Partnership sealed. Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) signed a partnership deal with the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) for the 4th imake.wemake project via a virtual ceremony held on July 30. In the photo are GBF Executive Director, Grace Colet; GBF Program Head, Graciela Mendoza; SEI Director, Dr. Josette Biyo; and SEI Division Chief, Dr. Ruby Cristobal.
The imake.wemake: create. innovate. collaborate. competition had hailed nine—soon to be 12—Youth Innovation Prize (YIP) Awardees out of around 200 promising idea pitches since 2016. But for folks at the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), the competition is still bound to get bigger and better.
That is because of the entry of Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) as partner for the youth competition, which DOST-SEI describes as a “rightful collaboration” given the two parties’ common goals.
The GBF, which is under the Filipino conglomerate JG Summit Holdings, Inc., works toward the advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, very much like DOST-SEI, the S&T human resources development arm of the government.
In a virtual Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing, GBF Executive Director Grace Colet expressed excitement in the partnership with how “there’s so much shared” in what both parties want to achieve.
“One of the unique and powerful statements of our Foundation is our sole focus on one advocacy, which is education, particularly STEM education. We are putting all stakes in education with the firm conviction that this is the best way for us to develop as a nation,” said Colet.
She added that GBF’s purpose is to prepare Filipino learners to be digitally-adept workers, critical thinkers, and innovative problem-solvers who can contribute to the growth of their communities.
“When we learned about the goals of the competition, it became evident to us how there was so much shared in what we want to achieve. Knowing these goals, the nationwide reach of this competition, and the rigorous selection undertaken to choose the final winners, it is indeed a privilege that with this partnership, we have the honor to select the 2021 GBF Young Scientist Awardees (YSA) from them,” the Executive Director said.
With the partnership, the Foundation will select three (3) GBF Young Scientist Awardees from the finalists of the ongoing 4th imake.wemake competition. The Awardees will receive conditional scholarship offers amounting to Php 85,000 per academic year courtesy of GBF. This is on top of the three (3) YIP Awards and the associated Php 200,000 cash prize that DOST-SEI will bestow to the teams with the best innovations.
“We aim to fully support our young scientists’ passion for applied scientific research and innovation, and their drive to serve our communities through a college scholarship grant for their chosen STEM courses. We will also be providing mentoring, training, and other immersion opportunities to enhance and elevate their STEM expertise with the help of our academic partners and business unit partners,” bared Colet.
DOST-SEI Director, Dr. Josette Biyo, in turn thanked GBF for the generous support to the project.
“We are very happy of GBF’s desire to partner with us because of our shared vision of improving Filipino lives through STEM. We look forward to more collaborations not just with imake.wemake project but in our many other line-up of programs. We highly appreciate your help,” said Biyo.
The 4th imake.wemake is set to conduct the Final Project Presentations on Aug. 25-26, and the Awarding Ceremony on Aug. 27 all through a virtual event. (30)
DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Week 74 Report (as of August 27, 2021)
HIGHLIGHTS OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- DOST-PCHRD showcases projects on OMICS during the Talakayang HeartBeaT Press Conference on August 26, 2021
The DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) featured three projects under the “OMIC” Technologies for Health Program in the PCHRD Talakayang HeartBeaT held on August 26 via a virtual platform. The projects which received DOST-PCHRD support were on gestational diabetes mellitus, colorectal cancer, and Familial Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD).
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus or glucose intolerance during pregnancy may cause complications and long-term effects for both the mother and the child. To help diagnose the disease early, Dr. Maria Ruth Pineda-Cortel of the University of Santo Tomas conducted a project to identify biomarkers that can serve as early indicators of the disease. The project will also provide inputs in the development of strategies and policies that will further improve maternal health.
Meanwhile, Dr. Reynaldo Garcia and Dr. Eva Cutiongco-de la Paz teamed up to conduct a study to detect and characterize selected gene mutations in Filipino Colorectal Cancer Patients” under the Health Program of the Philippine Genome Center on colorectal cancer. Results of the study demonstrated that ethnicity may be linked with the kinds of mutations seen in our genes, which emphasizes the need for targeted/ more individualized treatment strategies based on the type of mutations seen in a patient.
A common cause of early dementia, Familial Frontotemporal Dementia (FFTD) often goes unnoticed as its symptoms usually overlap with other neurological disorders, which may lead to delayed diagnosis and unnecessary treatment/ interventions. Also, 40% of FTD patients have a family history, but the genetic component has not been studied in Filipinos. To identify biomarkers of the disease, Dr. Jacqueline Dominguez, from St. Luke’s Memorial Medical Center led a project to determine the genetic material of FTD in a Filipino Family. The study will help generate evidence-based data directly attributed to the Filipino on FTD which in turn will help standardize the procedures in evaluating FTDs.
The “OMICS” program aims to generate meaningful information that will lead to the development of medicines and therapeutics that are well-suited for the Filipino, ensure that diagnostic kits are reliable, and support the country’s health and clinical practice guidelines and policies.
- Philippines, Italy build stronger ties in health research
On August 18, 2021 a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding was forged between the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), the University of the Philippines Manila and the Fondazione Italiana Fegato (FIF) – Italy’s leading organization in the management of liver diseases and other medical fields. The partnership will focus on addressing liver related concerns and challenges through joint research, exchange of scientists/researchers/experts, and the much-awaited establishment of the Philippine Liver Network and Center.
