ERMITA, Manila – Researchers from the health, agriculture, industry, and the academe sectors come together at the 2nd National Research and Development Conference held 15 February 2017 at The Manila Hotel, Ermita, Manila.
The annual activity led by the research councils of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) served as a venue to present their S&T research priorities for the next five years, collectively termed as the Harmonized National Research and Development R&D Agenda 2017-2022.
Plans and programs under DOST Science for Change Program (S4CP) emphasize the importance of collaborative research among stakeholders in the government, industry, and the academe to leverage growth in the Philippine economy. Through S4CP, DOST will focus its research outputs on addressing the country’s issues on inequality, employment, and economic competitiveness. “In fact, in all three areas, reducing inequality, creating opportunities, and expanding potential for (economic) growth are areas where science and technology, research and development can contribute significantly,“ DOST Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña said in his opening message.
DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara also mentioned that the national agenda will promote cohesiveness among research outcomes and ensure that DOST researches are relevant to economic growth.
The National Health S&T Agenda was presented by Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). The S&T agenda was consolidation of health research priorities set by DOST with inputs from health experts and stakeholders from the public and private sectors. Health research priorities include diagnostics for priority diseases, herbal drug discovery and development, functional foods from local species, affordable hospital equipment and biomedical devices, ICT for health policymaking, dengue trends, nutrition and food safety, disaster risk reduction, and health and climate change adaptation.
Current issues, trends, and opportunities in health research were also discussed during the afternoon breakout session. Dr. Montoya also provided an in-depth discussion on PCHRD’s proposal application and evaluation processes. He assured the group of PCHRD support in every step of their research endeavor as long as it is in line with the health S&T agenda.