Through Malacañang Proclamation No. 782 dated June 6, 2014, President Benigno S. Aquino conferred on Academician Angel C. Alcala the Rank and Title of National Scientist in recognition of his outstanding contributions to society, specifically his seminal and original research on the systematic, ecology, and diversity of Philippine amphibians and reptiles, and, marine biodiversity, reef fishes and conservation (marine-protected areas).
His studies on and advocacy of marine no-take zones led to a national policy and program that established no-take marine protective areas which has resulted in more than a thousand of such marine no-take zones in the country and has become a model of coastal resource management and conservation adopted by many countries. No-take marine reserves allows the build-up of marine biodiversity including fishery species as well as export of adult fish to areas (outside of MPAs) used as fishing areas, thereby enhancing fish yields of fishers.
He spent his professional life as an academic leader,an institution builder, and a public administrator.He was appointed as president of the Silliman University,here he helped institutionalize scientific research on marine biology and marine conservation. Dr. Alcala was appointed to two important positions in the Fidel V. Ramos Cabinet; he served as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from 1992 to 1995 and later as Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education from 1995 to 1999, with probity, integrity, and transparency.
The National Academy of Science and Technology, in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology Region 6 organized the Regional Seminar Workshop on Research Upgrading and Performance Evaluation in Iloilo City last May 22 and 23, 2014. It was attended by researchers and research administrators in the region. The workshop is part of the DOST-funded NAST PHL Project entitled “Evaluation and Improvement of the Research Publication and IP Productivity of the DOST R&D Institutes.” The workshop aims to gather research and development stakeholders to create points of action for region-based research and development initiatives. Through the workshop, various research and development opportunities were discussed.
Director Rowen R. Gelonga of DOST Region 6 welcomed the participants and underscored the importance of enabling researchers to develop technologies that will benefit commercial initiatives. Further, Director Gelonga stressed that collaboration amongst the region’s researchers is vital for inclusive growth and development.
The current thrust of DOST is to provide science-based tools for socio-economic development; in this sense, the need for better research and technology generation poses a challenge for local researchers.
NAST PHL Director, Ms. Luningning E. Samarita-Domingo gave the background of the project along with the workshop objectives. The participants were encouraged to actively participate in the various workshop activities. In alignment with the DOST Research and Development Research Agenda, the workshop outputs are to be used to create both the regional and national research and development action plans. Director Domingo also discussed the various opportunities available through the programs and projects being implemented by the Academy.
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), through its Engineering Sciences and Technology Division (ESTD), chaired by Academician Reynaldo B. Vea conducted a forum on Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Infrastructure on March 28, 2014 at Hyatt Hotel Manila. The forum focused on the long-term strategic development plan of the national ICT infrastructure to make the country more competitive, the people more innovative, and communities more resilient. Acd. William T. Torres, a member of NAST ESTD served as the focal person of the forum.
Invited experts were Acd. Torres, Acd. Jose B. Cruz, Jr., also a member of ESTD, Mr. Rolando Alarcon, secretary general of the Philippine Electronics and Telecommunications Federation, and Mr. Dondi Mapa of Microsoft Philippines who was a deputy commissioner of the Commission on Information and Communications Technoogy (now DOST-ICTO).
Acd. William G. Padolina, NAST President, welcomed the participants from the different public and private institutions. He said that ICT has increasingly become an important vehicle in our economy.
Acd. Torres emphasized the need to fix the ICT infrastructure in our country since improved infrastructure produces abundant benefits for the economy, environment, and social progress. He cited the three most problematic factors which have significantly affected the low ranking of the Philippines in the global competitiveness index, namely, corruption, bureaucracy, and infrastructure. He noted that if we do well in ICT, the initiative will also help improve the other infrastructure sectors.