The event was graced by officials from the Philippine Embassy in Rome (Minister and Consul General Nina Padilla Cainglet), Department of Foreign Affairs (Office of European Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary Pablito Mendoza), stakeholders from UP Manila and the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Janus Ong (lead for the Liver Research Program) and Dr. Estrellita Uy (also a lead partner for the study entitled “Predictive value of the 24-hour bilirubin to developing severe hyperbilirubinemia among Term infants in a multi-center study in the Philippines.”). Testimonies were also shared by our scholars who are doing graduate studies with the guidance of their Italian partners.
- RxBOX now in 5 provinces of Cagayan Valley, DOST-II holds users training The DOST-II conducted the first part of its Super User Training (SUT) on RxBox to the Rural Health Units (RHUs) and hospital personnel in the Region via Zoom on August 19, 2021.
The SUT aims to train participants from the identified 34 sites in five provinces in the Cagayan Valley region to have both “domain expertise” and “technical know-how” about the RxBox Project. A total of 152 participants from 24 RHUs in Region I attended the first part of the two-part training course. The first part focused on the theoretical background of the RxBox 1000 Project while the second part will focus on discussions on how to operate the RxBox devices.
RxBox is a Telehealth device that is capable of measuring a patient’s temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation, uterine contractions, and electrocardiogram. It is designed for isolated communities in the region and nationwide. The telehealth device is expected to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, and detect non-communicable diseases. Moreover, the RxBox is also used as a telemetry device for patients who are hospitalized with moderate and severe COVID19 disease.
- Northern Samar LGUs welcomes adoption of DOST FNRI products and technologies for nutrition improvement
The local government of Northern Samar welcomes adoption of various DOST-FNRI products and technologies to improve nutrition during the four -day Nutrition Program Management Training organized by PLGU-Northern Samar and its partners.
The DOST-VIII through PSTC Northern Samar presented various technologies developed by the DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) such as the complementary feeding program for 6 to 35-month-old malnourished children utilizing DOST’s complementary food production, the enhanced nutribun technology adopted and commercialized by identified beneficiaries and DOST PINOY (Package for the Improvement of the Nutrition of Young Children). The establishment of an Iron-fortified Rice processing facility at Laoang to address the anemia incidence in the province was also highlighted.
- DOST-FNRI goes to the streets through its Kalye Counts Series – Quick Nutrition Info on Popular Filipino Street Foods
The DOST-FNRI’s Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Program (HELP) Online project by the Life Stage Nutrition Section (LNS) of Nutrition and Food Research and Development Division (NFRDD) developed and copyright protected nine (9) information, education, and communication (IEC) materials entitled, “Kalye Counts: Quick Nutrition Info on Popular Filipino Street Foods.”
The IEC materials were developed to promote nutrition awareness about the calories and nutrient content of select street foods and beverages to help consumers make an informed decision when they opt to eat these kinds of food items. The media, such as the Manila Bulletin and GMA’s Balitanghali, have cited select information found in the Kalye Counts posters recently. All nine (9) posters can be downloaded for free from iFNRI’s HELP online website.
- DOST-FNRI conducts training on meal management and safe food handling for Magsaysay Institute of Shipping
The DOST-FNRI conducted a virtual training-workshop on meal management and safe food handling to 11 personnel from the food service department of Magsaysay Institute of Shipping in Dasmariñas, Cavite on August 16-18, 2021. Outputs of the meal planning workshops were checked if it followed the Pinggang Pinoy while food safety workshop output served as a guide to ensure that food safety protocols are followed during operations.
DOST-FNRI responds to private sector requests for training related to nutrition.
- DOST-III to introduce floating fish cage farming in Pantabangan
The DOST-III through its Nueva Ecija provincial office, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and the Central Luzon State University (CLSU), in cooperation with the local government unit of Pantabangan, will provide floating fish cages to members of the Conversion Vegetable and Corn Growers Association and fisherfolks of Barangay Conversion, Pantabangan.
Through this assistance, the Association will be able to practice fish farming that could potentially increase their catch by 50 to 100 percent. Later on, once the volume of fish has already increased and can be sustained, a processing facility will also be established so that they can produce dried fish products such as “tilading” or tilapiang daing. Tilapia is the dominant specie caught in the lake aside from biya and tawis.
The DOST-III has earmarked the amount of PhP2,467,844.00 for the project under the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) Program. BFAR will provide technical assistance on cage culture and fish production while CLSU will provide training on smoked fish processing technologies. The Pantabangan local government unit has committed to provide the feeds for the first production cycle.
- DOST-CALABARZON supports community-based organic fertilizer production by upland farmers in Liliw, Laguna
DOST-CALABARZON facilitated the delivery of processing equipment for the Liliw Upland Farmers Marketing Cooperative (LUFAMCO) on August 6, 2021 under the community-based project entitled “Commercializing the Production of Organic Fertilizer and Establishment of Agri-Tourism Hub for LUFAMCO.” This is one of the interventions of the DOST-PCAARRD funded project entitled “Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) for Community-based Forest Management Sites”.
- DOST-PTRI signs MOA with Villa Socorro Farm in Pagsanjan, Laguna for processing of saba trunks into textile material
The DOST-PTRI signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Villa Socorro Farm (VSF) on August 17, 2021, via the Zoom platform, as the Institute expands the application of natural textile fibers to include outdoor and indoor cementitious and formworks through the CoBUILDTex Program. Under the CoBUILDTex Program, DOST-PTRI will provide VSF with knowledge and technical training on the conversion of banana pseudostem to natural textile fiber. VSF, on the other hand, will process and make available to DOST-PTRI banana fibers in the conduct of the CoBUILDTex projects.
With DOST-PTRI and VSF partnership, all the banana trunks that are left to rot in the farm will now be utilized for textile manufacturing.
Villa Socorro Farm (VSF) is a social enterprise based in Pagsanjan, Laguna.
