DOST officially opens 2021 National Science and Technology Week

Published November 22, 2021, 2:39 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) officially opened Monday, Nov. 22, this year’s National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) by highlighting its accomplishments from 2016 to 2021, including its establishment of state-of-the-art facilities, and technological breakthroughs.

(DOST Philippines Facebook page)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña vowed the agency’s unwavering commitment to make science, technology, and innovation (STI) work for the Filipino people.

“We at DOST believe that through our efforts and commitment to make a more direct impact in the lives of Filipinos, we have generated enough momentum to propel the country toward the demands of a rapidly-advancing, knowledge-driven global economy. This we were able to steadily achieve by expanding the scope and depth of our national S&T enterprise under the current administration,” he said, keynoting the opening ceremony of the virtual NSTW.

The DOST chief said the agency was able to establish state-of-the-art facilities that sought to scale up the quality and quantity of our manufacturing sector, and generate new job opportunities.

These include Industrial Technology Development Institute’s (ITDI) Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory or ADMATEL, Metrology in Chemistry Laboratory, Simulation Packaging Testing Laboratory and Green Packaging Laboratory; Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics, and Industrial Automation Laboratory (AMERIAL) and the Advanced Manufacturing Centre (AMCEN) of the DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Centre (MIRDC); Metals and Engineering Innovation Centers (MEICs) in five regions; Philippine Genome Centre (PGC) for the Visayas and Mindanao; Philippine National Halal Laboratory and Science Centre in Koronadal City; Davao Ground Receiving Station of the Philippine Earth Data Resource Observation (PEDRO) Centre; Innovative Tissue Culture Laboratory for Ornamental Plants (iLAB) in Guiguinto, Bulacan; and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Mindanao Cluster Monitoring Centre for Earthquake and Tsunami (PMCMCET) in Davao City

De la Peña cited that the DOST scored a big number of technological breakthroughs from 2016 to 2021 “that pushed the envelop in harnessing scientific knowledge into the creation of new products, processes, and services, as well as highly-improved versions of current products, processes, and services.”

He enumerated the following technological breakthroughs:

-Coconut Somatic Embryogenesis Technology or CSet; Native Pigs and Chickens; Itik Pinas; and Nanofertilizer for agriculture

-Tuklas Lunas Program for drug discovery and development for health, two of which are under clinical trials and 21 active ingredients are for licensing as supplements with clear potential for further clinical trials, and 11 products are undergoing commercialization;

-Waste to Energy Facility; and Hybrid Fuel/Electric Powered Vehicles for energy;

-Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) rail system and Hybrid Trimaran for mass transport;

-Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Centre and Non-Woven Fabric for textile;

-Rollout of Food Safety System and Manuals for food and food Safety;

-the Philippine Groundwater Outlook that monitors underground water for water;

-Project BUHAWI and the development of locally-made bullet proof vests for human security; and

-Project SPARTA for data science , which aims to develop 30,000 highly trained individuals in the field of data science and analytics

De la Peña also cited the agency’s contributions to the government’s fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

These include Locally-Made rRT-PCR Diagnostic Kit (GenAmplify); Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler for Early Detection of Diseases (FASSSTER) for COVID, now adopted by the Department of Health (DOH) for monitoring COVID-19 in the country; the Safe, Swift, and Smart Passage or S-PaSS Mobile App, now used by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) as its official travel management system; Studies on Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO), which indicated its efficacy in reducing symptoms of COVID-19; Herbal Medicine against COVID-19, most especially the efficacy of lagundi in addressing mild cases of the disease; and the Philippine Vaccine Effectiveness Project, which tracks the effectiveness of COVID vaccine among inoculated adults in the country.

“My hope is for DOST and our science communities throughout the Philippines to continue doing good work by pursuing quality research, fostering greater partnerships with academe and the private sector, and communicating and regularly engaging with our constituents,” de la Peña said.