Monday, August 24, 2009

Speech of DOST Regional Director Lyndo G. Villacorta

Caraga Region Engineering, Architecture and Technology Educators
Third Congress
July 31-August 1 2009

Honorable Adrian S. Cristobal, DG-IP Philippines
Represented by Atty. Leny B. Raz – IP Phillipines
Dr, Levita B. Grana Dean CEA, SJIT and President of CREATE
Dr. Virginia D. Akiate, OIC Office of the RD of CHED
The brilliant, rare and I’m sure very much in-demand resource speakers of this congress:

Engr. Rosa Fernandez - IP Philippines Dr. Reynaldo M. Pablo - Indiana University-Purdue University
Engr. Noel M. Ajoc - DOST PSTD for AdN/ BC Engr. Roderico B. Cane, our president of the newly organized Caraga Inventors Association (CIA) and a prominent DOST Partner

HEI Officials, Faculty and staff, technology educators
Members of CREATE,
Representatives from various organizations, Students,
Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning to all of you! Maayong Buntag kaninyong tanan!

First of all, I would like to congratulate CREATE for organizing undertaking this 3rd CREATE Congress with this year’s fitting theme “The Role of Technological Education in Economic Development!

This year’s theme caught my attention and interest, because it is very much aligned and parallel with the mandate of my Department, the Department of Science and Technology….

And that is….. to provide central direction, leadership and coordination of scientific and technological efforts and ensure that the result are geared and utilized for maximum economic and social benefits.

And so…DOST shall formulate and implement policies, plans, programs for the development of science and technology and ensure that the results are properly applied and utilized to accelerate economic and social development.

In short….DOST exists to spearhead the harnessing of science and technology for economic development.

I am very pleased to note that CREATE, puts importance and emphasis to “Science and Technology” as it conducts and celebrates this 3rd Congress.

I am honored and delighted to be invited on this occasion to share with you my little thoughts and insights about technological education and its significance.

At the same time this is a good opportunity for me to promote and propagate my usual advocacy on “scientific and technological strategies” as a springboard of our socio economic progress and advancement.

I would like to mention that in the SONA of PGMA, not the “pussyfoot” version last Monday, but her SONA in 2006, she mentioned and emphasized that “Science and technology should be the foundation of our future economic development!

Let us note that history and statistics would show us that economic progress of countries of the world is directly proportional and highly correlated to the level of investment on science and technology. If your imagination is good, you can probably figure out how fast we are progressing compared to Korea, Taiwan and Japan when they are spending more that 20% of their GRDP for research and development while we are investing barely 0.21% of our GRDP for R&D and S&T.

But ladies and gentlemen, lets us not paint a gloomy picture of our future. Rather, lets us challenge ourselves to make difference. Let’s work together in unity and put all our best to trigger a robust socio-economic development.
“If you really want something, just do it hard, do it well. Don’t pussyfoot don’t pander, and don’t say bad words in public”.

Does it sound very familiar?

Incidentally the DOST at this very moment is celebrating the National Science and Technology Week…. With a theme very similar and with resemblance to the theme of this congress…Responding to the global challenge through Science and Technology.

Seven major areas are given emphasis this year: To mention these are

Food security
Biofuels and alternative energy
Environmental protection and conservation
Climate change
Biotechnology Information and communication technology Health products and pharmaceuticals
We all know that “Food Security” refers to the availability of food and one’s access to it. As defined by FAO, a household is considered food secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation.

It is interesting to note that the world has more than one billion people who are overweight, and an estimated 800 million who are undernourished.

So as you can see, the problem may not be on the world food production but rather on the access to food and their distribution.

Food security is one of our greatest concerns. Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain food security in a world beset by a confluence of global crisis, financial crisis, pollution and tremendous environmental problems.

The other focus in Biofuels. Why give focus on biofuels?
Obviously, a big challenge to all of us is on finding solution and alternatives to the declining supply and seemingly uncontrollable prices of fossil fuel and petroleum products.

Again, a big challenge is on developing our technologies on biofuels and finding alternative sources of energy, and reducing our dependence on imported petroleum products.

Use of agro-wastes, jatropha, coco-diesel, even moringa oil is now being explored for its potentials as biofuel. For us to survive…we need to explore non-conventional sources of energy… and put to minimum our dependence on imported petroleum products.

Another important focus given is on Environmental protection and conservation and the catch phrase this days…”Climate change”. These are obviously not simple local or national issue but global concerns…as Climate change is already happening and represents one of the greatest environmental, social and economic threats facing the planet.

Global warming is a unequivocal, as it is now evident from observation of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level.

The Earths average surface temperature has risen by 0.76 degree C since 1850. Most of the warming that has occurred over the last 50 years have been caused largely by human activities.

Projected global warming this century is likely to trigger serious consequences for mankind and other life forms, including a rise in sea levels of between 18 and 59 cm which will endanger coastal areas and small islands, and a greater frequency and severity of extreme weather events.

We also believe that our technological education should give premium to biotechnology, manufacturing and production of health products and development of pharmaceuticals.

These, to be developed fast and significantly, require ample investment and necessitate a mixture of high Science and Technology content.

In a nut shell, food security, biofuels and alternative energy, environmental protection and climate change, biotechnology, ICT, health products and pharmaceuticals, are the pillars of DOST’s advocacy to present and alarming global challenges.

There are so many challenges facing our world today. And there’s no other way but for us to face all these challenges. We need a critical mass of science and technology workers. We need a great deal of quality assurance of technology innovation, transfer and commercialization.

We need to encourage our inventors and innovators to be more creative and innovative. We need to have a better appreciation of intellectual property rights.

We need to do a lot of catching up with our Asian neighbors and other developed countries.

As we go through the activities lined up for this 3rd CREATE Congress, I hope and pray we will be able to realize, appreciate better, and find relevance and deeper meaning on the role of technological education in economic development, not for the few, but to all of us.

Lets all work together in unity to make this world a better place to live in.

It is my great enjoyment to join you in this very important event. I am very sure, we have a very successful conduct of this 3rd CREATE CONGRESS.

Thank you very much and good morning.

No comments: