The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) holds a virtual presser in light of the 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration, broadcasted via the 2020 NSTW official Facebook page on Monday, 23 November 2020.
In the presser, Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services and 2020 NSTW Steering Committee Chairperson, Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr. encouraged the public to look at the brighter side despite the sudden change the pandemic brought to everyone’s lives. He stressed that the virtual platform has opened many doors and opportunities for DOST to share the benefits of science and technology to the public, with or without the pandemic, from the comfort of everyone’s offices or homes. Moreover, the virtual means of holding events nowadays, Usec. Solidum believes, enables the NSTW celebration to reach more audience and participants both locally and internationally, and people can watch the webinars and activities on demand since the entire event is recorded.
On the one hand, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara added that research and development, more than ever, played a major role during the pandemic and have been at the forefront of looking for solutions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will not stop DOST from bringing the National Science and Technology Week to you. Like before, NSTW includes various awards for research, technology transfer, and S&T promotion; scientific meetings; technical and investment forums; tech demos; and virtual tours,” Usec. Guevara shared.
This year, the technologies funded and assisted by DOST are featured in four (4) clusters, dubbed as 4Ks: Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan at Kinabukasan. These innovations respond to the government’s national plan to heal, recover, and rise as one, as embodied in the Bahayanihan Act.
Undersecretary Guevara further explained that the projects and innovations that fall under each cluster were designed to show the different areas where R&D is greatly needed and where the DOST and its research and development institutes were able to pivot immediately and respond to demands needed to fight COVID-19.
For one, the Kalusugan cluster features technologies like the RxBox and the Rapid Test Kit developed by Dr. Raul Destura of the University of the Philippines Manila and developments for health and wellness; including those that are relevant to COVID-19 response, occupational therapy and nutrition, to name a few.
Innovations that help sustain our country’s foundation for growth and stability, and of improving livelihood are also featured under the Kabuhayan cluster. A vast selection of digital applications and platforms, physical hubs, food production, and food processing equipment and techniques, can be viewed in the virtual exhibits.
Smart technologies for disaster response, traffic and community management are further showcased in the Kaayusan cluster. These are applications, systems, portals and even food that mitigate disaster, and also increase capacity for disaster preparedness and management. Also included under this cluster are Smart and Sustainable Textiles, Electronic Products Development Center and the nuclear facilities of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute.
Lastly, the Kinabuksan cluster focuses on future forward and ready technologies for career development and sustainable future. One is a hub for developing technologies and innovations that will respond to needs of industries to adapt to the changing trends in manufacturing/production. Other innovations address needs on renewable energy, mass transport, mobile/distance learning, and genomics.
“Amidst this pandemic, we at the DOST, will continue to strengthen and encourage R&D focused on providing immediate, timely and relevant scientific solutions in partnership with the academe, the private sector and the society,” Usec Guevara emphasized.
She added that the NSTW is the best platform to promote the results of research and development in order to make sure that our lawmakers and budget departments take notice of R&D’s valuable contribution to socioeconomic development and inclusive growth.
The 2020 National Science and Technology Week is happening virtually from 23-29 November 2020. To view the above mentioned technologies and innovations, and for more information head on to www.nstw.gov.ph or visit its Facebook pages or use the hashtag #2020NSTW and #ScienceForThePeople. By Lanquin Seyer R. Gacusan, DOST-STII
Clark agency head orders clearing of ‘eyesores’ at aviation complex
CLARK FREEPORT (CIAC-CCO, November 11)—Several illegal structures were removed on Tuesday at the Clark Civil Aviation Complex as part of the government’s plan to rid the area of ‘eyesores’.
Aaron Aquino, president of the Clark International Airport Corp. and a former police general, said he ordered the clearing of separate areas of the aviation complex from prohibited structures or improvised facilities such as crudely built shacks, junk yards, sleeping quarters or storage buildings with unkempt surroundings or clotheslines in open view of the public.
“We made an earlier appeal to the people responsible for these ‘eyesores’ to voluntarily remove these facilities because they disfigure the commercial and business landscape of the Clark Freeport Zone but to no avail (so) we have to enforce what is lawful and necessary to make things happen,” Aquino said.
CIAC is the government agency tasked to manage the 200-hectare civil aviation complex, which is also home to the privately-run Clark International Airport, along with some 45 locators engaged in aviation- and non-aviation related businesses.
Last July, CIAC formally requested its locators to refrain from building makeshift structures without the government’s prior consent and approval.
“My orders are to immediately dismantle these illegal structures, secure the area and prohibit the entry of unauthorized persons, vehicles or equipment or farm animals, to ensure orderliness and create a more conducive business environment,” Aquino added.
The CIAC chief cited that most of the areas with illegal structures are leasable lands and, therefore, need to be appealing to an investment hub like the aviation complex.
Clark agency starts asset disposal, real property valuation
CLARK FREEPORT (CIAC-CCO, November 24)—The government-run Clark International Airport Corp. on Tuesday announced the ongoing appraisal of its facilities and inventory of non-performing assets inside the Clark Civil Aviation Complex.
“One of our proactive responses to the pandemic is to conduct a thorough inventory of both fixed and movable assets, including nonperforming assets, which will be converted into additional revenues for the government,” CIAC President Aaron Aquino said.
He added that the appraisal is needed to determine the market value of these facilities and to ensure a just and efficient real property valuation system beneficial to the government.
The CIAC chief said the appraisal committee, led by two CIAC vice presidents, Irish Calaguas of the operations group, and Nancy Paglinawan of the finance office, along with property management staff and a licensed third-party appraiser, were instructed to inspect and create an updated database of CIAC’s real property, facilities and equipment.
Clearing operations have started on areas around buildings, including idle facilities, along with engineering works and identification of market value of all structures within the aviation complex.
Aquino noted that leasable lands with or without buildings need to be appealing to an investment hub like Clark.
The public bidding for CIAC’s unserviceable assets such as service vehicles, various information technology equipment, machinery, and office fixtures and furniture will be announced on the agency’s website.
The civil aviation complex managed by CIAC is home to the privately-run Clark International Airport, as well as the mixed-use business district Clark Global City, and currently around 45 locators in cargo and aviation-related businesses.