THE huge success of the Publishers Association of the Philippines Inc. (PAPI) 27th National Press Congress held in Fort Ilocandia Resort Hotel, can be attributed to a good partnership with the Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST) and other organizations.

This was the gist in general, of the speeches of the agency officials and other science experts during the summit in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte last Dec. 11-13.

This year’s theme “Media’s crucial role in encouraging agricultural scientific and technological innovations in Local Government Units” benefit not only the farmers. “In our pursuit of sustainable agriculture, media plays a crucial role that serves as a powerful tool for communicating, educating and motivating local communities not only in agriculture, science and technology but through different information that is accessible and relatable and have the potential to inspire widespread adaption of innovative farming practices,” said Ilocos Norte Vice Gov. Cecilia Araneta Marcos, who represented Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc. She further said that the collaboration between media and science and agriculture offers opportunities for the country’s development.

The DOST has been leading the way in pioneering the advancement that could reform agriculture landscape, she told the audience of PAPI members and DOST officials from all over the country.

On the other hand, PAPI national president, Nelson Santos underscored the huge role of DOST through Secretary Renato U. Solidum, as Press Congress’ keynote speaker. The agency, along with Ilocos Norte provincial government and Laoag City were among PAPI partners in organizing the summit.

Solidum in delivering his video message, said that DOST can’t stand alone in bridging the gaps between the scientists and the grassroots. “These gaps accelerate communication process and transfer technologies …,” he said. The success of DOST endeavors is into the dealings with the academe in the ability to communicate the significance of science and technology   to the Filipino people.

Media people, he said are great allies in DOST advocacies.

Communication as Lifeblood of Progress

Meanwhile, Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang, DOST undersecretary for regional operations, who delivered his speech via Zoom, said “communication and the press play a highly pivotal role in the promotion of science, technology in an era defined by rapid advancements and groundbreaking discoveries, the need for communication cannot be overstated,” adding that the power of the press can propel the society toward a future enriched by science, technology and innovations (STI).

Communication is considered the lifeblood of progress. The press considered as the fourth estate has an immense power to share public opinion, influence policy decisions and foster an information culture, that values and supports scientific development, according to Mabborang.

As communicators, the press can make complex scientific terms more accessible and understandable by the general public, the DOST official added.


PAPI chairman emeritus Johnny Dayang, recalled how the organization was established in 1974 when there was no media organization yet and there were few newspapers. PAPI to this day, after 27 years, continues to struggle to serve the nation “and very active in expanding the frontier of press freedom,” Dayang said. He was a former president or official of PAPI, Manila Overseas Press Club (MOPC)), National Press Club (NPC).

Sen. Robinhood C. Padilla, chairman of the Committee on Public Information and Mass Media, whose video message was played to about 150 Congress guests, cited the importance the media plays in information dissemination. “Ating tandaan ang mahalagang papel ng media sa pamamahayag ng impormasyon at kaalaman ukol sa ating mga programa at proyekto, local man o national na pamahalaan.”

Director general Jose “Joe” Torres of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), talked on the challenges of using artificial Intelligence (AI) in today’s media. “AI has revolutionized news and data gathering through efficient automation, reduction of human error and faster results,” he stressed.

Other speakers in the event were the Hon. Flordeliz Cabanlit-Fargas Trece Martirez Cavite executive judge; Dr. Richard Nixon Gomez, general manager of Bauertek Corporation; Mel Ciriaco of Unigrow Philippines and Dr. Teresita Tabaog, DOST Region 1 director. Everyone discussed matters related to each respective field of expertise.