By Lanquin Seyer R. Gacusan, DOST-STII
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) holds a virtual presser in light of the 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration, broadcasted via the 2020 NSTW official Facebook page on Monday, 23 November 2020.
In the presser, Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services and 2020 NSTW Steering Committee Chairperson, Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr. encouraged the public to look at the brighter side despite the sudden change the pandemic brought to everyone’s lives. He stressed that the virtual platform has opened many doors and opportunities for DOST to share the benefits of science and technology to the public, with or without the pandemic, from the comfort of everyone’s offices or homes. Moreover, the virtual means of holding events nowadays, Usec. Solidum believes, enables the NSTW celebration to reach more audience and participants both locally and internationally, and people can watch the webinars and activities on demand since the entire event is recorded.
On the one hand, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara added that research and development, more than ever, played a major role during the pandemic and have been at the forefront of looking for solutions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will not stop DOST from bringing the National Science and Technology Week to you. Like before, NSTW includes various awards for research, technology transfer, and S&T promotion; scientific meetings; technical and investment forums; tech demos; and virtual tours,” Usec. Guevara shared.
This year, the technologies funded and assisted by DOST are featured in four (4) clusters, dubbed as 4Ks: Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan at Kinabukasan. These innovations respond to the government’s national plan to heal, recover, and rise as one, as embodied in the Bahayanihan Act.
Undersecretary Guevara further explained that the projects and innovations that fall under each cluster were designed to show the different areas where R&D is greatly needed and where the DOST and its research and development institutes were able to pivot immediately and respond to demands needed to fight COVID-19.
For one, the Kalusugan cluster features technologies like the RxBox and the Rapid Test Kit developed by Dr. Raul Destura of the University of the Philippines Manila and developments for health and wellness; including those that are relevant to COVID-19 response, occupational therapy and nutrition, to name a few.
Innovations that help sustain our country’s foundation for growth and stability, and of improving livelihood are also featured under the Kabuhayan cluster. A vast selection of digital applications and platforms, physical hubs, food production, and food processing equipment and techniques, can be viewed in the virtual exhibits.
Smart technologies for disaster response, traffic and community management are further showcased in the Kaayusan cluster. These are applications, systems, portals and even food that mitigate disaster, and also increase capacity for disaster preparedness and management. Also included under this cluster are Smart and Sustainable Textiles, Electronic Products Development Center and the nuclear facilities of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute.
Lastly, the Kinabuksan cluster focuses on future forward and ready technologies for career development and sustainable future. One is a hub for developing technologies and innovations that will respond to needs of industries to adapt to the changing trends in manufacturing/production. Other innovations address needs on renewable energy, mass transport, mobile/distance learning, and genomics.
“Amidst this pandemic, we at the DOST, will continue to strengthen and encourage R&D focused on providing immediate, timely and relevant scientific solutions in partnership with the academe, the private sector and the society,” Usec Guevara emphasized.
She added that the NSTW is the best platform to promote the results of research and development in order to make sure that our lawmakers and budget departments take notice of R&D’s valuable contribution to socioeconomic development and inclusive growth.
The 2020 National Science and Technology Week is happening virtually from 23-29 November 2020. To view the abovementioned technologies and innovations, and for more information head on to www.nstw.gov.ph or visit its Facebook pages or use the hashtag #2020NSTW and #ScienceForThePeople.
DOST webinar brings international initiatives on textile sustainability during science week
By Lanquin Seyer R. Gacusan, DOST-STII
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, many industries have shifted in producing new normal essential products. And even the textile and fashion industry, has likewise pivoted to production of personal protective equipment (PPE) and face masks in response to the health and safety requirements against the virus.
Further, as the need for these protective clothing continues to rise, so are the effects on the environment when these are disposed after a single use.
For the health sector alone, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates a need for around 89 million disposable masks, which amounts to 100 billion masks a year and a staggering 129 million single use face masks every month across all industries worldwide. This is only one facet of the environmental effects of fast fashion and single usage in textile, placing it as the second or third pollutant in the world.
Taking its part in helping the environment, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through its Philippine Textile Research Institute (DOST-PTRI), puts its best foot forward to develop products, processes and innovations that promote sustainability in the textile and related industries. And in light of the 2020 National Science and Technology Week celebration, DOST-PTRI held a webinar on different programs and developments in promoting textile and fashion sustainability.
