DOST’s tissue culture lab to boost Bulacan’s ornamental plants industry

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña posing (5th from right) with the artistic sketch of the Innovative Tissue Culture Laboratory or iLAB during his visit in Guiguinto, Bulacan.
The bloom industry of ornamental plants in Guiguinito, Bulacan is now seen to get booming R&D support from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with the construction of the Innovative Tissue Culture Laboratory or iLAB.
About to be inaugurated in December 2021, the iLAB will make use of tissue culture technologies to promote sustainable propagation among ornamental plant growers in the municipality of Guiguinto.
Guiguinto is positioning itself to be the Garden Capital of the Philippines by 2025 due to its flourishing ornamental plants industry.

At present, ornamental plant growers rely on cutting, marcotting, and grafting to propagate their plants. Sadly, these conventional practices do not apply to some plants, so it leads to high mortality rates of the transplants.

But iLAB will supplement these conventional practices by offering new services and innovative technologies. One is to generate identical mature offspring of one plant with desirable traits. It can also produce multiple plants even without seeds or pollinators to produce seeds, or those with seeds or stems with low chances of growing.

iLAB can also offer novel hybrids and genetically modified plants with better agronomic traits and those with improved resistance against diseases, pests, and pathogens.

These services are especially fit for those who seek large-scale production of plants thus it will later contribute to boosting the ornamental plants industry in Guiguinto and perhaps for the whole province.

DOST Regional Office III in Central Luzon has previously released PHP2.9M under the science agency’s Regional Grants-in-Aid program to start the project.

Joining in this R&D effort is the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines Los Baños who will provide gumamela hybrids to Guiguinto plant growers to propagate on their own.

Meanwhile, the Guiguinto local government will shoulder the PHP 9.7M construction of the laboratory.

iLAB is only one of the R&D projects and programs that will be showcased by the DOST in its Big 21 in 2021 launch on 7 September 2021, 10:00AM, to be broadcast live at the DOST Philippines Facebook page.///David Matthew C. Gopilan, DOST-STII, S&T Media Service


Two NICER centers to address environmental concerns are set to rise in northern Luzon

The wave flume channel to be housed in the CoastER Center will be used for two-dimensional investigations of coastal processes, as well as marine and coastal structures (Image from

Things are bound to get nicer in northern Luzon as two projects under the NICER (Niche Centers in the Regions for Research and Development) program had been green-lit in May 2021.
In Region 1, the Coastal Engineering Research (CoastER) Center will be established through a PhP 79.93 million project funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through the Office of the Undersecretary for Research and Development (OUSECRD).

On the other hand, in Region 2, a PhP 77.27 million project for the Smart Water Infrastructure Management (SWIM) Research and Development Center will be co-implemented by Isabela State University (ISU), Cagayan State University, and Quirino State University.

Partners will include the Office of Civil Defense, the National Water Resources Board, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Agriculture, the National Irrigation Administration, and various local government units.

The SWIM Center aims to develop technologies in water management and promote disaster-resilient infrastructures. Its innovations are expected to improve safe water supply, quality, access, utilization, and reuse—as well as reduce agricultural and infrastructural damages through better forecasting of droughts and extreme rainfall.

Interested parties may contact Dr. Nathaniel R. Alibuyog through email at for more on the CoastER Center and Dr. Orlando F. Balderama at for the SWIM Center.

The CoastER Center and SWIM Center are two of the projects under NICER that will be presented in the Big 21 in 2021 launch on 7 September 2021, 10:00AM, to be broadcast live at the DOST-Philippines Facebook page./// Allyster A. Endozo, DOST-STII, S&T Media Service Photos from DOST-OUSECRD


Center for Lakes Sustainable Development to be launched for R&D initiatives on water resources

The NICER Program of the Department of Science and Technology provides opportunities for research and development activities that address, among others, the sustainability of water resources for the benefit of communities and the local industries.
The famous Taal Lake, Laguna Lake, and the Seven Crater Lakes of San Pablo City in Southern Tagalog will soon get the needed boost with a new R&D center that will be funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Soon to be called the Center for Lakes Sustainable Development (CLSD), the center aims to develop solutions and strategies for effective management and sustainability of various lakes in the CALABARZON Region composed of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon. This will start on October 2021.

This project will be implemented by Assistant Professor Christian Paul P. de la Cruz of the Laguna State Polytechnic University in San Pablo City, Laguna. Co-implementing the project with Asst. Prof. de la Cruz are the following institutions:

  1. CALABARZON local government units;
  2. Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 4A;
  3. University of the Philippines Los Baños-School of Environmental Science and Management;
  4. University of the Philippines Diliman;
  5. Laguna Lake Development Authority; and
  6. Southeast Asian Limnological Network, a non-profit organization.

CLSD was made possible through the PHP 53 million funding support from the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) Program of the DOST. Under DOST’s umbrella program Science for Change Program, NICER Program stimulates R&D in the countryside by financing higher educational institutions in the regions to provide solutions pressing problems and to address development needs in their areas through research and development activities.

Life in the lake

San Pablo City in Laguna is home to the Seven Crater Lakes: Bunot Lake, Calibato Lake, Mohicap Lake, Palakpakin Lake, Pandin Lake, Sampaloc Lake, and Yambo Lake.

About 33 kilometers away from San Pablo City lies Taal Lake which is embraced by both Batangas and Cavite.

Laguna Lake is land-locked by Metro Manila, Laguna, and Rizal. With Napindan Channel through the Pasig River as its only outlet, Laguna Lake remains the country’s largest freshwater lake and third in Southeast Asia.

All these lakes provide numerous ecological and economic services. Numerous communities depend on these sources of freshwater for their daily subsistence and livelihood, mainly for aquaculture and tourism.

At the same time, these lakes are home to unique organisms like tawilis inTaal Lake. Laguna Lake is also a natural resource for shrimps, snails, and fishes (bangus, tilapia, ayungin).

CLSD hopes to enhance the resilience and adaptation of these lake communities against the looming climate change phenomenon. Adding to that, the CLSD hopes to help in generating alternative income opportunities from selling eco-products and eco-tourism services; both of which are win-win solutions for the communities and local government that depend on the lakes.

With better lake water quality, which CLSD plans to manage, there comes the aspiration to come up with better yield for aquaculture and capture fisheries.

More details about this soon-to-rise center will be revealed during the DOST’s Big 21 in 2021 launch on September 7, 2021, 10:00AM to be broadcast at the DOST Philippines Facebook page, when other high-impact programs, projects, and R&D initiatives of the science agency will be showcased despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.///David Matthew C. Gopilan, DOST-STII, S&T Media Service