The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) celebrated this year’s National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) last 23-27 July 2013 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. Dubbed as Expo-Science 2013, the five-day event carried the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation: The Road to a Smarter Philippines”.

The South Luzon Cluster comprised of DOST III, DOST-NCR, DOST-CALABARZON, DOST-MIMAROPA and DOST V celebrated the Science and Technology Fair on 12-14 September 2013 at the Sky Ranch Activity Tent, Tagaytay City, Cavite. This three-day event carried the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation: Drivers of Change to a Smarter South Luzon”. It featured exhibits, fora, S&T competitions, among others.

Hon. Agnes D. Tolentino, City Mayor, Tagaytay City, Hon. Juanito Victor C. Remulla Jr., Governor, Cavite represented by Engr. Efren Nazareno, Hon. Arlene B. Arcillas, City Mayor, Santa Rosa City, Mr. Eduardo R. Nicolas, Vice President for South Luzon Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Carol M. Yorobe, DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations, Dir. Teresita O. Fortuna, Dr. Ma. Josefina P. Abilay, Dr. Victor Mariano, Dr. Alexander Madrigal, Dir. Tomas B. Bri?as, Engr. Rowen R. Gelonga, Regional Directors of DOST NCR, IV-A, III, IV-B, V, VI graced the opening ceremonies.

Mayor Tolentino gave the welcome remarks and commended DOST for spearheading this S&T Fair. Mayor Arcillas also shared how Santa Rosa City introduced and initiated innovations in their programs instrumental for the city’s current status as a driver of change in South Luzon area. Meanwhile, in her message, Usec. Yorobe underscored the importance of science, technology and innovation particularly in developing and emerging communities in the countryside.

Two fora also served as highlights of this year’s celebration. DOST V led the conduct of Technology Forum dubbed as “Negosyo’y Aasenso sa Teknolohiyang Epektibo”. Technologies featured include the following: 1) Metals Industry Research and Development Center’s Drying Machine for Food Preservation; 2) UPLB-Biotech’s Microbial Rennet of UPLB-Biotech, 3) Industrial Technology Development Institute’s Guyabano Natural Health Supplement ; 4) Forest Products Research and Development Institute’s Manila Elemi: Potential Dollar and Bamboo Flattening Machines/Engineered Bamboo.

Another forum, Usapang SETUP “Negosyo mo, Kabuhayan ko: SETUP Supply Chain Forum” provided a venue for farmers, consolidators and processors engaged in uraro, dairy products, malunggay and banana chips to have interactive and fruitful discussions on how to address the supply-demand gaps along these selected products.

DOST V - SETUP assisted firms like Cozytops Marigsip Flakes, Malunggay One-Shot, Malunggay Juice, Wrapsody and Ghie’s Shellcrafts formed part of the exhibit display at the Regional Center booth.

S& T competitions such as SLC Mobile Application Competition for Tertiary Level and ICT - Based Quiz for Secondary and Tertiary Levels generated positive reviews from the viewing public and contestants. Winners for the Mobile Competition are as follows: 1st place – Emergency Rescue Navigation Application (ERNA) (Mr. John Mckein F. Tayag and Ms. Karen Patricia V. Tomas); 2nd place – notiPHy (Mr. Adrian Mikko Asis and Ms. Danielle Padilla) and 3rd place – Filipino Swiss Knife (Mr. Jay Mark Balmes and Ms. Jhandell Balmes).

On the other hand, winners for the ICT-Based Quiz Secondary Level are: 1st place – De La Salle University Integrated School; 2nd place – Batangas State University and 3rd place – Laguna College; – Integrated School. List of winner for the tertiary level include: 1st place – Manuel S. Enverga University Foundation, 2) Southern Luzon State University – Integrated School and 3rd place – Cavite State University.

This year’s celebration was attended by a total of two thousand one hundred and ninety one (2,191) composed of students, researchers, young professionals, entrepreneurs, inventors, representatives from national government agencies, local government units, non-government organization and the private sector in the South Luzon Area. Indeed it proves that Science, Technology and Innovation are the drivers of change to a Smarter Southern Luzon. (F.B.Bajamundi/D.A. Pe?a, Jr.)