The webinar aims to inform the public on the current global situation and developments in textile and fashion, specifically efforts made through science, technology and innovation that are geared towards the attainment of a sustainable global textile industry.
Dr. Rene van Berkel of UNIDO presenting one example of the tangible benefits on industry practice on textile sustainability. In the first presentation, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) regional director and environmental scientist Dr. Rene van Berkel stressed that sustainability is not only highlighted on the rising need to massively produce protective clothes these days, but has been an issue even prior to the pandemic due to the ongoing concerns on industrial pollution, where textile is included.
While Sustainable Development Goal opportunities have not yet been mapped out for the textile industry in UNIDO, Dr. van Berkel shares that it obviously addresses 11 of the 17 UN General Assembly targets. He proposes to improve efficiency in the usage of materials—chemicals, water, and energy, for example—in textile development and production and to decrease the polluting effects of wastes from textile processing by improving innovations on energy and water disposal, treatment and recycling.
Further, proving the viability of Dr. van Berkel’s proposal are some textile manufacturing companies around Asia alone that have invested, innovated on and applied solutions to attain textile sustainability have in fact not only gained environmental benefits such as savings in water, energy and natural gas, but also experienced increase in investments, cost and payback.
Helping achieve these efficiencies in use of natural and chemical resources, and sustainable textile production are innovations such as advanced digital production, additive manufacturing/3D printing, recycling hacks and technologies, sustainable clothing, solution dyeing, and finishing technologies, to name a few.
Dr. Lei Yao of HKRITA explains their innovation for textile recycling
Another innovation developed by The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) presented by its Project Development Director Dr. Gloria Lei Yao is the hydrothermal recycle system which separates and turns polyester and cotton blended fabrics from used clothes into new fiber for reuse on new textile production, as one of its many unique and key features. In fact this technology has been recently tested and used by mainstream brands such as H&M and Monki.
The HKRITA has also partnered with a local Hong Kong textile company to test their upcycling system for handling post-consumer textile waste for reuse on textile production and their client attested to the quality the system still produced despite using recycled materials.
The upcycling is now starting to be known as the “Billie System” in Hong Kong
DOST-PTRI Director Celia B. Elumba shares textile innovation and industry overview in the Philippines.
Lastly, DOST-PTRI Director Celia B. Elumba talked about the Philippines’ community scale perspective for sustainable textile developments through DOST. One is the Institute’s flagship program on the development of natural textiles from plant and nature-based resources, where Philippines is rich. This addresses issues in synthetic materials that when disposed take time to decompose completely, not to mention its unnatural components that harms the environment.
The DOST-PTRI, together with its strong stakeholder partners, also boasts on its continuous efforts in establishing Regional Yarn Production and Innovation Centers (RYPICs), Regional Handloom Weaving Innovation Centers (RHWICs), and NatDyes Hubs and Facilities that promote and utilize natural resources and processes all over the country.
“The Perfect Fit” is another project by DOST-PTRI that has a component, 3D scanner that gives textile designers, artists, retailers, and manufacturers easy access in the prototyping of their designs and products for evaluation before public offering. This project is part of the Institute’s move to introduce modern technologies and innovations with the aim of becoming the first textile R&D laboratory in the Philippines.
“Traditional know-how, talent and skills are important but raw materials are critical. The goal is to link all of these programs for complete integration of the community and the textile ecosystem [and towards sustainability in textile and fashion],” Director Elumba stressed.
The DOST-PTRI is part of the rich community of DOST that showcases science, technology and innovation in its 2020 National Science and Technology Week.
DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Week 33 Report (as of November 6, 2020)
HIGHLIGHTS OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
The DOST interventions to address the COVID-19 pandemic, help rebuild the economy, and respond to pressing concerns through science, technology and innovations have been highlighted by a number of accomplishments, such as the following:
- DOST-PCHRD reports updates on ongoing R&D projects on COVID-19
- Clinical trial on the efficacy and safety of Lagundi (Vitex negundo) tablets/syrup (NIRPROMP formulation) for COVID-19
The project evaluates the efficacy and safety of Lagundi tablets in patients without co-morbidities suspected or with mild CoVID-19. The screening and enrollment of participants is ongoing at the Quezon Institute and PNP NRCPO Quarantine Centers. As of October 30, 2020, 75 patients were enrolled for Stage 1 of the study and 59 patients have completed the regimen.
