University of the Philippines Los Baños again participated in celebrating the 2014 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) last July 24-28, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.
This year’s NSTW celebration has been themed “Philippines: A Science Nation Meeting Global Challenges,” and highlighted the eight outcomes of the government lead by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), namely, agriculture, enterprises, industry, IT-BPM, E-governance, health, education and disaster preparedness, through fora and exhibits. Also, during the first day of the event, the DOST and the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) recognized four outstanding personnel in different categories.
Thousands of students, innovators, inventors, scientists, researchers, people from private and government agencies, non-government organizations, and other S&T enthusiasts gathered at the SMX during the 4-day event.Award received
Dr. Reynaldo V. Ebora, Director of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), UPLB was the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Science Administrator Award. Dr. Ebora was recognized for bringing BIOTECH to the forefront of biotechnology research in the Philippines and spearheading the commercialization and technology transfer of its products and services.
Simultaneous fora were held throughout the celebrations. In one of fora anchored on “Makabagong Teknolohiya Para sa Nagbabagong Panahon,” Dr. Felino P. Lansigan of CAS-INSTAT presented several updates on program Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry (SARAI) in the Philippines. SARAI is a program funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) which aims to generate an online decision support system which will provide timely crop advisories and crop forecasts for the agricultural sector.
In another forum entitled “Niyog ni Juan, Hwag Pabayaan Nang Kasaganahan ay Makamtan” organized by the PCAARRD to discuss updates and challenges of the coconut industry, Mr. Romulo N. Arancon, Jr., Administrator of the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) presented an Operational Plan Against Coconut Scale Insect (CSI).
According to Arancon, about 2.4 million coconut trees were infested with the CSI and 16,000 farmers in 93 municipalities were affected by the outbreak. Arancon said that different agencies including UPLB have been working together to mitigate the CSI’s impact on the coconut industry. UPLB has organized a group which is member of the CSI Task Force.
In another knowledge-sharing activity, two experts from UPLB also served as resource speakers. Mr. Primitivo Jose A. Santos of the Institute of Plant Breeding, Crop Science Cluster presented a technology on Simple Nutrient Addition Program (SNAP) Hydroponics. SNAP, according to Santos, is a soil-less crop production system ideal for home-based and commercial production of vegetables and other cash crops. After the session, participants showed eagerness to adopt the SNAP technology.
Moreover, Dr. Eduardo P. Paningbatan, Jr., retired professor from the Agricultural Systems Cluster, College of Agriculture, shared his award-winning urban technology, Enriched Potting Preparation. Paningbatan explained how to grow crops in recycled containers using a nutrient-rich medium.
The Crop Protection Cluster, College of Agriculture showcased information on the CSI. Dr. Susan Bacud, who was onboard during the exhibition said that “proper monitoring and reporting of the actual CSI incidence is the most important step to combat the problem.” She also discussed and demonstrated the general protocol that should be followed by coconut farmers and technicians prior to the treatment and succeeding management procedure.
BIOTECH products like microbial rennet, probiotics, biofertilizers, microbial pesticides, enzymes, animal vaccines, and other products were also showcased during the exhibition. A helpful microbe mascot was an added attraction that the audiences excitedly posed with for photographs.
Another exhibit in collaboration with the DOST-PCAARRD featured the SARAI Program while the UPLB Nanotechnology Program; one of the 18 Interdisciplinary Studies Centers put up this year was also showcased. The program included updates on research studies on the development of nanosensors for the detection of heavy metals, microbial contaminants, and noxious gases; environmental/water remediation; and the production of nano-structured materials from low-value agricultural by-products.