(Secretary Fortunato dela Peña of the Department of Science and Technology hands to Mayor Francis Garcia check of more than one million pesos as share in the P2M-fund for the construction of a science high school in Balanga City. Photo by Ernie Esconde)
BALANGA CITY — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Tuesday opened here the celebration of Central Luzon’s National Science and Technology Week for this year.
DOST Sec. Fortunato dela Pena, a native of Bataan, led the celebration with the theme “Science for the People: Enabling Technologies for Sustainable Development.”
The secretary and Mayor Francis Garcia cut the ceremonial ribbon at the Vista Mall in Balanga City that signaled the start of the three-day activity and technology exhibits from Bataan, Pampanga, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Tarlac and Aurora.
Sen. Cynthia Villar was the guest of honor but was not able to come because of bad weather. Bataan Vice-Gov. Crisanta Garcia read the senator’s speech.
Villar commended DOST for the existing programs the agency has in place already such as the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology program that the senator said has been contributing to poverty alleviation in the countryside.
The current chair of the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Food and Environment and Natural Resources said research and development and biodiversity programs are very important in agriculture, aquatic and natural resources sectors.
“I have always been a firm believer in the importance of research and development as well as technology and innovations in key industries and endeavors in both the private and the public sector that ultimately lead to sustainable growth and development of our country,” Villar said.
Dela Pena said public buildings and bridges should be ready in case of earthquake. “Kapag naapektuhan ang tulay, mapuputol ang flow ng lahat ng bagay. Mahalaga na ang tulay ay namomonitor kaya ang Department of Public Works and Highways at DOST ay pinondohan ang pagdedevelop ng earthquake monitoring instrument.”
The secretary said Mapua University in Manila is preparing the instrument that will be launched in September. He said he was happy that other agencies of government are partnering with DOST and contributing research money.
He cited the importance of technology that will aid businessmen being prepared by various schools in the country that DOST is continuously promoting: “Pipilitin nating pakinabangan ito ng ating mga kababayan kahit negosyante o ordinaryong mamamayan man.”
He said that even if DOST supports thousands of scholars, it will mean nothing if there are not enough opportunities for them in the country: “Baka mag-abroad lamang sila. Kailangan ang tayo’y magkaroon ng mga kumpanya na nangangailangan ng tao na may training sa technology, engineering at science kaya ang attractiveness natin for investments ay napakahalaga.”
He handed to Mayor Garcia check of over P1 million to complete the P2.13 million fund for the construction of a science high school in Balanga City with the local government unit sharing in P885,340 and the Department of Education P132,400.