- DOST-ITDI, DOST-VII partner with Rockland Farms for the establishment of an Integrated coconut sap processing facility in Negros Oriental
DOST-ITDI and DOST VII have recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Rockland Farms, situated in San Jose, Negros Oriental to assist the company in setting up a facility for producing natural sweeteners from coconut sap. Coconut sap sweetener is a premium product marketed towards people with diabetes and health-conscious individuals because of its lower glycemic index than cane sugar.. Project implementation will start in October 2021.
Rockland Farms is a coconut farm with around 1,000 fruit-bearing trees that produce copra. However, in 2020, many coconut farmers all over the country saw the price of copra falling. Thus, it led the company to search for new products from coconut. It is through this search that they found coconut sap sugar and ITDI. The ITDI team will proceed with initial inspections and develop a GMP-compliant plant layout in October this year. Before the end of the 12-month partnership, the project hopes to see a complete and sufficient commercial-grade coconut sap sweetener production.
- DOST-FPRDI enters into technology licensing agreement with Palawan and Marikina-based MSMEs
The DOST-FPRDI has signed a technology licensing agreement with two MSMEs based in Palawan and Marikina. The Palawan-based A-26 Furniture will adopt the Institute’s 5000 bdft. Furnace-Type Lumber Dryer (FTLD). The company sells lumber but plans to expand into wood furniture production and production of doors and door jambs. The FTLD is an assurance that they will produce quality furniture and other woodworks
Meanwhile, the Jarah Homecrafts Industries in Marikina will adopt the finishing spray booth. An effective way of clearing the finishing area of air pollutants, the DOST-FPRDI finishing spray booth is an enclosed or semi-enclosed area used for the spray painting of fabricated items.
- DOST-CAR to empower MSME Sectors through robotics, mechatronics and industrial automation
The DOST-CAR had a ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), and the Kalinga State University (KSU) for the Advanced Mechatronics, Robotics and Industrial Automation Laboratory (AMERIAL) in Tabuk City, Kalinga on August 18, 2021. The tripartite partnership for the newly-established AMERIAL in CAR aims to provide opportunities for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to explore technological advancements in enhancing their products, service and operations.
The AMERIAL is envisioned to provide technological upgrades such as automation of irrigation system for farms and even micro hydro power plants in Kalinga. Currently, 31 beneficiaries are enrolled in the first batch of the program, 29 of which are engaged on water technologies (the other 2 are in the furniture and coffee processing sector).
- Metals and Engineering Innovation Center (MEIC) to rise in GenSan through DOST-MIRDC, DOST-XII, MSU-General Santos City and MIAP collaboration
The DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) and DOST-XII in collaboration with the Mindanao State University-General Santos City have started discussions on the establishment of the Metals and Engineering Innovation Center (MEIC) for SOCCSKSARGEN.
As one of the country’s top producers of engineers, MSU-GSC will potentially house the MEIC in Region XII. Initiated by the DOST-MIRDC, the MEIC is a facility that will enable the university to design and fabricate various types of machinery and equipment, supporting the needs and requirements of the agricultural and industrial companies in SOCCSKSARGEN.
This collaboration among DOST-MIRDC, DOST XII, MSU-GSC, and Metal Industries Association of the Philippines (MIAP) will promote innovation culture through R&D thus expanding the regions’ competitive advantage in metals and engineering.
- DOST-Caraga to invest P5M for Makerspace Facilities in five Caraga provinces
The DOST-Caraga is investing this year PhP 5M for the establishment of Innovation and Makerspaces in Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ASSCAT). On August 4, 2021, the first batch of equipment was delivered to ASSCAT which included 3D printers and filaments, PCB 3D printer with accessories and consumables, among others. Once delivery of all equipment is completed, DOST-Caraga will conduct the trainings and provide technical assistance to various faculty members and students who will use the facility.
The DOST-Caraga implemented the Innovation and Makerspaces or iMake Project. Through iMake, DOST-Caraga aims to establish innovation hubs or Makerspaces in all the five (5) provinces in the region to provide facilities and trainings to faculty members and students in the areas of Electronics, Robotics, 3D Printing and Modelling and Internet of Things (IOT). The project also aims to facilitate the generation of new ideas and innovations to provide innovative solutions to pressing industry needs and problems and develop the innovation culture in the region.
- DOST-PCAARRD and Marinduque State College established semen laboratory to ensure supply of good quality semen for native pigs
To sustain the genetic improvement of the Markaduke native pigs, the DOST-PCAARRD supported the establishment of a semen laboratory at Marinduque State College (MSC) to ensure supply of good quality semen for the institutional nucleus herd as well as for the private adopters of the Markaduke native pigs.
The laboratory was established under the Markaduke Native Pig R&D projects, which are under the DOST-NICER program. To date, the MSC nucleus herd has a population of 90 sows and 9 boars, which are of the genetically improved Markaduke pigs. Records show that 50% of the sows are producing 10 or more piglets per litter. In addition, 40 sows have been distributed to farmers within the community to start the testing of these pigs’ performance in the field. This inventory of breeders coupled with their significantly improved prolificacy is expected to jumpstart the multiplication and eventual commercialization of the Markaduke pig.
To utilize and commercialize the tangible outputs of R&D, different native pig meat products such as lechon, longanisa.
Application of DNA marker aided selection has recently been started to hasten the improvement of the productivity and meat quality of the Markaduke pig.
- DOST-PHIVOLCS initiates MECO-TECO partnership on Geohazard Research and Mitigation
DOST Undersecretary for S&T Services and Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Undersecretary Renato U. Solidum, Jr., signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Geohazard Research and Mitigation between the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) on August 23, 2021.