- Clinical trial on the efficacy and safety of Tawa-tawa (Euphorbia hirta L.) extract as an adjunctive treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19 patients
The project assesses the efficacy and safety of Tawa-tawa as an adjunctive treatment of mild to moderate COVID- 19 patients. The project team is currently coordinating with Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Philippine General Hospital, and Quezon Institute Quarantine Center for initial patient screening and enrollment. The project has also received approval notification from DOH-SJREB on 30 October 2020.
- Suitability of Saliva as an Alternative Clinical Specimen for the Detection of SARS-CoV-2
The project aims to determine the suitability of saliva as an alternative clinical specimen for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. With DOST-PCHRD funding support of P18 million, the 5-month project will be implemented by the RITM with Mr. Alexander Sadiasa, MSc, as Project Leader. The project already obtained ethics clearance from RITM IRB. It is currently in discussion with DOH- COVID Laboratory Experts Panel (CLEP) regarding possible duplication with UP Manila’s Saliva Study under the Philippine Red Cross.
- DOST VI and Partner-SUCs deploy eight specimen collection booths to healthcare facilities in Western Visayas
The DOST-VI partnered with the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISATU) Main Campus and Technological University of the Philippines – Visayas (TUP-V) for the fabrication and eventual deployment of eight (8) Specimen Collection Booths (SCBs) to healthcare facilities in Western Visayas identified by the Department of Health – Center for Health Development Region VI (DOH-CHD VI). The recipient healthcare facilities are: West Visayas State University Medical Center in Jaro, Iloilo City; Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital in Jordan, Guimaras; Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital in Roxas City, Capiz; Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique; and Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Kalibo Aklan.
This initiative is in support of the DOH efforts in conducting mass testing. It is also aimed at preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
- DOST-FNRI supports project on Supporting Adolescent Growth in the Philippines (SAGIP)
Project SAGIP, which aims to develop inexpensive recipes meeting the nutritional requirements of adolescents, is now on its pilot study in Marikina City. Different recipes using indigenous and nutritious foods that are affordable are being developed with Pinggang Pinoy as guide.
The pilot study is currently on Phase 1 of implementation, wherein a total of 13 recipes were covered on the fourth week of recipe testing. The theme for this week revolved around dishes made of tofu, green mung bean seeds, pureed or mashed vegetables and root crops infused in congee, pasta and pancakes. Using current market prices, the estimated cost of meals ranged from Php 11.45 to Php 36.16. Some of the sample recipes developed include crispy fried tofu with sauteéd toge and squash, a traditional sisig but made with tokwa, tortang talong with Monggo and Squayote Rice.
The project is also editing the submitted study protocol to FIERC and draft rubrics (cost, taste, and effort of production) for use in the evaluation of recipes tested from weeks 1 to 4 of October.
- NRCP studies identify viable plant sources of lead compounds against NCDs, and the medicinal features of the Marang fruit
In its 4th annual Basic Research Symposium on “Herb Talk: The Healing in Green” held last 21 October 2020, NRCP presented the results of Dr. Erna Arollado’s study that identified viable plant sources of lead compounds for future drug development studies against Non-communicable diseases (NDCs).
The Artocarpus blancoi leaves or the Antipolo and Rhizophora mucronata flowers or the Bakauan Babae are scientifically proven to have antidiabetic properties. Meanwhile, Adonidia merrillii leaves or Manila Palm, was found out to be effective for dyslipidemic; and Artocarpus blancoi leaves (Antipolo), Platycladus orientalis leaves (Arbor Vitae), and Kalanchoe pinnata leaves (Katakataka) were found capable of inhibiting enzyme-linked to hypertension.
In the same symposium, another study on the medicinal features of the Marang fruit was presented by Prof. Joseph Mari Querequincia of San Pedro College, Davao. results on how the Marang fruit sample passed the limits of specifications of pharmacognostic analysis and have polyphenolic compounds that help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular diseases. This fruit also possesses in vitro ⍺-glucosidase inhibitory activity and is fairly nontoxic up to 2000 mg/kg BW of the test animals. It also exhibited blood glucose lowering activity which was comparable to Acarbose, an anti-diabetic drug used to treat diabetes mellitus type 2.
