A former professor of statistics and agricultural engineering at the Romblon State University was adjudged as the best provincial science and technology (S&T) director of the entire Department of
Science and Technology (DOST) system during the Outstanding Provincial S&T Director awarding ceremony at the DOST Executive Lounge in Bicutan, Taguig City recently.
Dr. Bilshan Servañez of Region IV-B Romblon, who has been in government service for 22 years, bested three other finalists to garner the esteemed award. Engr. Mario de la Peña of Region VII Siquijor grabbed first place, while Felina Malabanan of Region IV-A Batangas and Angelita Parungao of Region III Bulacan, took runner-up positions in the annual awarding rites.
“This is important for me,” says Dr. Servañez of the recognition. “This is actually an affirmation of the decision that I made.”
Twenty-two years ago, he made the shift from the academe to industry, choosing to work at the DOST office in Romblon. “I took up engineering and wanted to become a scientist,” he narrates. Thus, he jumped ship and moved to the Department for the chance to apply to actual use the things he learned in engineering school. From that time on, Dr. Servañez never looked back.
“We are a province with a backwater economy so we only have small industries there. The only huge industry we have is the marble industry,” he shares, “but what we lack in size, we make up in number.”
According to him, the Romblon office is presently handling about 62 SETUP projects in Romblon. Citing the distant location of the market in their area and the problems involved such as transportation costs, Dr. Servañez stated that as a solution, DOST cultivates the local market for these SETUP products which they produce at top level quality.
However, he added that some of the products do end up in the bigger market, such as peanut butter which they sell to a locator in Shoe Mart. “The next time you eat pancakes or waffles with peanut butter, think Romblon,” he says.
“We also bring our marble to the province. We have several contributions to the marble industry—cutting machine, turning machines, polishing machines, lathe machines—we deploy all these to the marble sector,” Dr. Servanez proudly states.
He also mentioned their linkages, explaining that he submits proposals to other agencies as well, such as the Department of Labor and Employment.
All these factors, Dr. Servañez believes, are what make them tick, thus making his big win as Most Outstanding Provincial S&T Director of the year possible.
DOST’s top four provincial S&T directors received citations and cash prizes.