The MOU will serve as the framework of cooperation between PHIVOLCS and the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) of Taiwan to monitor and mitigate the potential impacts of earthquakes, tsunamis, and other similar hazard along the Manila Subduction Zone.
Specifically, PHIVOLCS and CWB are expected to jointly implement several activities including (i) joint projects on earthquake and tsunami monitoring; (ii) provision of logistics and resources; (iii) exchange of data, methodologies, and other scientific publications; (iv) organization of conferences, seminars and other scientific and technical meetings; and (v) exchange visits.
- DOST-Caraga upgrades DRRM facility of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte
In the pursuit of attaining disaster resiliency for the communities in Caraga, the Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) of Agusan del Norte successfully turned-over one (1) unit of a 65-inch smart television set; and two (2) units of hi-end laptop computers to the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte for the purpose of upgrading its disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) facility.
The equipment shall serve as an advanced repository for DRRM-related data at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) of the municipality. With larger storage capacity and high-speed processors, it will be utilized for faster data generation from various systems connected to the municipality’s disaster prevention and mitigation projects, particularly for the Local Government Unit Information Dissemination System (LGUIDS); Flood Event Visualizations and Damage Estimations (Flood EViDENs); and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR).
With the availability of the upgraded ICT, the LGU can now easily access online reports and maps, early warning systems, including real time updates from weather and earthquake monitoring stations, and advisories from the Regional DRRM Council.
- DOST-PCAARRD, Marinduque State University highlight need for nationwide reef monitoring system through citizen science
The country needs to establish a nationwide reef monitoring system with updated data to be used by our policy makers and resource managers in managing our coral reefs. Being an archipelagic country with so many reefs to be monitored, a lone agency will not be able to conduct such monitoring, hence it is important to develop and build on the capacities of the community to monitor their reef areas. This is where the role of citizen science, a public participation in the processes of scientific research comes into play.
DOST-PCAARRD recently approved the project, Capacity Building on Reef Assessment and Coral Taxonomy Phase 2 (C-BRACT 2) to initiate citizen science monitoring of coral reefs through capacity-building initiatives like this training. The project will be implemented by the De La Salle University (DLSU).
The project is borne of the need to establish a nationwide reef monitoring system using updated, high-resolution methods to detect changes in reef conditions. Early detection will encourage local governments and national government agencies to respond on time. In a completed PCAARRD GIA-funded Program, the NACRE: Synoptic Investigations on Human Impacts on Nearshore Environments Project revealed the loss of one-third of the coral cover in the country’s reefs over the last decade, emphasizing the urgency of a reef monitoring system.
The citizen-science effort for coral reefs will build on the existing skills of coastal residents, particularly the fishers, which can generate local employment when done in collaboration with registered people’s organizations, the BFAR, and the DENR.
- NRCP approves research project to map Philippine Music Industry
The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) has approved a new policy research on the Philippine music industry in support of the proposed House Bill (HB) No. 8101 or the Philippine Creative Industries Act. HB 8101, filed by Pangasinan 4th District Representative, Christopher “Toff” de Venecia, pushes for the promotion, protection and improvement of the creative economy, where music and the performing arts are important sectors.
The project titled, MusikaPilipinas: Research and Mapping Towards Understanding, Scoping, and Defining the Philippine Music Industry, this new policy research project generally aims to provide a comprehensive baseline of the economic performance of the Philippine music industry of the country and the specific structure of its players, transactions and creative and production dynamics. It also intends to identify prospects and challenges for an effective reference on cultural policy to be utilized in the process of building a more vibrant and dynamic Philippine music industry.
Led by Dr. Ma. Alexandra I. Chua, NRCP member of the Division of Humanities, this study will produce a comprehensive mapping, scoping and defining of the Philippine music industry to provide an analysis of the country’s music.
- Remote learning even without internet or wifi connection tackled at NRCP’s Back-to-Basics Episode
In NRCP’s Back to Basic (B2B) webinar held on August 24, 2021, Dr. Rodney T. Cajimat, NRCP Associate Member and Faculty Member, College of Teacher Education, Nueva Vizcaya State University discussed a technology that can be used in remote learning even without internet or wifi connection.
Like most teachers, Dr. Cajimat has been flexible and innovative in finding ways to deliver and maintain quality education. He went back to an old technology that most of 90’s babies used during their teenage years which is a non-internet-based communication. This is called teleconferencing which technically means a meeting through a telecommunication medium.
The B2B Episode aptly titled “Remote Learning without Internet, is it possible?” Dr. Cajimat explained teleconferencing that links people between two or more locations by electronics. The students of today may have known advanced ways of learning but teleconferencing could help teachers and students to continue learning without the restriction of connection to internet.
- DOST Secretary serves as Judge in 3M-sponsored Innovation Pitching Competition
The DOST Secretary served as one of the judges in the Country Level Semi-finals for the 3M Inspire Challenge held on Aug. 24.
The 3M Inspire Challenge welcomes great ideas in innovation, sustainability and technology to create a more positive world and add value to 3M’s business and customers. Entries come from all courses of study in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Viet Nam. The challenge takes place across two stages. The first stage or the country-level semi-finals will see students faceoff against their local peers in a live judging panel. Winners of this stage will be crowned the title of Country Champion, awarded a cash prize of US$1,000 and internships at local 3M offices around bringing their ideas to life.
The Country Champion will then proceed to the second stage, known as the Regional Level Finals, to compete against other Country Champions. The winning team will be crowned “Regional Champions” and take home a US$2,000 cash prize.
DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Week 73 Report (as of August 20, 2021)
HIGHLIGHTS OF ACCOMPLISHMENTSKALUSUGAN
1. DOST-PCHRD project to develop health needs assessment GIS tool to address post-disaster basic and health needs in temporary housing facilities
The DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) is supporting the project entitled, “Developing a Geographic Information System toAddress Post–Disaster Basic and Health Needs in Temporary Housing Facilities.“
The project, led by Dr. Catrina M. Yang of EpiMetrics, Inc, commenced on July 1, 2021, was conceptualized to develop a health needs assessment tool and a resource-based Geographical Information System (GIS), both for facilitating a post-disaster response for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in evacuation centers. Specifically, it aims to develop a health needs assessment tool for IDP shelters, develop a GIS tool that integrates demographic, health and basic needs data from different IDP shelters as well as pertinent logistical information, propose a network for pertinent interagency data sources and determine effectiveness of the GIS tool in a climate-related disaster simulation using data from past disasters.
The results of this project will provide information on health needs and corresponding geographical information to facilitate more efficient distribution of life-saving aid, as well as identify logistical patterns of need. This will also provide LGUs, the regional and national government, as well as those donating aid, with the information they need to ensure the efficient and effective uptake of goods and services.
2. DOST-FNRI gives updates on study on beneficial effects of VCO among suspect and probable cases of COVID-19 in Valenzuela City, study in Muntinlupa City commences
The study in Valenzuela City already has 120 subjects gave their consent to be included in the study and were screened. Of this number, 51 were excluded due to comorbidities or abnormal blood results such as high cholesterol, triglycerides, free blood sugar (FBS) and low density lipoprotein (LDL). Sixty-one (61) are active subjects, 14 of which are undergoing interventions while 47 have graduated. Eight of the 120 subjects did not complete the intervention.
Meanwhile, the recruitment of study participants in Muntinlupa City started already.
3.DOST-FNRI in collaboration with DOST VIII-PSTC Eastern Samar to study health and nutrition rights of vulnerable groups during emergencies
The DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in collaboration with DOST-VIII through PSTC Eastern Samar will conduct a research study entitled, “An Assessment of Implementation of Policies Protecting Health and Nutrition Rights of Vulnerable groups in Emergencies”. The project aims to assess the nutrition in emergency situations in areas amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and areas that experienced natural calamities or disasters in 2019-2020. The research plan was presented virtually on August 5, 2021.
The study is composed of two (2) phases, the first one will look into nutrition during emergency situations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and will be done in Luzon. The second phase will assess the nutrition in emergency situations at areas that have experienced natural calamities or disasters such as the typhoons, earthquakes and phreatic eruption during the last quarter of 2019 and in 2020.
The municipality of Salcedo, Eastern Samar, being one of the greatly affected by strong typhoons particularly Typhoon Ursula in December 2019 and Typhoon Ambo in May 2020, was selected as one of the study sites for Phase 2.
4. ISU-ATBI, PSTC-Isabela, and Sagittarian Agricultural Philippines, Inc. to boost food processing industry in the Province of Isabela
The Isabela State University’s Agri-Aqua Technology Business Incubator (ISU- ATBI) under the national agri-aqua technology business incubation (ATBI) program of the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) signed an incubation agreement with the Sagittarian Agricultural Philippines, Inc. to expand the company’s product line.
The Sagittarian Agricultural Philippines, Inc. started its poultry production, hog- raising, fish production, and grains trading in July 2016. In 2018, the company established Sagittarian Meat Processing. To promote the products, food counter outlets under the trade name “The Chicken Place” were installed initially within the city of Ilagan, and expanded in the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan.
Despite the pandemic, the company managed to respond to the need for fresh and affordable products by establishing Juicy Delight in December 2020. Juicy Delight carries locally produced products such as Hotdog, Hungarian Sausage, Longganisa, Embotido, Burger Patty, Nuggets, Ham, and other chicken marinated products.
The company enrolled in the ISU-ATBI incubation program managed by ISU’s CVSRRC in partnership with the PSTC of Isabela to innovate and capture a bigger market.
5. DOST-PTRI signs MOA on bamboo extraction for textile application
The DOST-Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Terra Verde Ecofarm Inc. (TVEI) on the virtual platform to explore the Institute’s bamboo fiber extraction technology. The processing of bamboo fibers will be used for the production of bamboo textiles.
Funded under the PCAARRD – GIA “Field Verification of Bamboo Textile Material Production and Treatment Technology”, a bamboo fiber extraction facility will be established in the premises of TVEI for the extraction of fiber from Kawayang Tinik (Bambusa blumeana) poles.
Terra Verde Ecofarm, Inc. is an integrated ecofarm in Maragondon, Cavite focusing on natural farming technology, Integrated Diversified Organic Farming System (IDOFS), and integrated agri-tourism duly accredited by the Department of Tourism and Bamboo production Training Center.
6. DOST-PCAARRD upgrades PCA CSet laboratories in the Bicol Region
The five-year (October 2014 – September 2019) DOST-PCAARRD-funded program titled “Reinvigorating of the Philippine Coconut Industry through the Coconut Somatic Embryogenesis Technology (CSet)” was able to generate significant results in the enhancement of the PCA-CSet protocol and mass propagation of plumule-derived coconut planting materials in seven partner laboratories that are trained on coconut tissue culture techniques. These laboratories were also upgraded and provided with funding support to procure the required basic laboratory equipment for coconut tissue culture.
Two of the seven laboratories that are being managed by the Philippine Coconut Authority – Albay Research Center (PCA-ARC) and Bicol University College of Agriculture and Forestry (BUCAF) in Guinobatan, Albay, were granted additional funding for the rehabilitation of their existing laboratories, and the construction of screenhouse, and nurseries for the grow-outs.
A more functional and technically-equipped laboratory set-up was made available to cater to the needs of the researchers.
However, three consecutive typhoons in 2020 greatly affected the province of Albay causing severe damages to the facilities of PCA-ARC. To assist PCA-ARC, DOST-PCAARRD recently approved the funding support to meet the safety and comfort needs of the personnel and to provide a more organized and efficient space utilization in the laboratory for the smooth implementation of the funded projects.
7. PSTC-Pangasinan provides livelihood training on nipa and coconut processing for CEST community in Agno, Pangasinan
The PSTC- Pangasinan provided skills training on nipa and coconut processing on August 9-10, 2021 to a CEST community in Agno, Pangasinan as part of a program to utilize nipa and coconut which are abundant in the barangays for livelihood and enterprise development. PSTC staff together with the DOST-PSU Food and Innovation Center experts served as trainers to 37 participants from Bgy. Aloleng and Poblecion West.
The training demonstrated the process of coconut wine, coconut vinegar, and nipa vinegar making. Also discussed was the importance of good manufacturing practices to ensure that food products produced are clean and safe for human consumption.
8. DOST supports animal feed production facility to provide more income to 200 Lanao del Norte Farmers
About 200 farmers will benefit from the soon-to-rise Animal Feed Production Facility in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte. The project will offer additional source of income for smallhold farmers as suppliers of raw materials. This will also support local small-scale livestock and poultry owners as well as fish raisers by establishing affordable locally produced animal feeds.
Among DOST’s intervention is the provision of equipment such as feed mixer, grinder, pelleting machine, and moisture analyzer. The start-up project is projected to generate income of at least Php 722,800.88 on its first year of full operation and employ five locals to manage the facility.
The feeds to be produced in the facility are compliant to the Philippine National Standard (PNS) on Animal Feed Ingredients, to ensure that the raw materials are locally available, compliant to prescribed nutritional requirements, passed health and quality standards, and price-competitive.
9. DOST-Caraga inks MOA with Charcoal Enterprise for SETUP Assistance
DOST-Caraga, through PSTC-Surigao del Norte, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with RGC Charcoal Trading for the project entitled “Capability Upgrading of RGC Charcoal Briquetting Production” on August 13, 2021. This is under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).
The project aims to upgrade its briquetting equipment, to increase production volume, and to provide quality briquette products through S&T. Specifically, it aims to boost the efficiency of the enterprise though technology and equipment upgrading.
RGC Charcoal Trading is a business established in 2018 and engaged in charcoal trading. It has now ventured into producing charcoal briquettes from the wastes or charcoal fines produced during collection and transportation of coconut shell charcoal.
As the demand for charcoal briquettes grew, the company decided to upgrade their existing equipment to improve the quality of their briquette products and expand the production to serve a larger market and promote cleaner fuel use which would reduce reliance on forests for charcoal/wood fuel. DOST is assisting the company through the SETUP.
10. DOST-CALABARZON awards food safety-compliant carts to street food vendors in San Nicolas, Batangas
The DOST-CALABARZON thru PSTC-Batangas awarded food safety-compliant food carts to the street food vendors in San Nicolas, Batangas to upgrade their street food vending practices and ensure food safety. This project was made possible through DOST-CALABARZON’s Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology Program (CEST) for Disaster-Stricken Areas in Batangas Province.
The project plays a significant role in strengthening the efforts towards unifying the food safety practices of street food vendors in San Nicolas and improving their livelihood opportunities by levelling up street food vending. This is a way of supporting the tourism industry that the LGU targets once tourists are already allowed to visit San Nicolas.
The Mayor of San Nicholas expressed his gratitude to DOST for all the science and technology interventions they have received since the Taal Volcano eruption in 2020. He also challenged the beneficiaries to strive hard and demonstrate effective and maximum use of the food carts to ensure food safety and encourage DOST to provide more food carts for other street food vendors in their municipality.
11. DOST-VIII CEST Program helps Manmanuas Tribe of Biliran on vegetable production
The DOST-Biliran explored a remote sitio of the municipality where the Manmanuas settle to bring Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) Program, specifically to increase the Manmanuas’ agricultural productivity and showcase what science and technology can do in preserving their culture and practices.
The DOST-VIII provided a screenhouse for intensive vegetable production of the Mamanwa group and local people, a component project of the utilization of compost derived from Dual Drum Composting facility which was established at the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in Calumpang, Naval, Biliran.
Originally from Surigao, the indigenous people of Manmanuas also known as the Mamanwa tribe travelled and settled in Almeria, Biliran that lies on the foot of the majestic Mt. Tres Marias, between 1990 to 1995. The Mamanwas are engaged in indigenous agriculture practices and matte weaving. These are their main source of income. Their current settlement is 12km away from the municipal proper on an altitude of 800m above sea level.
12. DOST-MIRDC partners with Ilagan City for the manufacture of Hybrid Electric Road Train
The Hybrid Electric Road Train (HERT), designed and developed by the DOST- Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), is now in Ilagan City and will be part of the city’s pursuit to realize the ‘liveable city’ concept.
The DOST-MIRDC Executive Director Engr. Robert O. Dizon signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Ilagan City Mayor Josemarie L. Diaz, DOST II Regional Director and now Undersecretary for Regional Operations Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang, and Isabela State University President, Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino on August 11, 2021.
