To celebrate Science, Technology, and Innovations (STI) in the region, Cordillera office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-CAR) staged the 2022 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) in CAR at the Benguet State University Gymnasium from September 20-22, 2022.
DOST-CAR Regional Director Nancy A. Bantog said, “NSTW regional celebration is the biggest crowd-drawing event that DOST-CAR and all other regional offices conduct every year and is recognized as a platform of informed exchanges on important S&T issues, development, and locally developed technologies.”
This year’s theme, “Agham at Teknolohiya: Kabalikat sa Maunlad at Matatag na Kinabukasan,” highlights the importance of STI and how it works for regional development and the people.
Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum, Jr., in his keynote address during the program, said that the department is realigning its major programs to the priorities set by the current administration.
“We shall refocus some of our major programs to align research and development (R&D) on agriculture and food security, transportation, health, renewable energy, and job creation with the economic agenda of the Marcos administration. Programs on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation shall continue to be at the fore. Meanwhile, job security, countryside development, digital transformation, and smart, sustainable cities and communities will continue to be a priority for 2022-2028,” Secretary Solidum said, keynoting the opening ceremonies of the event.
Further, the three-day celebration highlights programs, projects and initiatives of the DOST on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM), micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), research and development (R&D), and Cordilleran textiles through S&T exhibit, S&T Bazaar, webinars, forum, SETUP and CEST Summit, and Cordillera weaves fashion and talk show.
Staging physical S&T Exhibit and S&T Bazaar
After being conducted virtually for two years (2020-2021) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DOST-CAR physically hosted the S&T Exhibits and S&T Bazaar at the Benguet State University Gymnasium on September 20-22, 2022.
Various DOST institutes, the Apayao State College, Cordillera’s Research Consortia, Innovation and Incubation Hubs, and government R&D Institutions, including the Design Center of the Philippines, participated in the S&T Exhibits to feature their research breakthroughs and latest innovations that were developed through scientific initiatives.
Some of the products of MSMEs assisted by DOST-CAR were also displayed for sale in the S&T Bazaar. S&T Bazaar is a venue where DOST supports MSMEs in promoting and marketing their products.
Strengthening DRRM initiatives in the region
With the aim to build disaster-resilient communities in the region, the DOST-CAR and partners unveiled two Disaster Risk Reduction projects, “Establishment of a Landslide Knowledge Management Center for CAR” and “Modelling and Understanding Landslide Events in Baguio City-La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay” during the opening ceremonies of the NSTW.
The projects were the offshoot of the 1st Regional Landslide Forum spearheaded by the DOST-CAR in 2018.
Further, to complement the launching, a forum on “The BIG One in CAR: The 2022 Magnitude 7.0 Northwestern Luzon Earthquake and Other Earthquake Scenarios in the Region” was conducted in partnership with the DOST-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) and the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC). The forum discussed the Magnitude 7.0 earthquake on July 27, 2022 and other possible earthquake scenarios in the region.
Transforming local MSMEs to Industry 4.0
DOST-CAR encouraged MSMEs to use smart manufacturing technologies to reduce cost, improve productivity and business agility through a webinar, “Smart Manufacturing Solutions for MSMEs”.
Through the webinar, various DOST programs and services such as the Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics, and Industrial Automation Laboratory (AMERIAL) and Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen) of DOST- Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) that drive local industries to higher levels of productivity using cutting-edge technologies were discussed. Likewise, Green Packaging Technologies of DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI) that lengthen food shelf life and address the reduction of packaging waste was introduced.
In her message, Dir. Bantog said, “These DOST programs and services are very fitting to the new administration’s eight-point economic agenda, particularly in helping our local MSMEs improve their operations, boost their productivity, and competitiveness. Through these, our MSMEs will hopefully contribute greatly to job creation and overall economic growth.”
