local DOST offices. In particular, you can take a look at the SETUP and CRADLE programs which can boost innovation and technology improvements for MSMEs

The DOST website is also a good resource for monitoring extreme weather events through PAGASA, such as typhoon Auring which caused floods and landslides in Mindanao last weekend, and recent earthquakes in Davao and volcanic activity in Kanlaon and Taal, causing me to check out the Phivolcs website and  social media pages.

Apart from science-based innovations, the current climate, disaster and pandemic issues encourage a deeper look at science.

Likewise gathering my interest is Mindanao’s arts scene. National arts month is all over social media, with artists from Mindanao organizing into social media groups to promote their works and reaching out to a much wider community.

New online galleries of Mindanaoaon artists and proceedings of literary workshops such as the Iligan writers workshop are worth a look.

Look them up online and see the diverse cultural expressions reflecting the biodiversity and  impressive melting pot culture of the island – our country’s front gate and mirror to Southeast Asia, a window into ASEANs 600 million residents with unique histories of ancient maritime kingdoms and colonial experiences making the most diverse cultures in the world. Mindanao’s arts and culture are our window into precolonial history and bear vital lessons.

Both of these interests, science and the arts, form a grounding in creativity, and a grasp of science and technology will push the passion that builds innovation – a necessary pursuit as we move to new normals.

Insurance for catastrophies, FIST

A good move meant to help us deal with disasters is the plan of the Insurance Commission (IC) to roll out catastrophe insurance through the Philippine Catastrophe Insurance Facility (PCIF).

The PCIF’s objective  is to pool funds to enable non-life insurers to grow the premiums base, which, in turn, can expand catastrophe insurance products available to Filipinos. This is a help for businesses, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and households, which are vulnerable to disaster impacts. It would be wise for businesses to get insurance to help them rebound more quickly after disasters.

The signing of the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) law also will benefit many financial institutions to enable them to offload bad loans and free up resources for lending to businesses needing credit to recover.