President Duterte appoints UP professor to lead DOST-ASTI

Published April 15, 2021, 6:09 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

President Duterte has appointed Dr. Franz Asunta de Leon as a new director of the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI). 

DOST-ASTI Director Franz A. de Leon

De Leon was sworn into office as the ninth director of the Institute on Thursday, April 15 with DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, and other DOST-ASTI officials gracing the oath-taking ceremony. 

De Leon, an associate professor at  the University of the Philippines-Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (UPD-EEEI), assured the public that under his leadership, DOST-ASTI  will continue implementing its research and development (R&D) programs and projects in the field of information and communications technology, microelectronics, and space technology.

“During these challenging times, there is a need for solutions and applications that will uplift our spirits and help us adjust to the new normal. As the new ASTI Director, I want to make the Filipinos enjoy the benefits of innovative solutions in the field of ICT, Microelectronics and Space Technology,” he said. 

“We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders to meet their expectations. We will also continue to invest not only in upgrading the facilities, but more importantly in our human resources to be agile and ready for the next generation technologies,” he added. 

Malacañang released the appointment paper of de Leon on March 30,2021. 

De la Peña extended his felicitations to de Leon on the latter’s appointment and assumption as the DOST-ASTI chief.

“The field that has been assigned to ASTI is something that will really transform the Philippines, and so we expect a lot of innovations and transformations that will come out of ASTI,” he said. 

“I count on ASTI to contribute not only to new knowledge generation, to new technology generation, but towards the support for more commercial technologies that will boost our initiatives towards being competitive in the region,” he added. 

DOST-ASTI was previously led  by Dr. Joel Joseph Sacro Marciano Jr., the current director general for Philippine Space Agency,  as the Acting Director from March 8,  2016 until March 4, 2020. 

De Leon got a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 2003 and 2005, respectively. 

In 2014, he earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Southampton in United Kingdom.

With interests in Digital Signal Processing for Audio and Communications, De Leon served as the project leader for the Development of a Philippine Indigenous Instrument Sounds Database, also known as  KATUNOG (KAlipunan ng KaTUtubong TuNOG), one of the collaborative projects of DOST-ASTI with UPD-EEEI.

Since its establishment in 1987, the DOST-ASTI has been undertaking scientific research and development and technology transfer in the advanced fields of ICT, computing, electronics, and their applications.