DOST unveils virtual activities for the 2020 S&T fair celebration

By: Allan Mauro V. Marfal, DOST-STII

With less than a month to go, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has formally released the complete list of activities that will be featured during the first ever virtual celebration of the 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) from 23 to 29 November.

Carrying the theme, Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kaayusan, Kabuhayan, at Kinabukasan, the DOST and the different agencies and regional offices will banner several activities that include a total of 27 virtual fora, workshops, career talks, technology and project launchings, and film showings that will highlight different innovative solutions and new S&T knowledge related to livelihood and business, safety, health, education, disaster preparedness, and community development.

The 2020 NSTW will kick-off at 10:00 AM on 23 November with a virtual opening ceremony to be followed by a 30-minute press briefing to be attended by top DOST officials led by Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña.

From 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, there will be the Remote Learning Experience of PSHS System with Pisay sharing their STEM education strategic plan for their scholars during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be followed, at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, by a series of TED-Talks-inspired sessions to be conducted by the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). It will tackle the contributions, developments, and impacts of the various technologies such as the RxBox telemedicine, GINAHWA, and Project SIBOL to communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the first day ends, the OneStore Hub: SETUP on the Go will be launched at 3:00 PM, followed by the Cybersecurity: Are We Serious About It? at 4:00 PM, wherein a DOST-National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) expert
[in the field of Engineering and Industrial Research, Mathematical Sciences and ICT] will talk on the different kinds of cyberattack and how one can be protected against it.

On 24 November, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, the DOST-Science Education Institute (SEI) will conduct the 3rd IndieSiyensya Film Exhibition to showcase the winning entries in their recent competition. It will be followed by DOST-Food Nutrition and Research and Institute’s (FNRIs) Nutriflix from 11:00 AM -1:00 PM. Meanwhile, the DOST-Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) will hold the Disaster Resilience Summit on Earthquake and Volcano Preparedness from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM and will be followed by the SETUP Forum: Gearing Up for Industry 4.0 to be held from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

On 25 November, there will be the CEST Forum organized by the DOST Regional Offices from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. CEST or Community Empowerment through Science and Technology is one of the flagship programs of the DOST that provides assistance to rural communities with interventions in education, health, sanitation, livelihood enterprise, and disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

Thereafter, the DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute (STII) will conduct the Online Kwentuhan with S&T Idols from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. This will be followed by the DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) that will hold a virtual forum on TELA Sustainability in Textile and Fashion from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

On 26 November, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, a webinar will tackle S&T initiatives to include DOST’s collaboration with international partners to combat the current pandemic. It will be followed by the Lecture Series and Symposium for the Youth organized by the DOST-National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM.

Then, the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) will conduct a webinar showcasing their state-of-the-art facility, the Electronics Product and Development Center as a platform for inclusive innovation and collaboration from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. On the other hand, from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, the DOST-Industrial Technology and Development Institute (ITDI) will introduce different technical services for various industries that are proven to help improve productivity, efficiency of operation, and market competitiveness.

On 27 November, the DOST-Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) will conduct a Bamboo Musical Instruments (BMI) Virtual Concert from 09:00 AM to 11:00 AM. It will be followed by Food Safety Careers: What is it in Food Safety R&D? of the DOST- Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

The next event will be another from DOST-NRCP where an expert will share insights on the science behind dreams from 1:00 PM- 3:00 PM. To cap the day will be the webinar of DOST-PAGASA on Bagyo at Baha, Bata at Matanda ay Ligtas from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

On 28 November, the line-up of the webinars include the following: Galing-PCAARRD Kontra COVID19: Pagkain at Kabuhayan Sa Pamayanan from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM; Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCEN): Manufacturing Beyond the Conventional by the DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM; Regulating Nuclear Facilities and Activities in the Philippines by the DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM; and iSTART: Bridging Gaps, Reducing Inequalities by the DOST-Caraga from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

For the last day, 29 November, DOST-SEI will now have their 4th IndieSiyensya Film Exhibition from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM and webinar on the DOST Courseware and Mathematics for e-Learning from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. The last event for the celebration will be an orientation on Manufacturing Productivity Extension for Export Promotion (MPEX) organized by the DOST Region VI office.

The different virtual activities will either be open to the public and some by invitation only. This will be indicated in the program of activities that will soon be released and published in the website so stay tuned to and the official Facebook page of National Science and Technology Week in the coming weeks.

