Mr. Jono Horvidalla presented Ocean Plastic, Not Fantastic! Threats of Microplastics to Philippine Treasure
Ms. Minda S. Odsey presented The PlantKita: Financial Potential with Ornamental Bamboos
Ms. Janine C. Baguhin presented Tissue Culture of Gugo, Why Not?

The 6th National Research and Development Conference (NRDC) featured programs and technologies in support of the government’s efforts for recovery against the pandemic that was supported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau in a virtual event on November 10 and 17, 2021.

This year’s theme “Pananaliksik at Pagpapaunlad: Daan Tungo sa Pagbangon (Road to Recovery Through R&D) featured projects/program/technologies which continue to the 4Ks: Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan at Kinabukasan.

The virtual conference served as the venue to the research councils of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to present their S&T research priorities from 2022-2028, aligned to the priorities identified in the Harmonized National R&D Agenda that will be useful or benefit the society and/or contribute to economic development.

The first leg of the 6th NRDC featured “Kalusugan” and “Kabuhayan” interventions against COVID-19.

Some programs and technologies were highlighted such as the progress of SIBOL program as an effective COVID-19 response, updates in the studies of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) as adjutants against COVID-19, and other locally developed technologies that address COVID-19.

Further, programs and projects of governments on helping industries recover amidst pandemics were also presented.

ERDB researchers, Ms. Minda S. Odsey and Ms. Janine C. Baguhin presented technologies that showcased sustainable livelihood. “The PlantKita: Financial Potential with Ornamental Bamboos” by Ms. Odsey aimed to explore the potential of ornamental bamboos in rehabilitating denuded and degraded watershed areas and increasing stakeholders’ income through green livelihood.

While Ms. Baguhin discussed tissue culture of endangered, threatened, rare and economically important plant species specifically Gugo.

The culture establishment of Gugo will serve as a sustainable source of planting materials/products and create more job opportunities for the Filipinos.

Innovation breakthroughs that would help the country achieve its “Kaayusan” and “Kinabukasan” were unveiled during the second leg of the 6th NRDC.

It highlights the government’s efforts on law-and-order and on providing basic education amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Mr. Jon Alfonso “Jono” Horvidalla tackled the current state of microplastic pollution in the different marine waters of the country. This poses a threat to the marine resources of the Philippines as microplastics were already present on protected areas, fishing grounds and tourist areas.

DOST Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara said, “Our hopes for a robust economy, a strong health system and improved quality of life for every Filipino is made possible through the outputs of R&D. The works of our science community in consonance with the goals of the Harmonized National Research & Development Agenda (HNRDA) for 2022-2028 are presented to the public with the hope that everyone will realize the value of R&D in socioeconomic development.”

Moreover, Filipino researchers’ efforts thriving amid the challenges in performing their duties were commended and encouraged to work hand-in-hand towards a better and safer future through R&D.

The NRDC is spearheaded by DOST in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Yessa G. Escarez, TTD