S&T experts now deployed to HEIs in 17 regions; Mimaropa now covered by RDLead program

Published August 26, 2021, 11:59 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Local science and technology (S&T) experts are tapped to strengthen the research capabilities of higher education institutions (HEIs) in all the 17 regions in the country under the RDLead Program being implemented by the Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP).

(DOST Science for Change Program)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña said the program has finally covered all the 17 regions of the country after Mindoro State University’ s (MinSU) request for an RD Leader has been approved.

He said the approval of MinSU’s request for an RD Leader was made on July 23, the same day when the application for RD Leader of Dr. Mark Angelo O. Balendres was granted.

“Now, all the 17 regions in the country have at least one RD Leader with Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) as the latest region to receive an RD Leader in one of its institutions,” the DOST chief said in his report.

He said Balendres belongs to NRCP Division VI Agriculture and Forestry and hails from the Institute of Plant Breeding – College of Agriculture and Food Science of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

“He is set to train and capacitate the researchers at Mindoro State University in plant pathology research. MinSU currently lacks the capability in this area, which it needs in the conduct of its research involving calamansi, an important agricultural crop in Mindoro Island,” de la Peña said.

He cited that Balendres is now the 42nd RD Leader engaged under the program with MinSU as the 40th institution with an RD Leader.

He said MinSu is the first HEI in MIMAROPA to receive an RD Leader.

Since July 2018, RD Leaders have been engaged nationwide. They have been deployed to HEIs, research and development institutes, and a national government agency.

The RDLead Program is part of the DOST’s Accelerated Research and Development (R&D) Program for Capacity Building of R&D Institutions and Industrial Competitiveness under the Science for Change umbrella.

“Through this program, the higher education institutions (HEIs) or research development institutions (RDIs), will engage experts with strong leadership, management and innovative policy-making proficiencies to be in charge of strengthening the research capabilities of the HEIs or RDIs,” the DOST said.

The RDLead Program, it said, aims to help develop and strengthen further the research capabilities of the academe, RDIs, and other government line agencies nationwide.

“To this end, RDLeaders who are local S&T experts with strong leadership and innovative policy proficiencies are engaged to train, and direct and support their R&D goals. Depending on the R&D needs of the academe, RDIs, and line agencies, an RDLeader is engaged through application, screening, and evaluation by the NCRP.”

NRCP is the key implementing arm of the program.