A Shabby attitude towards S & T
Last month’s observance of Science and Technology drew varied reactions among who attended the opening of the Visayas S & T Fair last September 24th at the Tacloban Astrodome! While the DOST Regional Office 8 men and women rolled up their sleeves and labored hard to host this year’s Visayas Regional S & T celebration, the usual ‘cold’ shoulders of the region’s LGU (Provincial, City, Municipal heads) was prominently observed! What a way of showing to our fellow Bisayans from Regions 6 and 7, who brought their S & T wares, tarpaulin printed posters of project results, products exhibited, including their own technical men and women, inside the Tacloban Astrodome, only to be greeted with “no-shows” by the Eastern Visayas LGU Heads!
A check with the personalities listed in the Opening Program, including those in attendance, reveal that ONLY “back-ups” appeared. Where were the 6 provincial governors of Northern-, Eastern-, and Western Samar, Biliran, Leyte, and Southern Leyte; 7 city mayors of Calbayog, Catbalogan, Borongan, Tacloban, Ormoc, Baybay, and Maasin; and, the many municipal mayors? Is there a better word to describe the SHABBY treatment of the S & T event by the political stooges.
Well, this writer had a chance to ask randomly some persons in attendance, but lo and behold, those asked had more or less identical comments about the physical absence of the so-called fathers/mothers of the LGUs in Region 8 – “Well, is’nt it true that SCIENCE is only in papers in Eastern Visayas”! “Who Cares”?, they chorused.
The life of this modest writer revolves around science and technology, and feels saddened with the shabby attitude towards S & T shown by our supposed leaders in Region 8. Like the legendary Pied Piper, these LGU officials could have led students, young constituents to attend the program, listened to experts cum resource speakers talk about issues only science-oriented persons could handle with authority, and view products of research exhibited inside the Dome. And, this writer do care very much about the sad state of science in the region. In his modest little way, it has been his advocacy to contribute and nourish science culture in the region, in words and in deeds. Without fanfare, he can talk heads up about the rich seaweed resources of the region following his studies/researches in Biliran Province (thanks to the funding assistance of UNESCO-Philippines), and most recently about the potentials of seaweeds of NE Leyte Island (funded by the National Research Council of the Philippines-DOST).
Of course, the Trimedia people of the region, mostly in Tacloban City, should be commended for their timely invitation of three (3) resource persons at its weekly forum “Express It At the Park”, last September 19th, headed by its chairman Mr. Massey Grafil, publisher of the only weekly regional newspaper, the Leyte Samar Daily Express. The forum was specially held to coincide with the S & T month celebration in the Visayas, spearheaded by DOST 8 Regional Director, Engr. Edgardo M. Esperancilla and supported by his staff. The Forum at the Leyte Park Hotel, was followed by yet another media activity – a Teleradyo Program of DYVL-IBC 6, hosted by Ms. Rollie Montilla and Louie Quebec. This writer was the lone resource person at last 24th September 2012 airing of the program. A practicing marine biologist, he had his chance to share data on the seaweed resources of Biliran and NW Leyte Island. He was emphatic in telling his fellow east bisayans, through the program, about the rich seaweed vegetation of the region – not just the popularly known green ‘Lato’ or the reds ‘Guso’, ‘Gulaman’, and ‘Gulaman-dagat’! Incidentally, all LGU heads NW towns covered by the NRCP-DOST funded project will be given each a copy of the project Terminal Report for their information and guidance on the protein-rich seaweed resource growing along their shorelines and awaiting to be tapped.
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By: Dr. Paciente Cordero, Jr.
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