• DOST focusing on inclusive growth projects

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    The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) announced on Monday that it is focusing on series of “priority projects” for inclusive growth.

    According to Rowena Cristina Guevara, executive director of Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), there are 10 national projects being worked on by the agency that will also involve public-private partnerships (PPP).

    “The PCIEERD is devoted to research and development [R&D] and we take part on the projects . . . If we really want to implement the programs we need the help from PPPs,” she said.

    The projects touch the concerns of different sectors such as transportation, food and innovation, agriculture, education and flooding.

    Guevara mentioned the “road train project” will be ready for transfer to PPPs by 2015 and the Automated Guided Transport Project in that would address railway and transport problems, and the NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) project for rain and flooding-related problems.

    She said that development of the railway projects is “appreciated by the President [Benigno Aquino 3rd].”

    Guevara added that PCIEERD contributes to the R&D of projects and hopes that these projects will soon “be picked up by the private sector.”

    She even cited the agency’s contribution to education with its newly developed English
    proficiency software for Filipinos, where common English-language dilemmas of Filipinos are addressed.

    “In this project, we consulted the IBPAP about it, as they determine that 3 [percent]to 6
    percent Filipinos are speaking in English,” Guevara said, also referring to the involvement of PPP in their R&D.

    IBPAP is the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines.
    The other educational project is the DOST Tablet Computers designed to develop Math, Science and English skills of grade schools. The agency has tested the project in 10 elementary schools at Grade 1 and saw “significant improvement.”

    Other projects include innovative food product development and filth analysis of food and goods; use of biotechnology, nanotechnology and genomics; and flood-related programs: flood modeling and the Doppler Radar Upgrading Program.

    Guevara noted that PCIEERD has a budget of P395 million for this year, which is a drop from last year’s P600 million. Given its ongoing projects, the agency is proposing a P700-million budget for next year.

    “[For budget of] most of the projects, the budget comes from the central DOST or private sectors interested in the program,” Guevara said.

    Kristyn Nika M. Lazo

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