THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 1 kicked off the week-long celebration of its Regional Science, Technology and Innovation Week (RSTIW) at the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena, Laoag City last Monday, Oct. 17.

Hosting techno-exhibits, S&T Fora and techno demonstrations, this year’s RSTIW in the Ilocos Region will showcase the latest innovative products, services, and research studies that address the pressing concerns of different industries in the North. The simultaneous conduct of S&T activities will also provide a platform to promote innovative STI outputs and upgrade the economic and disaster resilience efforts of the region.

This will provide DOST with a level playing field for the agriculture industry and service sectors, whose processes are especially friendly to innovation,  research and development (R&D). These contributions were also highlighted as an avenue to promote the four pillars of the agency: science, technology and innovation for wealth creation, STI for wealth protection, STI for sustainability and STI for human well-being.

During the opening ceremony, Ilocos Norte Governor  Matthew J. Marcos Manotoc in his video message, welcomed the attendees and guests from different local government units in region 01 which included the science major students and the DOST partner stakeholders.

DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. underscored in his speech the major role of fostering a science-based culture in the country. He said there is an urgency to develop a wider acceptance of science in every aspect of our lives and this can be a difference-maker in reaching our development goals this year and beyond.

“One of our strategies for addressing the gaps between technology generators and innovators for potential users and adopters is the conduct of fairs and exhibits, fora, pitching, and training. These activities aim to promote and disseminate STI products and information that can help improve the quality of life of our people and communities and create livelihood opportunities for their growth.” Solidum said. “We have also sustained and further strengthened the implementation of our major programs in the regional operations, such as the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), Smart and Sustainable Communities Program and Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST), and we look forward to implementing more initiatives.”

DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations, Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang said in his speech. “All these programs work toward harnessing STI towards wealth creation, which is one of the thrusts of the Department to support the socio-economic agenda of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.,” he added. With the theme ‘Siyensya, Teknolohiya, at Inobasyon: Kabalikat sa Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na Kinabukasan,’ the DOST, together with its attached agencies and partner organizations, will continue to spearhead initiatives to create strategic technologies that can be harnessed by both the government and private sectors.

Further, separate RSTIWs will also be held in different regions across the country that boast various innovations in agriculture, health, education, enterprise development, DRRM and many more.

Also present in the event were Ilocos Sur Governor Jeremias Crisologo Singson, Laoag City Mayor Michael Marcos Keon, Ilocos Norte Vice Governor Cecilia Araneta Marcos, DOST Undersecretary Teodoro Gatchalian, and DOST Region 02 OIC RD Teresita Tabaog, among others. (Nelson Santos)