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Technological innovations help achieve UN dev't goals, science chief says    

By: Marlo Asis, DOST-STII

The Philippine government marks the achievements of Filipino scientists and science experts as the country celebrates this year's National Science and Technology Week (2019 NSTW). With the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) at the lead, activities highlight how the country's technological innovations are helping to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) mandated by the United Nations.

According to Secretary Fortunato "Boy" de la Peña, the DOST decided to focus on the sustainable development goals because the time to reach 2030, the deadline for achieving the SDGs, is not too far from now.

"Looking at the 17 SDGs, it is very easy to see that in many of these, science and technology can play a very significant role in the achievement of these goals," explained the DOST chief.

At the 2019 NSTW exhibit area, the 17 SDGs are clustered into eight exhibit areas namely: food security, energy and environment; aging society, health, and medical care; S&T human resource development; equity and growth in the countryside; biodiversity and sustainable use of biological resources; sustainable cities and communities; disaster resilience and innovation; and international linkages.

"One cluster is on food security and the environment. There is also something on health and wellness, aging and nutrition for example are included there," Sec. de la Peña added. "We have a cluster on sustainable and smart cities, and also on disaster resilience where most of the technologies of PHIVOLCS like the Hazard Hunter app which was launched on July 17 is included, as well as PAGASA modernization and improvements."

Another cluster showcases equity and growth in the countryside which focuses more on enterprises in the countryside to encourage value-adding activities and employ more people. Technology interventions that help uplift marginalized communities from their present situation are also on exhibit. A cluster on peace and justice, intervening more on the human resource side is also showcased.

"Since the sustainable development goal talks about partnership and collaboration, we also have a cluster that shows our collaboration in science and technology with our bilateral partners (international linkages)" said the DOST chief.

Sec. de la Peña explained that the clusters are not arranged in order of priority, rather it is based on DOST's organizational structure which includes councils that deal with agriculture and forestry sector; aquaculture and marine sector; industry, energy, and emerging technologies sector; health and nutrition sector, which fits on the previously mentioned clusters.

There are many technologies of the agriculture and food security side, and also on the sustainability of marine environment and terrestrial resources, followed by those related to industry and manufacturing which includes innovations developed by young scientists and inventors through DOST-supported start-ups.

In an interview with ANC's "Future Perfect" TV program host Tony Velasquez, the DOST chief provided a run-through of the tech score board in meeting the Philippines' SDGs and invited everyone to visit the exhibits and fairs showcased at the 2019 National Science and Technology Week which runs 17-21 July 2019 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.