- The DOST iSTART Program takes off in Eastern Visayas, STI Framework and Strategies for Leyte finalized
The pilot implementation of the Innovation, Science and Technology for Accelerating Regional Technology-Based Development (iSTART) Program of the DOST in Region VIII has already yielded results. Academician Alvin B. Culaba (an iSTART expert), in coordination with the Provincial Government of Leyte led by Governor Leopoldo Dominico “Mic” L.Petilla, finalized the STI framework and strategies to help accelerate provincial economic development. Acad. Culaba and Gov. Petilla seek to integrate these into the existing Leyte Provincial Development Plan as an overarching chapter to integrate the current economic development strategies of the province. Once approved by the provincial board, a Provincial Ordinance will be issued to operationalize the STI framework and strategies. The same will also be presented to the Regional Development Council (RDC) so it will be used as a template for accelerating regional development and thus, would be integrated to the existing Region 8 Development Plan.
Gov. Petilla had already provided two (2) out of the four (4) shipping containers he committed to be used for the iSTART Indoor Smart Farming Technology, introduced by Dr. Joel Cuello, a Balik Scientist. The said container vans are now delivered at Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) and La Granja, a private organic farm in Tacloban. The other 2 will be taken to Villaconzoilo Farm and Villa Aurora farm. The indoor smart farm development is ongoing. Funded and implemented by EVSU and supported by DOST-VIII and Provincial Government of Leyte, the pilot farm will hopefully be up this month – November 2020. Capacity building of EVSU faculty, DOST-VIII personnel, and the partner farming cooperative staff will begin on the 2nd week of November 2020.
- DOST-PCIEERD to feature technologies in industry, energy and emerging technology sector at the 5th National R&D Conference
Game-changing innovations in the industry, energy, and emerging technologies are set to take centerstage as the DOST features latest technologies in the upcoming 5th National Research and Development Conference (NRDC).
Happening virtually on November 9 to 11 and with the theme “Research and Development: Making Change Happen,” the 5th NRDC will present the latest researches and technologies that DOST and other government agencies has produced, technologies developed in response to COVID-19, and updates on the Harmonized National R&D Agenda.
Technologies that will be featured in the 5th NRDC under the industry, energy, and emerging technology sectors are:
- The first locally made disinfection booth in the country, USHER GoClean, was
developed by USHER Technologies, Inc. which can be installed at the entrances of hospitals and buildings to sanitize and disinfect the whole body of a person. It provides sanitation thru misting of electrolyzed saline solution or Anolyte that takes up only to 5 to 10 seconds per person.
- Project RAMDAM or Resource Allocation Management, Distribution, and
Monitoring is a system developed by Geographic Innovations for Development Solutions, Inc. (GrIDS) which can be accessed via a mobile app and/or through a website to serve as a platform for community citizens and the government to share accurate information regarding relief distribution activities, contents of relief packs, schedule of distribution, and feedback from the recipients.
- The Tracing for Allocation of Medical Supplies (TrAMS+) project is an online
geographic system for tracking information about health facilities’ medical
resources. It relies on crowdsourced data to aid in the proper allocation of
medical resources needed by healthcare facilities.
- As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, BPSU through the Additive Manufacturing Research Laboratory mass produced 3D-printed face shields for frontliners. The AMREL serves as a facility for the BPSU community to do research, share and create their ideas, essentially serving as a playground for generating new products and world-class research projects.
- The Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCen) mass produced over 2,000 pcs of 3D printed face shields which were donated to 21 hospitals in Metro Manila and other nearby cities. The team has also produced more than 1,800 pieces of 3D printed ear relief bands to alleviate ear pain caused by prolonged wearing of face mask. They have facilitated the 3D-printing of venturi valves (also called the respirator valve) to 4 hospitals. They also produced various 3d printed devices such as prototypes of N95 mask, multiple patient ventilator splitter, modified oxygen concentrator mask, doorknob handle, and mechanic ventilator.
- The Futuristic Aviation and Maritime Enterprise, Inc. (FAME) designed swab collecting booths to mitigate the exposure of frontline health workers to the virus. Using the technology, people with coronavirus symptoms can get tested without being in direct contact with the medical staff.
