Mindanawon investors urged to invest in research, too

Ma. Delia Moran-Morados, former regional director of the Department of Science and Technology, said there has been a dearth of investment coming from Mindanao's business community on research, one reason why local researchers and potential technologies leave the country.  

She said Southeaster Mindanao has a sufficient number of academic institutions with several researchers but that there are not enough laboratories and facilities for their research needs.

She also cited lack of funding to fuel research proceedings.

"We have to improve the laboratories and facilities and at the same time upgrade the capacity of our researchers and research institutions," said Morados, now a managing director of the Regional Health Research and Development Foundation, Inc, which advocates for more local research on health.

She said since the government could not really support long-term researches, the local business community should extend assistance to a venture which she said could be beneficial to them.

"Anyway they will own the research and could use it to make more money," she said.

Businesses should not forget investing for their future via research and development, she said.

But she also stressed that more government attention is needed saying there have been no incentives given yet for businessmen to boost research.

She proposed tax deductability as a big push that could encourage businessmen to consider investing in research.

But Morados said greater push should not be focused only on basic research done in universities but also on action research converting outputs to technologies.

She cited the area of "nutraceuticals" or food supplement industry and bio-technology as highly viable areas for research in the region.  

She said what is being done in universities abroad could also be done by local scientists and researchers if they are similarly equipped.

She said, however, that different sectors should develop a culture of synergy in approaching research.

She said it should be a joint effort not only of the researchers and their fund sources but also producers of goods subjected to research, like the farmers.

Morados cited the case of Mindanawon scientist-businessman Alfredo Villarico who has been promoting a line of food supplement and soap products derived from mangosteen.

Kidapawan City-based Villarico owns Dr. Alfred's Essentials Inc, which claims to have produced and marketed the "original and the first pure mangosteen capsule and tea” in the Philippines now exported to the United States, South Korea and Israel.

Morados spoke toward the end of a scientific symposium presented by Villarico on the benefits of mangosteen's xanthones Saturday where Dr. Filomena Orpilla Dimayuga, a Filipino scientist who is a member of the faculty of the University of Kentucky in the United States, cited advances in her recent research on the use of the fruit's extracts. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)