TABUK CITY, KALINGA – The first time host to the 2017 Regional Science and Technology Week (RSTW) celebrated the annual event with numerous activities including science and technology exhibits, interactive exhibits, technology bazaar, science and technology fora, disaster risk reduction management activities, and quiz bee for students.
In the opening ceremony on Tuesday, government officials and local politicians alike pledged their support to programs and projects that improve the lives of their constituents through science, in line with this year’s theme ‘Science for the People’.
Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, in his keynote speech read by DOST-STII Director Dr. Richard Burgos, acknowledged the full support of the provincial government of Kalinga in the successful implementation of this year’s RSTW. He reaffirmed the agency’s commitment to carry out its mandate in the Cordilleras, announcing that as of September 22, 2017 DOST has invested a total amount of P205,493,199 in its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). “This amount reflects the funding support of the DOST to the SETUP projects, some of which are joining us today as exhibitors in the technology bazaar,” Dr. Burgos read.
The message also touted, among other achievements, that by virtue of Republic Act 7687 or the Undergraduate Science and Technology Scholarship, DOST is addressing the shortage of scientists and engineers in the country and now has scholars in all of the municipalities of CAR with the exception of Lacub, Abra. The agency wants to reach 100% of its target by this year.
Congressman Jesse Mangaoang, Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology, for his part expressed his support to House Bill No. 1205 or the proposed Provincial Science and Technology Directors Act of 2016. The bill, filed by Zamboanga del Sur 1st District Representative Divina Grace C. Yu, aims to upgrade the status and rank of S&T center provincial officers to Salary Grade 27. “If we truly recognize the importance of development in our country today then we must invest in our DOST so that it could serve more of our people and more of our communities,” his message said.
Speaking in a press conference, DOST Kalinga Director Jasmin Dona-al promises more partnerships with Kalinga State University (KSU). She talked about a recent project in Balbalan under the Consultancy on Agriculture Productivity Enhancement (CAPE) program wherein the consultant is from KSU. “From that activity alone, we have already identified another project under CAPE. So expect me to be very visible in KSU,” Donaal said.
Meanwhile, Acting Governor James Edduba wants Kalinga to invest more in research in order to become a first class municipality. “We want to focus more effort on products for Kalinga so we will welcome partnerships with KSU,” he said.
By Iryll Sicnao