National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines

The country's premier recognition and advisory body on Science and Technology

Confernment of the newly-elected Corresponding Member, Dr.Josefino C. Comiso
L-R: NAST Acting President Acd. Fabian M. Dayrit, DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technological Services Dr. Carol C. Yorobe, Dr. Josefino C. Comiso and his wife Diana J. Comiso, Acd. Jaime C. Montoya
Policy Forum on Federalism in the Philippine Context
Dr. Magno explained a “Federalist Design Philippines” in the context of culture, politics, and economic conditions of the country.
Policy Forum on Federalism in the Philippine Context
Dr. Mendoza explained the rationale of decentralization bought about by federalism, which is seen as part of democratizing of the country and bringing governance closer to the people.
Policy Forum on Bataan Nuclear Power Plant: What is its Future?
Engr. Carlos M. Villaraza mainly focused his talk on various analyses to aid in evaluating the state of BNPP such as hazard-risk-vulnerability analysis, response spectrum analysis, and nonlinear time-history analysis. He explained that hazard-risk-vulnerability analysis aims to aid people to make risk-based choices to attend to vulnerabilities, mitigate hazards, and prepare for response to and recover from any hazard events.
Policy Forum on Bataan Nuclear Power Plant: What is its Future?
Acd. Alfredo Francisco Mahar As. Lagmay, member of MPSD and professor at the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, gave his lecture entitled, “Geological hazards of SW Natib Volcano, site of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, the Philippines.
Policy Forum on Bataan Nuclear Power Plant: What is its Future?
Dr. Bartolome C. Bautista, deputy director of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), explained the current hazards information around the BNPP site.
NAST-CMU Seminar on “Why Rice is Not Good For You?”
Tree Planting in Commemoration of National Scientists
NAST PHL held a tree planting in Commemoration of the National Scientists last November 15, as part of the year-long celebration of its 40th Anniversary with the theme “40 Years in Pursuit of Excellence”
National Scientist Bienvenido Nebres, S.J. met Pope Francis during the Jesuits’ 36th General Congregation held in Rome on October 24, 2016
InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) for Health Workshop on Addressing Inequities in Health: Fostering Action on Social Determinants on October 3-4, 2016 at The Manila Hotel
The organizing committee of the workshop: (L-R) Dr. Carlo Irwin A. Panelo, Dr. Mario C. Villaverde, Dr. Fely Marilyn E. Lorenzo, National Scientist Ernesto O. Domingo, Academician Carmencita D. Padilla, and Dr. Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno III
InterAcademy Partnership (IAPdres) for Health Workshop on Adsing Inequities in Health: Fostering Action on Social Determinants on October 3-4, 2016 at The Manila Hotel
Representatives from the academe, medical institutions, government, and national academies of science and medicine in the ASEAN region participated in the two-day workshop.
AASSA-NAST PHL Workshop on the Role of Science Academies on Sustainable Development
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), through its Engineering Sciences and Technology Division (ESTD) and in partnership with USAID-STRIDE, conducted a Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on the Prospects of Microalgae in the Philippines at Hotel Jen Manila on September 22, 2015.

The RTD focused on the potential of microalgae to become an alternative source of energy or biofuel and for other industrial applications such as aquaculture feeds, algae-derived plastics, fertilizers, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, and pharmaceuticals, among others.

Dr. Joel L. Cuello, an expert on sustainable biological and agricultural systems engineering from the University of Arizona and a De La Salle University (DLSU) USAID-STRIDE visiting professor, explained the connection of the falling of oil price and the future of microalgae as biofuel feedstock. According to him, the price of biofuel from microalgae, which is $24 per gallon, cannot compete in the global market today. He suggested a path venture for future investors that is multi-product and multi-market business model for microalgae to become economically-feasible. Microalgae biochemical factory for various high-value chemicals remains largely untapped.

He further discussed that the main concern with microalgae’s mass production is the contamination of open raceways due to the uncontrolled environment. He enumerated different technological advancements on the use of bioreactors to help industries maximize revenue and cut cost in microalgae production.

Academician Alvin B. Culaba, member of NAST PHL and professor of mechanical engineering at DLSU, discussed the use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) based framework in microalgae studies. This helps researchers identify problems in using algae as a biofuel feedstock. As part of post-harvesting process, Acd. Culaba together with the DLSU Microalgae Research Team, identified dewatering or drying as a crucial part of converting algal biomass to biofuels since this constitutes about 20% to  30% of the total production. Several researches about drying technology and the molecular dynamics to extract water were carried out to address this problem.

Mr. Joebert D. Toledo of Feedmix Specialists Inc. highlighted the industry’s perspective on the use of microalgae in the Philippine aquaculture setting. He explained that microalgae is essential in the early larval stages of shrimps, mollusks, echinoderms, and fishes development as direct or indirect feeds. It can also be used as additives to formulated feeds and bioremediation of aquaculture wastes. He enumerated the specific qualifications and composition of a desired feeds to marine species.

Further, mass culture of algae in outdoor tanks is labor-intensive and prone to algal crashes than the indoor mass culture. To avoid this, Mr. Toledo suggested intensifying culture of microalgae in controlled conditions such as in bioreactors or greenhouse and use several harvesting and preserving techniques. He also explained the advantages of microalgae in formulated feeds in the aquaculture industry. In addition, some species of algae like C. vulgaris, N. oculata and T. chuii can be used in bioremediation to utilize high nitrogen and phosphorus from aquaculture wastes.

Dr. Aristotle T. Ubando, project leader of USAID-STRIDE Microalgae Project and associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at DLSU, synthesized the roundtable discussion while Academician Alvin T. Culaba served as moderator and focal person. (Prepared by Loven Felix S. Opiana)