Ilagan City is strongly considering utilizing, operating, and maintaining the HERT to promote mobility in the city. Under the visionary leadership of Mayor Diaz, Ilagan City will identify possible routes and address infrastructure needs for the utilization of the HERT. DOST-II will commission the feasibility study that will focus on the viability of the HERT’s route network, possible train stations, and fare system, among others. The Isabela State University will implement research and development to gather pertinent data regarding the HERT’s operation in Ilagan City. The DOST-MIRDC will implement technology transfer and provide technical and relevant information on the HERT technology.
13. DOST-ITDI develops an intelligent colorimetric sensor as Total Volatile Basic Nitrogen (TVBN) Indicator
The ITDI, through its Packaging Technology Division, has developed a colorimetric sensor which is a visual label containing a chemical responsive component to total basic volatile nitrogen (TVBN) such as ammonia gas. The colorimetric sensor will change its color depending on the concentration of TVBN content.
This is the output of the project: “Development of Intelligent packaging Colorimetric Sensor as Total Volatile Basic Nitrogen (TVBN) Indicator.” Intelligent packaging contains a component that can inform and communicate with consumers the state of the product. One type of intelligent packaging is a colorimetric sensor that changes its color upon reaction with a gas produced during a specific type of food spoilage.
The next step is to study the application of the developed TVBN colorimetric sensor for real-time quality assessment of chilled, fresh fish. The spoilage of fish measured in terms of TVBN content will be correlated with the color change. As the fish spoils, TVBN gas is produced and accumulates inside the package, which will react to the colorimetric sensor. The change in color from pink to dark pink indicates spoilage of fish associated with fishy odor and taste.
14. PCIEERD, MARINA partner to boost PH maritime transport industry through S&T
As maritime transport links Philippine islands and connects the country to international trade and commerce, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and the DOST–Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) renewed its partnership to further boost the industry through science and technology (S&T).
Sealed through a memorandum of agreement (MOA), this collaboration puts forward the “Science and Technology for Maritime Transport Applications (STMTA).” The STMTA is envisioned to ensure that the country’s maritime transport industry will flourish from S&T activities and innovations on alternative fuels and energy efficient water, transportation technologies, renewable energy, modernization of merchant fleets, and intelligent transport systems (ITS). A maritime R&D center is also being planned.
To achieve this, DOST-PCIEERD will support projects, provide monitoring and management support, and direction. MARINA will also shell out additional funds to facilitate adoption of technologies, sustainability of operation and formulate policies and guidelines to ensure the accomplishment of the cooperation’s goals.
MARINA eyes having 200 routes and 293 RORO ships by 2020 with technological updates from the joint venture. Detailed in an S&T roadmap for the maritime industry where STMTA projects also fall, DOST- PCIEERD intends to invest P975 million to fully evolve the Philippines’ maritime industry to meet the global standards.
Among the projects of DOST-PCIEERD and MARINA under STMTA are the following innovations:
- Automatic Identification System (AIS) – transponder for boats or vessels that automatically receive information broadcast by other AIS-equipped vessels and base stations for collision avoidance, real-time vessel monitoring and control, search and rescue, accident investigation, and report generation.
- Hybrid Trimaran – prototype vessel with multiple engines and alternative renewable energy system using ocean wave energy.
- Maritime Route Transport Information System (MARIS) – modular software for effective route capacity measurement as part of MARINA’s modernization plan for the Philippine maritime industry.
- Navigational Traffic Information System (NAVIS) – software that enables the user to determine the adequate number of marine vessels for a given route.
- Solar Assisted Electric Boat – solar-assisted electric boat will be developed as a safe, efficient, and sustainable solar-assisted plug-in electric boat that could be utilized for island tourism and passenger transport.
- Port Capacity Assessment and Route Optimization – data-driven Port Capacity Measurement System, which includes modules for port berthing capacity estimation and ship trip scheduling software.
15. Davao del Sur students develop an Automotive Multifunction Tester and Supply prototype thru DOST-DATBED
Students from the University of Mindanao- Digos College (UMDC) pursued a technological innovation project for vehicle troubleshooting and repair supported by the DOST-Academe Technology-Based Enterprise Development (DATBED) program. The students received DATBED funding assistance amounting to Php53,230.00 for the said project.
The four UMDC students are the following: Kevin Bryx B. France, Bachelor of Technical – Vocational Teacher Education (BTVTEd); Gabriel Nixon A. Dela Cerna
– BS Computer Engineering; Vencenth Dave B. Anical – BSBA in Financial Management; and Raymund Dowaso – BTVTED.
The prototype called “AutoTech” is an automotive multifunction tester and supply (AMTS) that aims to help vehicle electricians and technicians to properly identify issues on vehicle repairs and maintenance services.
In particular, the AMTS is intended to be used for testing vehicle ignition systems such as spark plug and ignition coil; testing electrical components like bulbs, relays, and fuse; testing individual sensor of the vehicle – magnetic or non-magnetic; supplying power, specifically AC current which is not applicable during testing DC power from 3 volts to 12 volts; and for continuity test like starter repair and alternator repair. DATBED is a program spearheaded by the DOST-Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI).
16. Project TAPAT addresses to issues on water of the Manobo Dulangan Tribe
The DOST XII, LGU of Senator Ninoy Aquino and the 7th Infantry Battalion signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the installation of a project to address water supply and sanitation issues for the Manobo Dulangan Tribe in Sitio Tupi-bato, Barangay Midtungok, Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat.
The 7th Infantry (TAPAT) Battalion lead by Lieutenant Colonel Romel S. Valencia, Battalion Commander formerly visited the tribe to conduct a Community Support Program aiming to research on the problems of Sitio Tupi-bato.
