‘Pagbangon at Pananaig’—Council to assemble PH researchers to address pandemic’s woes

Published March 7, 2021, 12:00 AM

by Manila Bulletin

(George Robert E. Valencia III, NRCP OED)

“Recovery  and  rebuilding  ought  to  be  the  focus  of  local  research  efforts  in  the  pandemic’s wake,” according to Dr. Gregorio E. H. del Pilar, National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP)  president.  The  NRCP  Governing  Board  thus  set  ‘Pagbangon  at  Pananaig:  National Recovery and Rebuilding’ as the theme for the Council’s  virtual Annual Scientific Conference and 88thGeneral Membership Assembly on March 10, 2021.

The second virtual general assembly by the premier collegial body will convene its membership dispersed  across  the  17  Philippine  regions,  composed  of  nearly  5,000  seasoned  and  young researchers and artists, along with local and foreign practitioners in S&T and research.

Dr. del Pilar stressed that it is not enough to address recovery from the overwhelming effects of the pandemic alone (pagbangon), but towards rebuilding the country through the many lessons and  various  strides  already  attained  by  Filipinos  (pananaig).  He  cited  the  resource  efficiency and convenience of online meetings, now a daily routine of Filipinos, as an example of one such positive  attainment.  Pre-pandemic  meetings  were  beset  with  issues  such  as  non-attendance, heavy traffic, lost time, and food costs or wastage, del Pilar said.

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Pena will officially open the conference while Keynote Speaker is the Honorable Carlos Dominguez III, Secretary of the Department of Finance. The Plenary Speakers are leading Filipino anthropologist and Academician, Emeritus Prof. Michael Lim Tan who will tackle how ‘pagbangon at pananaig’ can be realized while DOST R&D Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara will present the R&D landscape amid the pandemic.

The   conference   features   parallel   sessions   on   the   essential   aspects   and   lenses   on national recovery and rebuilding by some of the country’s most notable expert-researchers:

  1. Reviving the Philippine Economy and Sustaining Growth


Member, NRCP Division of Social Sciences

    Former Socio-economic Planning Secretary, NEDA

2)   Bridging Science, Politics and People in Research


      Member, NRCP Division of Social Sciences

      President, Social Weather Stations

  • Securing the Country from Pandemic and Other Disruptions


Member, NRCP Division of Earth and Space Sciences

Professor, National Institute of Geological Sciences,

UP Diliman

  • Interdisciplinary Research for Public Policy: Development for the Countryside

            DR. ALEX B. BRILLANTES, JR.

    Member, NRCP Division of Social Sciences

    Former Dean, National College of Public Administration and

    Governance, UP Diliman

  • Arts and Human Expressions in Policy Studies


            Professor 12 and Assistant Vice President for the Public Affairs

          University of the Philippines               

With the lineup, the Council aims to produce recommendations for policy and insights to help reorient researchers toward the goal of contributing to national recovery and rebuilding.

During the affair, the  Council will hold its first-ever virtual poster exhibit and competition, and name seven  NRCP  Achievement  Awardees for  2020  from various scholarly disciplines and fields,  along with two senior  NRCP  members being conferred the  NRCP  Member  Emeritus distinction.

Another highlight of the conference is the revealing of the commissioned sculpture masterpiece by artist Manolo Sicat dedicated to the Filipino researcher.

A membership Business Meeting, to be led by Council President del Pilar, will follow the plenary and parallel sessions, while an oath-taking of newly elected Governing Board members, regular members,  and  confirmed  associate  members  of  the  Council  will  proceed  after  its  Business Meeting.

In  March 2020,  the NRCP  was  the first  among all  local  collegial  organizations  to postpone  a major     conference  days  before  the  event  upon  a  DOH  pronouncement  declaring  a  state  of national  emergency brought  by COVID  19. The Council  was  lauded for  its quick response to avert community transmission. It successfully pulled off an online mode for the conference andmembership assembly in only less than three months. Moreover, the Council held a series of webinars billed KTOP-COVID (Kapakanan ng Tao saOras ng Pandemya) to inform the public about  the  results  of  its  quick  small  budget  commissioned  researches  on  the  various  social dimensions of the pandemic. Owing to its success, the said webinar series continues until the end of 2021.

Then  Council  Vice  President  and  Medical  Sciences  Division  Chair,  Dr.  Raul  V.Destura,  who delivered  the  last  conference’s  virtual  plenary  presentation  on  Global  Health  Risks,  was  also widely cited for having developed the first local test kit for COVID-19.

Attached to the Department of the Science and Technology, the NRCP serves as a think-tank on issues of national interest, and funds research on a wide array of disciplines, particularly those that are transdisciplinary in approach.

For more information about the NRCP Annual Conference and 88thGeneral Membership Assembly, please contact the NRCP Secretariat at [email protected] or [email protected]