SAN FERNANDO CITY, March 14 (PIA) – In a Science and Technology Legislative Advocacy Program held March 9 and 10 here, key officials of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) presented vital S&T legislations that are hoped to be among the priority bills this year.
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said that the legislators of the present 17th Congress are supportive of the needs of the sector, even during his recent confirmation hearing.
He said among the bills tabled for discussion include the: Philippine Nuclear Regulatory Commission Bill; Amendments on Republic Act 9236 on the National Metrology Law and creation of the National Metrology Institute Bill; Balik Scientist Bill (HB 4366); Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda Science for Change Program Bill (HB 4581); Philippine Space Agency Bill (HB 4367); and Strengthening Science and Technology Provincial Offices and Creating the Provincial Science and Technology Director Bill (HB 1205).
The two-day forum was attended by the secretaries of the members of the Congress Committee for S&T.
“Through this forum, we hope we can provide more services under the ‘Science for the People Program’, where S&T will directly help the people in the countryside enhanced with the passage of the other programs that will complement a holistic Science and Technology in education, culture and environment for the development of the people,” DOST Regional Director Armando Ganal said
Meanwhile, new DOST Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Renato Solidum Jr. reiterated that “climate change is the driver or cause of risk... of which the framework should be: know the risks, have programs in the governance to reduce the risks, globally and nationally.”
He added, “the DOST intends to be a global hub for Science and Technology innovations on disaster risk reduction.”
“The role of DOST is to provide information, specifically hazard and risk scenario, the potential impact to the people, structures, the economy...in essence, imagine what can happen before it happens and we will prepare for it,” Solidum said.
Meanwhile, Ganal announced that for 2017, DOST Region 1 allocated a P40-million budget to assist 60 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region for their equipment acquisition, laboratory testing, label and packaging, training and technical consultancy requirements.
“Through Science and Technology for Community Empowerment (CEST), we are continuously assisting the poorest of the poor communities by providing assistance in livelihood, health and nutrition, education and literacy, and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation,” said Ganal.
Aside from the in-house discussions, the group also visited two successful DOST-assisted MSMEs in Ilocos region namely the John G. Escat Dressing Plant in San Gabriel, La Union and the Longlive Pharma/Nutridense Manufacturing Corporation in Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan. (JNPD/JDS/PIA-1, La Union)