Postscript to the Visayas S & T celebration
Over-all, the Visayas S & T Celebration successfully hosted by DOST 8 from September 24-29, 2012, attained its aim in showcasing the products of R & D in the three (3) Visayan Regions at the Tacloban Astrodome. With the quality of exhibits, one could easily surmise which among Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas has science culture most deeply rooted and ably nurtured?
If the yardstick for Eastern Visayas is how seriously the LGUs have sustainably extended their helping hands to the DOST 8 and the PSTC 8 S & T programs for the region, this writer believes that EV lags behind its neighboring WV and CV regions! Again, just how many of the EV- LGU officers exerted efforts to poke their noses inside the Dome filled with products of Research and Development undertakings and other related activities? It was a very disappointing scenario, to be blunt about it!
Of course, the EV – LGUs were not the only ‘must’ personalities missing in the S & T Fair, because the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, who traces his roots to Palo-Tacloban, was a ‘no-show’, too! He could be a rallying point to the growth of science in the region. Although, to compensate for his inability to attend the S & T celebration right in his very region of origin, he dispatched two (2) of his Usecs, a number of Sectoral Council Heads complimented by few Regional Directors, who filled the main seats inside the Dome during the opening day.
Indeed, in Eastern Visayas, there is need to pool together efforts and resources to show that science is alive in the region, and that LGU officials, academe, industry, NGOs accept the truth that “RESEARCH MAKES A DIFFERENCE” and that R & D hold the key to the economic development and enhance global competitiveness. To repeat what this writer has been mouthing – Eastern Visayas is not only composed of many poor provinces and towns, bu also of leaders who trod along wrong directions during their governance. The region’s wide marine ecosystem is pregnant with biodiverse species of plants and animals, very rich in protein, but very poor in cholesterol (seaweeds/sea vegetables, specially)! These lowly aquatic plants “die of old age”, awaiting to be tapped for their varied utilizations.
If only to dramatize the ‘indifference’ or is it the peoples (Bisayans) ignorance of what this writer has been saying as “Seaweed Power”, there was a noticeable ‘absence’ or was it an anemic show of products of research on seaweeds exhibited during the Visayas S & T Fair!
Hopefully, though, that when Eastern Visayas once again play host to the same event three years from now, this writer’s team of researchers will be ready to show their wares on the varied uses of seaweeds found in the region! Until then, let’s keep our fingers crossed and expect to get a taste of Seaweed Power later!
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By: Dr. Paciente Cordero, Jr.
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