By Teng Datu,
Cotabato City Bureau Chief
Zamboanga City – Thousands of students, science and technology enthusiasts, local government officials, and representatives from other sectors in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) convened at the Datu Dizal Cultural Center in Lamitan City, Basilan to celebrate this year’s National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).
Secretary Myra Mang-kabung of the region’s Science and Technology department with Lamitan City Mayor Rose Furigay and Vice Mayor Oric Furigay spearheaded the event.
Harnessing the theme, ‘Juan Science, One Nation,’ the NSTW celebration highlights the significant contributions of science and technology to national development and conferring recognition and appreciation to outstanding scientists, researchers, inventors and institutions.
The NSTW is celebrated every third week of July through Proclamation No. 169 issued in 1993. It aims at recognizing the contribution of science and technology in the development of the country and get support from the public and private institutions for its sustainable development.
“The annual celebration of the NSTW is the premier event of the science community. It is celebrated since the 1950s and the various events – like forum and exhibits – are the perfect venues for technology developers and inventors, as well as science and technology service providers and clients, to interact and pursue potential opportunities,” Sec. Mangkabung said.
The celebration, she added, is designed to optimize every opportunity to make science and technology a way of life for all Filipinos. She also encouraged the participants to focus on inventions that will support the campaign of the regional government in poverty alleviation.
The gains and strides of science and technology in the fields of science, engineering, mathematics and other technical disciplines, she said, will let the people understand its vital role in improving the people’s quality of life, protecting the environment, and contributing to national development including poverty reduction.
During the opening program, Secretary Mangkabung and Chancellor Atty. Lorenzo Reyes of the Mindanao State University (MSU) of Tawi-Tawi signed a memorandum of agreement for the establishment of a food innovation center.
Sec. Mangkabung said the innovation center, located at MSU Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography, is a facility aimed at producing value-added agricultural and fishery food products by becoming the hub for innovation and technical support services for food processing industry in the Armm.
“Scientific concept and ideas, invention, phototyping and patenting must be supported to encourage a generation of new knowledge and discoveries. Research, development, and extension programs must be enhanced and afforded by all our researchers and end-users,” she concluded.