DOST showcases fishery, agro-forestry, ecotourism technologies during Caraga science fair
The Caraga region is being eyed to become the Fishery, Agro-Forestry, Mineral, and Ecotourism or FAME Center of the country. In a report shared by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), all provinces in the region will focus their efforts on developing and utilizing its abundant natural endowments such as agriculture, fishery and aquaculture, forestry, mineral, and ecotourism.
Because of this, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), has remained proactive in delivering its services, initiatives, and research and development (R&D) projects in the region that will play a crucial and significant role in translating development goals into reality, this according to a city official as the Regional Science and Technology Week (RSTW) celebration in Caraga opened on 19 October 2022 at Robinson’s Place in Butuan City.
In a message from Butuan City Vice Mayor Lawrence Lemuel H. Fortun which was delivered by City Councilor Cherry May G. Busa, the local official acknowledged the efforts of DOST-Caraga in the areas of R&D as well as various scientific and technical services and in helping the region increase the productivity of its fishery and agro-forestry sectors. Likewise, the local official lauded the department for spearheading value-adding activities that harness the vast potentials of its eco-tourism industry.
He also added that DOST Caraga nurtures an enabling environment for the university researchers, local scientists, and engineers to innovate and find solutions to various concerns that are unique in their local areas.
“I see that the conduct of this year’s Regional S&T Fair in Butuan City will be a perfect opportunity to explore ways through which S&T help us achieve our region’s goal, of becoming the fishery, agroforestry, mineral, and eco-tourism center in the Philippines. With the active engagement of the academe and research institutions in various areas in the region, I am positive that this will be realized,” said Vice-Mayor Fortun in a statement.
Meanwhile, DOST Caraga Regional Director Engr. Noel M. Ajoc acknowledged the efforts of the city government as they were able to craft important ordinances in Butuan
to support the Startup and innovation ecosystem in Butuan by providing them with attractive incentives.
The RSTW in Caraga was held face-to-face setup after two years of conducting it virtually. It featured techno-exhibits and activities with the attendance of experts, researchers, engineers, scientists, and S&T champions from DOST agencies and its partner institutions from academe and local government.
Some of the featured activities were the Stakeholders’ Forum with the Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Region that was followed by the Stakeholders’ Night where DOST Caraga showcased the success stories of its technology adaptors. Meanwhile, researchers, entrepreneurs, and industry players who searched for R&D outputs to adopt got to see research opportunities brought by the Science for Change Program Forum, Innoveats Caraga, and presentation of different R&D outputs.
During the science week celebration, DOST-Caraga also recognized the exemplary performance of DOST scholars in the Region through the In Touch with Excellence Night. Other activities included MSMEs and farmer producers of coffee and cacao, DOST Caraga Sci-Talk Series with the topics on Science behind Coffee, Trace and Tag: A presentation of authenticity and traceability for Coffee and Cacao, and the Science Behind Chocolate.
“Through partnerships with other government agencies, private organizations, and the academe, the DOST will continue to create solutions that are relevant and innovative and will fill the gaps of all sectors and communities to achieve inclusive development,” said DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr.
He added that the Science department will continue to prioritize and strengthen the implementation of programs and projects to generate jobs and strengthen regional development through STI; ensure security in food, health, water, and energy; become resilient in times of disasters brought by climate change; increase investment in S&T human resources development; upgrade STI facilities; adopt digital transformation; and change the landscape of cities and communities towards sustainable development.
“We are in the process of refocusing the Department’s major programs to support the socioeconomic agenda of the President and align the grants-in-aid financing towards a more equitable operation in the national, regional, and provincial levels,” added Sec. Solidum.
On the other hand, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations Sancho A. Maborrang shared that programs and services provided by DOST have significantly aided in the development of Caraga for the past years.
“Over 500 micro to medium-sized businesses all over the region benefited from our Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) and consulting services. Through SETUP, 1,378 jobs were generated with over 459 million pesos SETUP gross sales recorded between the years of 2019 to 2022,” said Usec. Maborrang.
Usec. Maborrang added that the creation of R&D facilities and innovation hubs along with upskilling of the Caraganons through the DOST Coursera scholarship grants further strengthen the region's capacity for innovation.
All the techno-exhibits for the RSTW celebration in the Caraga region will run up to October 23, 2022, at Robinson’s Place Butuan City. For more information and to watch all the fora, you may visit the official Facebook Page of DOST Caraga https://www.facebook.com/DOST.Caraga.
Lastly, the science week celebration continues on the national level with the 2022 National Science and Technology Week to be held in a hybrid set-up from November 23-27, 2022, with on-site exhibits at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. This year’s theme is “Agham at Teknolohiya: Kabalikat sa Maunlad at Matatag na Kinabukasan”. The on-site S&T exhibits and virtual forums and webinars will showcase various clusters in the areas of agriculture and aquaculture, health and food and nutrition, livelihood and enterprise development, blue and green economy, nuclear science, additive manufacturing, robotics and industrial automation, disaster resiliency and climate change, scholarships, and community empowerment. For more information, please visit the website at http://nstw.dost.gov.ph and its Facebook page at facebook.com/nstwdost. (By Allan Mauro V. Marfal, DOST-STII)