For more than six decades, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) was not alone in promoting science, technology, and innovation as the vehicle for economic development and inclusive growth. Hand in hand with the DOST were other national government agencies (NGAs) that contributed to the dispersal of scientific knowledge and research and development initiatives that created positive impact in various sectors of society.
In commemorating the 64th anniversary of the DOST this year, the department saw it fit to honor select NGAs who have contributed substantially in creating value for the people through their support of the various projects and programs of the DOST.
Dubbed as Science for the People (SFTP) Awards “Gabi ng Parangal at Pasasalamat”, the DOST, led by Secretary Fortunato T. de la Pena, recently paid tribute to three NGAs that made significant contributions in pushing forward the science, technology, and innovation agenda of the department to spur economic growth across the regions. The momentous occasion was held last 13 June 2022 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila.
The SFTP Outstanding National Government Agency Award is given to a National Government Agency that collaborated with DOST including its attached agencies in the promotion, development, and/or transfer of science, technology and innovations that created social/economic impact to the Filipino people.
First to be awarded under the Outstanding National Government Agency Award Category was the Department of Agriculture (DA) Western Visayas, one of the fifteen (15) regional field offices of the DA, that has collaborated with the DOST to implement science and technology (S&T) programs and projects in order to achieve its vision of a food-secured and resilient Philippines with empowered and prosperous farmers and fishers. Notable S&T collaboration projects from 2016 to 2021 included enhancing the market competitiveness of Western Visayas agriculture and fishery products through packaging improvement which included the publication of a Technical Guide on Food Product Packaging, crafting of the Western Visayas Commodity Roadmaps, and field verification testing of carrageenan plant growth promoter for enhanced growth and induced pest and disease resistance in rice. At present, DA Western Visayas is headed by Regional Executive Director Remelyn R. Recoter.
Second agency that was recognized was the Department of Trade and Industry - Eastern Visayas which is composed of six provincial offices in Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar. Its mission is to generate employment opportunities for better quality of life for the people of Eastern Visayas by promoting an environment conducive to the growth and development of business. This is being done through strong partnerships with the government and private sectors and by practicing proactive and efficient services for public support. Their mandate is to be responsible in realizing the country’s goal of globally competitive and innovative industry and services sector that contributes to inclusive growth and employment generation. Some of its collaborations with the DOST are the Technology Business Incubator on Shared Service Facility for Food Processing and activities of the Villaconsuelo Tree Planters Association in Biliran.
Lastly, the DOST gave honor to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) IV-A as the implementing arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in CALABARZON region. Its primary mission is to administer a comprehensive civil defense and disaster risk reduction management program towards safer and resilient communities. The OCD IV-A is and has been an active partner in promoting and disseminating DOST’s programs such as: (1) Deployment of Structural Health Monitoring System for Critical Government-Owned Building along the Valley Fault System (VFS) or the Universal Structural Health Evaluation And Recording (USHER) System, (2) Implementation of Safe, Swift, And Smart Passage (S-PaSS) Travel Management System in CALABARZON, (3) Infrastructure Audit, and (4) Information Dissemination and Promotion of Interventions for Taal Volcano Eruption, earthquakes, and typhoons (such as DOST-PHIVOLCS generated advisories, HazardHunterPH, Fault-Finder, REDAS, GeoRiskPH, DOST-PAGASA-generated weather bulletins, satellite-generated impact maps from DATOS, ASTI-developed HydroMet stations, and many others), and raising public awareness and interest in the field of S&T.
Present during the awarding ceremony were other top DOST officials that included Undersecretary for Research and Development, Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara; Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services, Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr.; Undersecretary for Regional Operations, Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang; assistant secretaries, agency heads, executive directors of different councils and advisory bodies, and regional directors, among others.
The Outstanding NGA Award was just one of the 15 other categories of the Science for the People Awards that were given to different development partners, both in the public and private sectors, in recognition of their outstanding contributions towards improving the lives of Filipinos as the DOST continuously pursues its mantra, Science for the People. (30) (By Rodolfo P. de Guzman, DOST-STII)