The newly-installed top official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) seeks to align its major programs with the economic agenda of the current administration for the next six years.
DOST Secretary Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr., assured that the agency's current programs will be continued since they are already addressing various priority concerns in pumping up the economy. In refocusing DOST's major programs, Solidum said that they will look at the areas of agriculture and food security, transportation, health, renewable energy, and job creation, and align them with the economic agenda of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr's administration.
"When we think about science, technology, and innovation, it cut across all sectors. The DOST has service and research and development (R&D) institutions that could provide innovative and timely solutions to the challenges faced by the various sectors and areas in the country," said Sec. Solidum.
He further explained that DOST's main goal is to work closely with other national government agencies (NGAs) and help them address the problems of their respective stakeholders.
Solidum also said that in the areas of agriculture and food security, there are R&D institutions under DOST that are currently doing research to enhance the agriculture and nutrition sectors' post-harvest, value-chain, and food processing capabilities.
He also mentioned that DOST will continue to further improve its initiatives on transportation innovation and renewable energy.
"DOST has been partnering with various local government units and educational institutions when it comes to the research process and implementation of our projects on hybrid and electronic vehicles like the Hybrid Electric Road Train and e-Scooters in Cauayan City, Isabela, and the Hybrid Trimaran with the Aklan State University, " shared Sec. Solidum.
He shared that the Center for Advanced Batteries under the Niche Centers for R&D or NICER program is one of the ongoing initiatives on renewable energy in partnership with the academe.
Meanwhile, Solidum said that DOST also has programs that could help in creating numerous livelihood and employment opportunities in all parts of the country. For one, he cited the assistance of the department to our MSMEs through its banner program, the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program or SETUP.
On the plans and discussions to give the health sector the much-needed support, especially amidst the global health pandemic, Solidum said that DOST has been helping push the passage of the law that would create the Virology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).
Sec. Solidum has been serving at the DOST for 38 years. He served as the Director of the DOST-PHIVOLCS since 2003 and was also appointed as the DOST Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation and later as an Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services.
He graduated BS in Geology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman before earning his master's degree in Geological Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He got his doctorate degree in Earth Sciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography from the University of California, San Diego.