- The Batangas Egg Producers Cooperative’s (BEPCO) low value edible eggs can now be converted into an egg white powder through pre-processing protocols and spray drying technology developed by the scientists from University of the Philippines Diliman. This product has a longer shelf-life than raw eggs, making it easier for bulk transport and storage without losing its functional properties and nutritional benefits. With this, the once low value egg of BEPCO go up the value chain as the egg white powder can be used for baking in households, and more importantly for institutional purposes as ingredient in food manufacturing. The project is under DOST’s Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE).
- The Platform for Assessment and Tracking of Urbanization – Related Opportunities (PATURO) aims to formulate a smart index that can reliably and
accurately capture the city’s “health” such as the diverse interactions between the city’s people, land, transportation system, and various economic activities.
It intends to build a data hub allowing real-time and interactive access to data for simulation modeling to support decision making and generating features to define a smart index, and build a city dashboard showcasing the different levels of analytics (from descriptive to prescriptive).
- The Infrastructure Monitoring Petrography uses the petrography technique to provide in-depth analysis and assessment of the health of the concrete used in constructions, roads, bridges, and buildings. With the large costs of building construction, this technology offers a cost-effective and time-efficient way of assessing concrete quality. The project is supported by DOST-PCIEERD and implemented by the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS), in partnership with the Bureau of Research and Standards of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
- DOST-PCIEERD and BOI hold LET’S LINC: Leverage Innovation Partners to Nurture Collaboration
DOST-PCIEERD in partnership with the Board of Investments (BOI) organized LET’S LINC: Leverage Innovation Partners to Nurture Collaboration, an event where the researchers were able to pitch their projects and technologies developed before a panel of prospective investors. The following technologies were featured in the event:
- Fish-I, a hardware-software technology that allows for rapid reef fish assessment It utilizes an underwater camera that records along a transect of a fishing site, then analyzes the footage into data that can easily be viewed and understood by users on a computer. Through Fish-i, the regular monitoring of reefs gives a clear and irrefutable pulse of the health of our coast.
- Cath-All, which is an integration of vision and machine learning systems that offers better performance in visual monitoring, recording, and evidence gathering tasks.
- VISON is a system that can track and count vehicles by category, and estimate vehicular speeds and traffic congestion levels from the vantage point of even just the regular traffic cameras.
- VISSER or Versatile Instrumentation System for Science Education and Research is a cost-effective, handheld device that is used for science laboratory experiments. It uses both generic and custom probes that can be adapted for different applications. It can be used without a computer, or as a data logger, or as a programmable device.
- MapX, a geo-spatial portal that provides API services for local government and other agencies to map real property boundaries using artificial and collective intelligence.
- Gitara ni Juan which addressed the problems relating to manufacturing inconsistencies, intonation, sound quality, and playability in locally made guitars. The standardized process of entry-level classical guitar-making and refining was collated and documented in a compendium.
- X-LIPAD, a state-of-the-art drone technology platform with modern and versatile online and hardware-based training modules that can be tailored to High School and University students which is fun and cost-effective to teach.
- Lactic Acid Technology, a technology that can directly utilize starch materials and other industry by-products to produce L-Lactic Acid using a strain of microorganism discovered in the Philippines.
- HormoGroe, the BIOTECH Nano-Plant Growth RegulatorTM, a slow-release formulation of the plant hormones auxin, cytokinin and gibberellin derived from locally isolated plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB). Each of the PGPB derived plant growth regulators were formulated to improve solubility and increase uptake in plant tissues.
- Monascus Red, a natural bio-based colorant that is safe for use and has additional functional properties. It contains Monacolin K, a cholesterol-lowering compound, as well as higher antioxidant content than commercially available Vitamin E.
- Fruitect, a line of liquid formulations applied on whole fresh fruits to delay the ripening process and consequently, extends the shelf life of fruits. By delaying the ripening process, the fruits remain firm and resistant to injuries during transport or have a longer shelf life.
- DOST X provides water purification system for small-scale banana and abaca farmers in GIDA and ELCAC areas in Bukidnon
DOST-X partnered with the LGU of Malaybalay City for the implementation of a Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) project entitled, “Upgrading of Banana and Abaca Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory Facility to Improve Productivity of Small-scale Farmers in Malaybalay City”. Through the project, a Type II pure water purification system was installed at the tissue culture laboratory in the Malaybalay City Agriculture’s Office for the mass production of abaca and banana plantlets, which are distributed for free to marginalized farmers from GIDA and ELCAC areas in the city. This intervention is envisioned to address the recurring problem of low productivity of the farmers in the locality. In the next three (3) years, the project is expected to provide at least 300 plantlets to 100 farmers as well as rehabilitate and expand the 160 hectares of abaca and 100 hectares of banana plantations in 35 pilot barangays.
