R12 inventors to get spotlight

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/30 June) – Preparations have shifted to high gear for the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration later this month that seeks to encourage people to engage in science and technology-based enterprises and for students to take science courses, an official said Wednesday night.

Zenaida P. Laidan, Department of Science and Technology director for Southwestern Mindanao, said the NSTW will showcase the various creations of inventors from the region, among them waste incinerators and robotics.

“We are expecting more than a dozen exhibits, the most outstanding of which will be entered to the national invention contest next year,” she told reporters here.

Laidan said they are also intensifying the promotion of science and technology because of the dearth of experts in these fields not only in the region but all throughout the country.

She noted there are only a few scientists in the country, especially in the public sector, because many of them are working abroad due to lucrative compensation.

The regional celebration of NSTW, which will open on July 25 in General Santos City, will adopt the theme “Nasa Syensya ang Pag-asa.”

Previous NSTW celebrations were done by clusters through Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. This year, the DOST decided to have it regionalized in the hope of a wider reach in promoting science and technology.

During the event, Laidan said they will also promote the potentials of the global halal industry, with the launching of the DOST-12 Halal Certification System and the unveiling of the agency’s halal seal of quality.

Halal refers to food or non-food products permissible under the Islamic faith, but which could also be consumed by non-Muslims.

Currently, the country remains without a national halal guidelines, with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos targeting to finalize the draft this July.

In a bid to promote a credible halal industry, the DOST-12 has set up a laboratory in Cotabato City that could detect even the minutest contaminants, Laidan said.

A bigger halal laboratory facility is under construction in Koronadal that would be called the Philippine National Halal Laboratory.

For the NSTW celebration, Laidan expressed hopes that the celebration will pave the way for a stronger collaboration between the public and private sectors for the further development of science and technology in the country. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)