Thanks to the GMA Evening News yesterday, my eyeballs popped at the speedy glance of this 10-second news bitz. I did not time it of course; but it was as rapid as that for this miraculous vegetable that could significantly solve our massive malnutrition problem. The First Malunggay Congress was actually part of the weeklong National Biotechnology Week declared for every last week of November. The Congress was held last Monday in UP Diliman. Co- chaired by the Department of Science and Technology, the National activity runs from Nov. 23-29 at the Institute for Small Scale industries.
Here’s a bit of news on the current trend in our R&D according to the DoST:
“DoST has given priority to biotechnology as a major area for grants and financial aid. According to DoST Secretary Estrella Alabastro, bulk of the R&D efforts goes to agriculture and health, with a small portion going to energy and industry, like bioremediation.
Agriculture remains on top of DoST’s list, she added.
“Biotech really started with agriculture right? Of course, it’s agriculture. What are we supporting right now? We have work on fruits, high-value fruits like papaya and mango, coconut of course. We are also doing work on the fibers like the abaca. It’s very important to us. We are also working on bananas. We have priority crops like sweet potato because this is a crop that is very prone to certain diseases, and it is a major crop in Central Luzon. So our farmers in Central Luzon are looking at varieties that are resistant to certain diseases,” Alabastro revealed.
Also high in the list of DoST’s priorities is work on discovering compounds, enzymes and other substances for the manufacture of medicines and detection kits for infectious diseases.”
In all of my research papers, I try to consistently argue that religion and science can complement each other in our search for truth, with ethics as the bridge. For all our long religious history, it’s time to catch up with the rest of the world by befriending science and the necessary innovative attitude.
I did well in my chemistry in college and at one point, I ventured into rice fertilizer making and mushroom growing with my father. The entrepreneurial side of it happens to be where I need to be schooled at. But go Philippines! Let’s go scientific!
Photo credit: oscarmachaconjr