- DOST-PTRI assessment fees for National Certificate II for handloom weaving gets TESDA Board approval
The assessment fees for the National Certificate II for Handloom weaving has been newly approved by the TESDA Board. The approval of the training regulations, marks three years of arduous work by PTRI’s Techno Transfer, Information, and Promotions staff, Evangeline Manalang with subject matter experts from the regions, Anna India Legaspi of Heritage Crafts in Aklan, Ermelyn Tarriga of San Jose Loom Weaving Cooperative Association, with the help of NCCA’s Alice Panares and PTRI’s own master weaver, Josie Garlitos.
- DOST-ASTI’s COARE supports DOST VI’s S-PaSS and other COVID-19 initiatives
The DOST-ASTI’s Computing and Archiving Research Environment (COARE) continues to provide IT resources andtechnical support various initiatives that are aimed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new COVID-related initiative that COARE supports is the DOST Regional Office No. 6’s Safe, Swift & Smart Passage (S-PaSS) — a web-based system primarily intended to manage the travels of Locally Stranded Individuals (LSIs), Returning Overseas Filipino (ROFs), Authorized Persons Outside of Residence (APOR) and Emergency Travelers (ETs). Users of the system are travelers, PNP, LGUs, IATF. COARE provided large storage and compute resources (64GB RAM, 16 cores, 400GB Disk Space) to S-PaSS thru the Science Cloud service.
Large compute and storage resources were provisioned to FASSSTER and TanodCOVID for their Data Warehouse. The warehouse serves as a staging area, data storage, and archiving of resources that are needed by the FASSSTER Dashboard for analytics purposes. This is particularly important in the country’s fight against COVID-19 as it is essential to adopt fast and secure healthcare interoperability resources in order to be flexible and robust enough to handle constantly changing requirements. The Philippine Genome Center also has been given access to the DOST-ASTI’s supercomputer/HPC. Their activities are on phylogenetic analysis, computational studies, evolutionary analysis, and in silico detection of SARS-CoV-2/ COVID-19. In addition, DOST-ASTI’s Contact Tracing has been given virtual servers to store and analyze data related to contact tracing. COARE is also hosting the UP Cebu’s CovCheck through its Science Cloud service. Moreover, several researchers from UP Diliman have been given large compute resources to help in the efforts on COVID-19 vaccine and drug discovery. Recently, large compute resources thru the HPC service were given to ACCELER8 research group.
- DOST-PAGASA’s remarkable improvement in forecasting tropical cyclone
The best forecast achieved so far by DOST-PAGASA in tracking tropical cyclone is during this year with an average Forecast Track Error (FTE) of 58.7km for 24-hr forecast. It is worthwhile to note that the prediction on the movement of Typhoon Rolly had FTE ofonly 41.1 km.
The performance of DOST-PAGASA in forecasting tropical cyclone movement remarkably improved since 2015. In 2014, the FTE was 141.41 km.
The FTE for 24-hr forecast considerably improved to 94.8km in 2015 after an error of 100km was targeted to achieve. It further improved to 90.65km in 2016. However, in 2017 the error increased to 109.3km, which is higher compared with the 2 preceding years but still better than the targeted value. The increase in the error in 2017 is attributed to the occurrence of more tropical cyclones of low intensities (below Severe Tropical Storm).Tropical cyclones of low intensities are difficult to track due its unidentifiable or unrecognizable center because these are not well organized.
It could be pointed out that the FTEs achieved by the agency are way below the internationally accepted value of 120 km for the same forecast period of 24hrsby the WMO.
The improvement in forecasting tropical cyclone is attributed to the acquisition of state of the art equipment facilities of DOST-PAGASA. Since 2014, PAGASA acquired Doppler radars which increased from 10 radars to 20 radars to date, including mobile radars. Other additional equipment include high frequency coastal radars, automatic weather stations (AWS) and lightning detection network .
