To continue the national leadership’s thrust on inclusive growth, the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Visayas Cluster, held the 2018 Regional Scientific Meeting at L’Fisher Hotel, Bacolod City. This event was participated by the three (3) regions in Visayas (Region VI, VII and VIII).
With the overarching theme, “Science and Technology-Enhanced Transformation for Sustainability and Resiliency (2018-2030)”, Visayas RSM is the second of the three regional scientific meetings organized by NAST and DOST regional offices, in preparation for the 40th Annual Scientific Meeting on July 11-12, 2018.
Hosted by the Social Sciences Division, chaired by NS Raul V. Fabella and Health Sciences Division, chaired by Acd. Jaime C. Montoya, the two-day Regional Scientific Meeting is divided into (4) plenary sessions with focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on clean water sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and life on land.
On behalf of DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr., undersecretary for Risk Reduction and Management, welcomed the participants from the different government agencies, research institutions, and other organizations all over Visayas. This was followed by the chair of NAST Biological Sciences Division Acd. Rhodora V. Azanza, who delivered the message from NAST and the objectives of the RSM.
Acd. Arsenio M. Balisacan, chairperson of the Philippine Competitive Commission and member of NAST Social Sciences Division, delivered the keynote address. He emphasized the need to go back to the basics of sustainability science and focus on policy operationability. He stressed the importance of coordinating with sector of regulators and other government agencies to avoid jurisdictional and enforcement conflicts on the implementation of economic policies.
The series of plenary sessions was opened by NS Raul V. Fabella as he talked about sustainable industrialization and inclusion. Usec. Adoracion M. Navarro who presented the strategies on disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation and showcased the renewable energy projects in Western Visayas.
Atty. Martin B. Delgra III, chairman of the Land Transformation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), discussed about public utility vehicle modernization program and Department of Transportation (DOTr) infrastructure projects. He explained the route rationalization study objectives with the aim of enabling efficient movement of commuters and environmentally sustainable travel. Dr. Emmanuel S. Baja, research associate professor at the National Institute of Health of the University of the Philippines Manila, presented the metropolitan manila development health study that typically answers the question, “why do we need modernization in the Philippines?”
The first day was concluded with the talk of Mr. Raphael Lopez, health energy initiative campaigner of health care without farm, who presented the concepts on renewable energy in sustainable cities. He pointed out that we should be mindful on how we power our communities. According to him, we should look closely at how our cities in the future win renewable energy.
On the second day, Atty. Juliana B. Carbon, general manager of Bacolod City Water District, presented on water and sanitation. She mentioned the priority actions recommended to resolve the challenges highlighted in the service delivery assessment. She shared the environmental protection programs and initiatives of the district adopted in the Ridge to Reef approach to ensure sustainability of present and future water resources in the city.
The next presenter was Dr. Jessica C. Salas, director of Philippine Watershed Management Coalition, who talked on sustainability watershed ecosystem services. Her talk focused on the three vital relationship which could sustain ecosystem services.
The third plenary session was opened by Dr. Majah-Leah V. Ravago, assistant professor at UP School of Economics. She discussed extensively what we mean about responsible consumption and production. She further shared the benefits of efficiency pricing and its policy implications. She noted that, we should inform policy decisions when to build and how long to use these treatment facilities. Also, to inform policy decision in regards to the timing of building desalination plants.
The plenary session was ended by the presentation of Dr. Silvano B. Maranga, president of ASKEDWELL Center as he talked about the application of science and technology to natural farming and organic agriculture system and Mr. Ramon D. Peñalosa who highlighted the business model for sustainable agriculture transformational agripreneurship.
Acd. Jaime C. Montoya presented the outputs of the Resolution Committee to Mr. Frank Carbon, president of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr. Frank Carbon responded by emphasizing the need to improve production capability of the farmers. According to him, strengthening and funding the agricultural and fisheries services is not enough to increase agricultural productivity and increase farmer’s income. With this, agriculture industry and service sectors have to compliment or supplement each other for the sectors to grow together. Further, he suggested to build roads to interconnect the region’s growth centers and provincial growth centers to form an integrated network of settlements to market. Connect these integrated settlements to the production areas and then connect these local markets to the ports, airports and to other markets outside the region.
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), being the country’s highest advisory body to the government and the science community on matters related to science and technology, has exerted great efforts in bringing science initiative to Visayas and making it successful in reaching various representatives and institutions from the Visayas region.