For the first time in history, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will be staging the 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration in virtual mode from 23-29 November. The theme for this year’s celebration, “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan, at Kinabukasan”, aims to highlight the numerous initiatives of the DOST, agencies, regional offices, and the entire scientific community in the area of research and development; practical technologies; innovation in agriculture, industry, and health; technical services and trainings; and technology upgrading assistance to entrepreneurs to help every Filipino adapt to the new normal brought about by COVID-19. (Photo from National Science and Technology Week Facebook page)


Homegrown fruits found to be rich in antioxidants, says UP researchers
By David Matthew C. Gopilan, DOST-STII
 Are you familiar with as-isbinukawkamansi, and kolong-kolong? How about niyog-niyoganpahosampinitpili, and bignay? You may not know them, but these are actually indigenous fruits in the Philippines which are all rich in antioxidants.

Chemists from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) confirmed recently that all these fruits have high amounts of antioxidants or those that take damage-causing free radicals from the body.

Free radicals in the body are formed either from our normal metabolic processes or from exposure to bad environment (i.e. cigarette smoke, air pollutants). Antioxidants then take up these free radicals, thereby preventing them from causing any harm from your body.

Both the World Health Organization and the Department of Health have been non-stop in reminding the public to maintain a healthy diet to protect the body from COVID-19. One way to achieve this is to eat nutritious fruits and vegetables.

Among the nine, pahobinukaw and as-is have the highest total phenolics. Phenolics are a collective term for phenols, flavonoids, lignin, and tannins, that are considered as antioxidants. Experts all over the world consider these chemicals to have strong anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammatory benefits, among others.

Whether ripe or unripe, the mango-lookalike paho can be eaten fresh or mixed with salads. They can thrive anywhere in the country but they are mostly grown in Cavite and Batangas.

Meanwhile, binukaw or batuan can be a souring agent or (pampaasim) in some dishes in the Visayas. On the other hand, the leaves and young shoots of as-is are a favorite in the Bicol region.

Pili could be the most famous among the nine due to pili nuts being brought as pasalubong by those who came back from Bicol. Pili was found to be rich in alkaloids that help protect the body from parasites.

Bignay are made into jams, wines, and vinegar, if not eaten raw. It is rich in terpenes which have pain-relieving and lipid-lowering properties. It grows in Batangas and in the Visayas. Kamansi, on the other hand, is sliced thinly and mixed with coconut milk to make a sumptuous vegetable dish. Sampinit is considered as the local wild raspberry that grows mostly in Quezon and Laguna. All are found to be rich in antioxidants.

Kabuyaw or kolong-kolong in some areas, can be used as juice for a sour but vitamin-rich drink. It is thought that the town of Cabuyao is named after this because of its abundance in the area.

The Bicol-endemic niyog-niyogan has the highest cardiac glycosides among the nine. What cardiac glycosides do is that it increases the force of cardiac contraction, thereby preventing congestive heart failure. Others call this as lubi-lubi.

Except for pili, these fruits are considered indigenous because they are underutilized or are not as widely cultivated as the more popular ones like mango, banana, and pineapple.

Writing in the Philippine Journal of Science (PJS), Associate Professor Mariam C. Recuenco of UPLB Institute of Chemistry and colleagues report that considering the diverse fruit species in the country, there are many more fruits that can be potential sources of bioactive compounds. PJS is a peer-reviewed publication of the Department of Science and Technology.

Looking forward, the UPLB researchers hope that other farmers will start cultivating these less popular plants and develop these underappreciated but very nutritious fruits into sumptuous food products to satisfy one’s cravings with healthier benefits.


 In observance of the World Tsunami Awareness Day (WTAD), the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) leads 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 near the shores that may be affected if a tsunami happens,” according to DOST Undersecretary and PHIVOLCS Officer-in-charge Renato Solidum Jr. “Locally-generated tsunami can arrive in minutes, so it is important to recognize the natural signs – shake, drop, or roar so people can respond properly” he added.

A series of activities were launched to raise the awareness of the community, particularly the youth, about Tsunami. DOST-PHIVOLCS took advantage of the online social media to disseminate tsunami-related infographics, Tsunami Infoserye, and to conduct slogan and digital poster-making contests. On November 05, 2020, at 9:00 AM, an online press conference, InfoSentro sa PHIVOLCS, will be 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 will also conduct a two-part webinar dubbed as PHIVOLCS InfoBit. The topics are “Baybayin ng Pinas, sa Tsunami ‘di Ligtas” on November 05, 2020 at 2:00 PM, and “Tsunami-Ready Ka Na Ba?” on November 06, 2020 at 9:00 AM.  Through science-based and practical information, the webinars aim to enable the public to 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