THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region XII celebrated for three days from Sept. 13, the 2023 Regional Science, Technology, and Innovation Week (RSTW), with the theme “Siyensya, Teknolohiya at Inobasyon: Kabalikat sa Matatag, Maginhawa at Panatag na Kinabukasan.”

The three-day celebration aimed to highlight the significant contributions of science and technology to national and regional development and become a platform for heralding S&T advocacy in the country. It is also an avenue to promote the four (4) pillars of the agency:  STI for Wealth Creation, STI for Wealth Protection, STI for Sustainability and STI for Human Wellbeing.

The event featured a variety of activities, including exhibits showcasing DOST-developed technologies, a series of technology forums on the economic potential of the region, scientific innovations and panel discussions on current and future trends in science and technology.

During the opening ceremony, Sultan Kudarat Governor Hon. Datu Pax Ali S. Mangudadatu represented by BM Soriel S. Lib-atin, welcomed the attendees and guests from different local government units (LGUs) in SOCCSKSARGEN, including the science major students and the DOST partner stakeholders.

DOST XII Regional Director Engr. Sammy P. Malawan challenged all the stakeholders and participants to be part of the journey in advancing STI in Region XII.

In his message, he said that there is a need to work together, transcend regional boundaries and harness the boundless potential of collaboration for Smart and Sustainability development.

To support this goal, DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr., represented by DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations, Engr. Sancho A. Mabborang delivered his keynote message and commended the host region for ensuring that STI assistance and services are accessible to the people of Region 12. “We at DOST aim to continue striving as catalysts for innovative and transformative solutions through science and technology towards the fulfillment of the Philippine Development Plan and the AmBisyon Natin 2040,” Mabborang stressed.

“Under the committed and effective leadership of our DOST Secretary, Dr. Renato U. Solidum Jr., the conduct of RSTW aims not only to showcase the various STI-based discoveries through exhibits and fora but also to highlight our synergy as OneDOST for the people,” Mabborang explained. “We are committed to serving and becoming advocates of advanced scientific solutions in marching towards a “matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay para sa lahat,” he added.

Along with various activities, the 2023 RSTW in SOCCSKSARGEN also provided a platform for industry leaders, innovators, policymakers, and students to discuss and address the challenges and opportunities in the science and technology sector.

Cutting-edge exhibits showcased the latest breakthroughs in science and technology by the DOST-attached agencies, such as DOST-ITDI, DOST-MIRDC, DOST-PTRI, DOST-ASTI, DOST-PHIVOLCS, DOST-PAGASA, DOST-PCHRD, and DOST-STII, among others.

Topics in the dialogues were industry 4.0, market-driven R&D and technology transfer and the achievements of scientists and professionals. (Nelson Santos/Dave Masirag)