The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) called for a concerted effort to act on key sustainable development areas as it concluded its two-day Visayas Regional Scientific Meeting (RSM) in Summit Hotel, Tacloban City last March 20-21, 2019.
The Visayas RSM is the first in the series of regional scientific meetings that will be conducted by NAST PHL this year in preparation for its 41st Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) on July 10-11, 2019 in Manila.
NAST PHL President Academician Rhodora V. Azanza welcomed the participants to the event, composed mainly of researchers and professors across the Visayas region. She highlighted NAST’s major role in providing crucial advice in key science and technology-related concerns of the country.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara delivered the keynote message on behalf of DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña. Dr. Guevara highlighted DOST’s commitment in building a progressive Philippines anchored on science and presented the major DOST accomplishments in R&D.
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) commends the signing of a law that will provide health care assistance and coverage to all Filipinos.
Last February 20, 2019, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed the Universal Healthcare Act that will provide all Filipinos access to health products and services and will automatically enroll them to the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP). The law ensures that all Filipinos will have a guaranteed access to various health services and affordable health products.
It can be remembered that during its 38th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) last July 2016, the NAST PHL, through its ASM Resolutions, called on the President to include all Filipinos to a Universal Healthcare mechanism, which was also known as “Kalusugang Pangkalahatan”.
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) asserted the importance of formulating science-based policies in the development of the country’s blue economy during its Science Policy and Information Forum 2019: The Philippine Blue Economy Part 2 last February 15, 2019 at Luxent Hotel, Quezon City.
The Forum is a continuation of NAST PHL’s campaign to promote the development of the Philippine blue economy, picking up from the first part, which was organized last January 28, 2019.
With an estimated value of around $900-B, the blue economy, which includes marine-based economic activities such as fisheries, marine tourism, and shipbuilding, has the potential to catapult the country into progress.
NAST PHL President Academician Rhodora V. Azanza appealed to the participants to bring the issue to Congress. According to her, “We will be needing the full support of everybody to bring these issues to the plates of our policymakers.”
Blue Economy Policies
One of the highlights during the Forum was the talk on the status of the maritime affairs in the country, which included a discussion on the current policies of the government in terms of its coastal and marine affairs. Mr. Michael Eric Castillo, a consultant of the National Coast Watch Council Secretariat, pointed out the failure to fully implement the 24-year old National Marine Policy (NMP) as one of the major reasons for the underdevelopment of the country’s blue economy.
“Majority of poor Filipinos live in the coastal areas. If we are going to make a dent in poverty reduction, the area or locus of policy implementation should be at the coastal community,” Castillo said.