“Labis po ang aking pasasalamat sa ibat ibang ahensya ng ating Gobyerno lalo na sa DOST XII sa pakikiisa nila sa mga programa ng kasundaluhan upang maiangat ang pamumuhay ng ating mga kapatid na katutubo sa mga liblib na mga komunidad. Naway ang Ram Pump Project na ito ay magbigay daan para sa maunlad, progresibo at mapayapang Tupi Bato,” Colonel Valencia remarked.
17. Seven Balik Scientists to assist in the Virology and Vaccine R&D Program
Seven Balik Scientists with expertise in virology and related fields will be working with DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) on various R&D projects under the proposed Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines (VIP) Program. The DOST-ITDI is currently implementing six initial projects while the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and St. Luke’s Medical Center are also involved in the VIP program, with one R&D project each.
The seven VIP Balik Scientists are the following:
- Dr. Teodoro M. Fajardo Jr. – Has doctorate degrees in molecular biology and public administration from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and is currently the Team Lead of Molecular Virology and Blood Borne Viruses of the National Health Services England, Royal London Hospital in London City, United Kingdom;
- Dr. Myra T. Hosmillo – PhD in molecular medical science and was a Post Doctoral Fellow in Professor Ian Good Fellow’s Laboratory, Division of Virology, Department of Virology, and now a Research Associate of the Department of Pathology, the University of Cambridge in Cambridge City, United Kingdom;
- Dr. Leodevico L. Ilag – PhD in microbiology and immunology and used to be a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in structural biology of viruses and viral proteins. He is now the Director of Molawin Creek Ventures Proprietary Limited and Chief Scientific Officer of Xerion Limited, both in Victoria, Australia. He is also the Director of the Philippine Asian Biotechnology R&D, Inc., and Non-Executive Director of Plentex Philippines, Inc, Plentex Realty Inc, Plentex Agri-Milling Corp, and Plentex Aquaculture Corp.;
- Dr. Christina Lora M. Leyson – PhD in infectious diseases and is now a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens City, Georgia, USA;
- Dr. Elpidio Cesar B. Nadala, Jr. – PhD in microbiology and animal virology and a post-doctorate degree in aquatic virology and medical biotechnology. He is now the Vice President for Research and Development of the Diagnostics for the Real World, Limited (DRW) in San Jose City, California, USA;
- Dr. Lourdes M. Nadala – PhD in microbiology and is now the Vice President for Regulatory Affairs/Quality Assurance at the Diagnostics for the Real World, Limited (DRW) in San Jose City, California, USA; and
- Dr. Homer D. Pantua – a doctor of veterinary medicine with a doctorate in biomedical sciences specializing in immunology and virology. He is currently the Department Research Operations Laboratory Manager and Principal Scientific Researcher and Biology Team Leader of the Infectious Disease Department of Genentech, Inc. in South San Francisco City, California, USA. He is concurrently the Chairman and CEO of Bio Assets Corporation.
18. RDLead Program finally covers all 17 regions of the country
The RDLead Program finally covered all the 17 regions of the country following the approval of the request for an RD Leader from Mindoro State University (MinSU) and the application for RD Leader of Dr. Mark Angelo O. Balendres on July 23, 2021.
Now, all the 17 regions in the country have at least one (1) RD Leader with MIMAROPA as the latest region to receive an RD Leader in one of its institutions.
Dr. Balendres, who belongs to NRCP Division VI Agriculture and Forestry, hails from the Institute of Plant Breeding – College of Agriculture and Food Science of the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He is set to train and capacitate the researchers at Mindoro State University in plant pathology research. MinSU currently lacks the capability in this area, which it needs in the conduct of its research involving calamansi, an important agricultural crop in Mindoro Island.
Dr. Balendres is now the 42nd RD Leader engaged under the program with MinSU as the 40th institution with an RD Leader and the first institution in MIMAROPA to receive one.
19.Camiguin’s first DOST-SEI JLSS scholar now teaches Mathematics to College Students
Former DOST-SEI scholar in Camiguin, Ms. Rotch Gertrude B. Bagolbol becomes a Professional Licensed Teacher possessing expertise in advanced mathematics. Ms. Bagolbol has been serving as a college instructor in Camiguin Polytechnic State College for two years.
Aside from Algebra, she also teaches Integral Calculus and Differential Calculus to Education, Engineering, and Business Administration students in various year levels. She also teaches General Education Courses like Mathematics in the Modern World and Science Technology and Society.
Her exemplary undergraduate grades and current excellent performance as a teacher has garnered her a medal and certificate on Proficiency in Student Teaching awarded by Fatima College of Camiguin on 2018.
Ms. Bagolbol is the lone Junior Level Science Scholarship in the Island on 2017. According to her, the JLSS Scholarship helped her and her family surpass financial struggles as a student and later played a big role as an advantage during her application as a college instructor.
She hopes to further increase her knowledge as a DOST Scholar on her Master’s Degree when the pandemic restrictions loosen up.
20.DOST-PCIEERD wins Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino’s seal of excellence for public service
As a nod to initiatives in the scientific field communicated in the Filipino language, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) awards the Selyo ng Kahusayan sa Serbisyo Publiko to the DOST–Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD). DOST-PCIEERD will receive the prestigious award in KWF’s virtual event on August 31, 2021 in celebration of the Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa.
The KWF established the Selyo ng Kahusayan sa Serbisyo Publiko in 2016 to recognize government agencies and local government units (LGUs) that have shown excellence in the use of the Filipino language in serving Filipinos. This year, KWF focused on the use of Filipino in the social media posts and campaigns of agencies and LGUs.
DOST-PCIEERD supports the advancement of the Filipino language through research and development projects.