The list below shows the yearly average FTEs:
2014 – 141.41km
2015 – 94.8
2016 – 90.65
2017 – 109.3
2018 – 77.3
2019 – 89
2020 – 58.7 (with Rolly – 41.1km)
- DOST-PHIVOLCS promotes a Tsunami-ready Philippines
In observance of the World Tsunami Awareness Day (WTAD) every November 05, the DOST-PHIVOLCS led the campaign for “Tsunami Awareness, Community Preparedness, and Proper Response in the New Normal.”The Philippines is vulnerable to tsunami due to the presence of offshore faults and trenches. Based on studies, about 10-14 million people are living in coastal areas that may be affected if a tsunami happens. Locally-generated tsunami can arrive in minutes, so it is important to recognize the natural signs of a tsunami – shake (strong shaking), drop (sudden lowering of sea level), or roar (unusual sound) so people can respond properly.
A series of activities were launched to raise the awareness of the community, including the youth, about tsunami. DOST-PHIVOLCS took advantage of online social media to disseminate tsunami-related infographics, Tsunami InfoSerye, and to conduct slogan and digital poster-making contests. On November 05, 2020, an online press conference, InfoSentro sa PHIVOLCS, was held to enjoin the public to advocate the agency’s Tsunami Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programs, and to announce the winners of the online contests. DOST-PHIVOLCS also conducted a two-part webinar dubbed as PHIVOLCS InfoBit. The topics were “Baybayin ng Pinas, sa Tsunami ‘di Ligtas” on November 05, 2020 in the afternoon and “Tsunami-Ready Ka Na Ba?” on November 06, 2020 in the morning. Through science-based and practical information, the webinars aimed to enable the public to be aware the tsunami prone areas, prepare, respond, and protect themselves in the event of an earthquake and tsunami, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2016, the United Nations declared November 5 as the World Tsunami Awareness Day in honor of a true story from Japan: “Inamura-no-hi”, which means the “burning of the rice sheaves”. During an 1854 earthquake, a farmer saw the tide receding, a sign of a looming tsunami and he set fire to his harvested rice to warn villagers, who fled to high ground.
#HandaAngMayAlam #WTAD2020 #TsunamiDay #TsunamiReadyPH #HandaPilipinas
- DOST-FPRDI to hold virtual concert “Musika ng Kawayan: Yaman ng Bayan” during the NSTW
Locally-made bamboo musical instruments will take spotlight in the upcoming “Musika ng Kawayan: Yaman ng Bayan” virtual concert on 27 November 2020. Organized by the DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), the event is one of the featured activities in this year’s National Science and Technology Week.
The virtual concert aims to promote the versatility of bamboo as an excellent and sustainable raw material for musical instruments, and showcase the various BMIs being used across the country. The event also seeks to raise public awareness on how the use of bamboo musical instruments is deeply embedded in the Filipino culture.
The following performances will serenade the audience:
- Joey Ayala will premier his new song “Pamilyang Magsasaka” as a tribute to the life and sacrifices of farmers.
- Metro Manila/Luzon: Las Piñas Bamboo Organ’s versatility in playing different tone qualities will be displayed through the Spanish 18th century dance, Suite Cortesana
- Metro Manila/Luzon: Pangkat Kawayan also known as the “Singing Bamboos of the Philippines” will give their rendition of the love song “Panaligan mo Sinta” using bamboo talunggating (marimba), bumbong (bamboo tube), tipangklung (bamboo piano) and angklung (bamboo shaker).
- Kalinga/Luzon: Dr. Benicio Sokkong will play instruments tonggali (nose flute) and kolitong, which he handcrafted
- Leyte/Visayas: Karatong Festival Street Performers will perform a “re-enactment of the stories of hope and survival amidst disaster” using karatong (bamboo slit drum), karatuktok (bamboo lyre), hagubhob (open tube drum), pagakpak (bamboo clapper) and marimba
- Cebu/Visayas: Mr. Joseph Gara, accompanied by bamboo ukulele of Huni Ukulele, will perform “Sugid ni Maria” (40th Cebupop Festival Grand Winner)
- Zamboanga del Norte/ Mindanao: Dipolog’s Community Rondalla will entertain the audience with an all-bamboo rondalla.
The virtual concert will be aired via NSTW 2020 website and will simultaneously be live streamed at FPRDI’s Facebook page from 9:00 to 11:00 AM.