On the other hand, a webinar on Industry 4.0 Technologies for the Weaving Industry was conducted in partnership with the DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI). Among the topics discussed was Digitization of Weave Patterns and Textiles which highlights the available applications and software for weave pattern drafting. Weave software that allows participants to visualize how designs are expressed into digital patterns that are retrievable and repeatable.
Capacitating R&D personnel in the region
Dir. Bantog stressed that the outcome of solving societal problems through STI starts with competent human resources. Hence, a webinar on Capability-building Activities for Research and Development was conducted as part of the NSTW celebration in CAR.
In this webinar, topics on “Writing Scientific Publications and High Impact Journals” and “Use of SETI (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Innovation) Scorecards for Monitoring and Evaluating Researches Towards Achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals” were discussed by the experts from the DOST National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP).
“DOST-CAR is relentless in conducting capability-activities for the researchers and potential researchers who will usher the institutions to increase their share in the R&D”, Dir. Bantog added.
Promotion and Innovation of Cordillera Weaving Industry
A fashion show was organized by the DOST-CAR in collaboration with the Cordillera Weaving Industry Council (CWIC) and the Benguet State University (BSU) to showcase the innovative, creative, modernized, and authentic woven creations of Namarabar Indigo Natural Dye Producers Cooperative (NINDPC), Kalinga Indigenous Weaver’s Association (KINWA) Etnika, Rose Ann Fabric’s Gallery, The Conquerors Association in Middle Quirino Hill, Luna Weaver’s Association, and Lugo-Amganad-Banaue Tie Dye Weavers (LABTDWA).
Representatives from the associations shared their stories behind the threads meticulously woven through a talk show. Products of the weavers-exhibitors were also displayed for sale in the exhibit area.
This activity aimed to help local weavers to promote their woven products, widen their market reach, generate income, and sustain the livelihood of the region’s weaving communities.
Recognizing DOST-assisted MSMEs and communities
DOST-CAR never fails to underscore the roles of MSMEs through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) and Community Enhancement through Science and Technology (CEST) Summit, which serve as a venue to recognize the Best SETUP Adoptors and CEST Communities.
The Benguet Best Provincial SETUP Adoptor, JLM Farms of Mr. Johnny I. Marcos won the Regional Award and will represent the region in the National SETUP competition in November 2022 alongside the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration. Meanwhile, the following firms held the respective provincial titles: D&C Enterprise (Abra), Rebiajos Food Products (Apayao), Balubal Sash & Furniture (Ifugao), Mt. Zion Bakery (Kalinga), and Mountain Welds and Design Metal Fabworks (Mountain Province).
The DOST-CAR also recognized the Productivity, Resilience, Agility, Innovativeness, Sustainability, and Excellence (PRAISE) of the best SETUP Adoptors with the Balubal Sash and Furniture Shop getting the Productivity and Agility Awards while the JLM Farms successfully won the Resilience, Agility, Innovativeness, Sustainability, and Excellence Awards.
Meanwhile, graduating SETUP cooperators were given their Certificates of Ownership to a total of 32 MSMEs with two (2) from Abra, Apayao (2), Baguio-Benguet (9), Ifugao (5), Kalinga (5), and Mountain Province (9).
Further, the CEST is the DOST’s program to provide STI to vulnerable and priority communities in the country. For CAR, the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) in Abra and municipalities of Pasil, Kalinga; Tublay, Benguet; and Asipulo, Ifugao were the winners in the provincial level.
Among the provincial winners, the CEST Tublay bagged the Regional Award and will represent the Cordillera in the national competition, also in November 2022.
The summit was graced virtually by DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Sancho A. Mabborang to congratulate all the winners. He also highlighted how the programs address the needs and requirements of the enterprises.
To give due credit and appreciation to agencies who supported STI as well as the agency’s programs, projects and activities, certificates of appreciation were likewise awarded to the DOST-CAR major partners in 2021.
Finally, certificates of appreciation were awarded to this year’s exhibitors during the NSTW in CAR S&T Exhibits and S&T Bazaar. The awarding was done as the final activity that effectively closed the 2022 NSTW in CAR.