Mandated to recognize outstanding achievements in science and technology and to serve as a reservoir of competent scientific and technological manpower for the country, the National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines (NAST PHL) recognized distinguished Filipino scientists and outstanding publications during NAST’s 36th Annual Scientific Meeting on July 9-10, 2014. Awards presented were the following: Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS), The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the Advancement of Science in Developing Countries Prize for Young Scientists in the Philippines, NAST Environmental Science Award, NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists, Outstanding Books and Monographs, Outstanding Scientific Papers, and Best Scientific Posters.
The Outstanding Young Scientists (OYS) award is given to young Filipino scientists (must not be 41 years old within January to December in the year of the award) who have made significant contributions to science and technology. For 2014, 12 honorees were given the distinction as OYS awardees. They were: Glenn S. Banaguas, Master in Environmental Management, Rommel C. Sulabo, Ph.D. (Animal Science), Ian Kendrich C. Fontanilla, Ph.D. (Genetics), Karl Marx A. Quiaxon, Ph.D. (Aquatic Biosciences), May T. Lim, Ph.D. (Physics), Richard S. Lemence, Ph.D. (Mathematics), Jessie Pascual P. Bitog, Ph.D. (Agricultural and Rural Systems), Rhoda B. Leron, Ph.D. (Chemical Engineering), Paolo Antonio S. Silva, M.D. (Ophthalmology), John Mark S. Velasco, M.D. (Public Health), Geoffrey M. Ducanes, Ph.D. (Economics), and Analyn Salvador-Amores, Ph.D. (Social and Cultural Anthropology).
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) conducted its 36th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) with the theme “Infrastructure, Information, and Innovation (I3) for National Development, Competitiveness, and Resiliency” on July 9-10, 2014 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City. The NAST PHL, established by Presidential Decree No. 1003-A in 1976, is the primary adviser to the government and science community on matters related to science and technology
The Meeting aimed to discuss three “pillars” of competitiveness as defined by the World Economic Forum (WEF), namely, infrastructure, information, and innovation and focused on the policy and governance aspects in the following infrastructure sectors: energy, water, telecommunications, and transportation.
The Honorable Cesar B. Bautista, former secretary of Department of Trade and Industry(five years) andpresently the Chairman of St. James' Ventures, Inc. and CIBI Information Inc, served as the keynote speaker. He emphasized that infrastructure, information, and innovations are considered as co-enablers to achieve country’s transformation by means of sustainable growth that is inclusive. He reported that the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (2011-2016) highlights the need for infrastructure development to support the performance of the country’s economic sectors. He reported that the Asian Development Bank in its publication “Taking the Right Road” identified the Philippine government’s infrastructure policy as coming in two stages: (1) improvement of the “climate” to generate broad-based satisfaction from business and public sector and (2) efficiency for targeted products, including agriculture/industries and service sectors to realize their potentials “Vertical Interventions” otherwise known as the “tailwinds” are provided. According to him, the country is already on its way to the second stage. He also pointed out that there is a need to (1) increase competitiveness of roads, (2) improve port conditions and increase capacities using the RORO linkages, (3) maximize ports and airports to improve the economy, (4) improve flood control systems, and (5) application of total quality management systems to improve productivity.
Insect outbreaks occur when new strains/species of insects are introduced into areas where they have no or very few natural enemies. However, eventually nature corrects itself; biological control agents appear and multiply in sufficient numbers to control the invaders. But this new state of equilibrium could take years, and by then, farmers would have suffered heavy losses.
The new coconut scale insect (CSI) devastating coconuts in Batangas, Laguna, Cavite and Quezon has been identified as Aspidiotus rigidus, which is different from the more common Aspidiotus destructor.
The immediate challenge to the CSI outbreak is to arrest/contain the further spread of CSI from the current adversely affected areas to the rest of the country. The idea is to reduce CSI population and slow down its spread in orderto give the time for the insects’ natural enemies to multiply.
Scale insects are naturally preyed upon by wasps,coccinelid beetles, earwigs, and lacewings,and these are also infected by fungi. Our key agricultural research agencies (Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Coconut Authority; University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), and Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development) are working double time to artificially rear these potential biocontrol agents in great numbers to release them in outbreak areas. Nevertheless, their efforts are relatively puny considering the gravity of the situation. Their efforts should be multiplied ten-fold to make a difference.
Contact vs. Systemic Pesticides
Scale insects are ubiquitous pests on many crops. They are relatively easy to manage/control with commercially available pesticides. In fact, household detergents and oils that are inexpensive and safe to humans and the environment have been demonstrated to be effective against scale insects.