‘Smarter Philippines’ DOST’s new programBy Dona Z. Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Science Secretary Mario Montejo has a new catchphrase for the various information and communications technology-driven, Filipino-developed technological innovations that his department has initiated and will initiate in the next five years.
“The ‘Smarter Philippines’ program is the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) trademark for the next five years,” Montejo said in his first news conference for the year.
“It is anchored tightly on the DOST’s goal of using S&T (science and technology) to improve the quality and productivity of every Filipino’s life,” he said.
He said Smarter Philippines is the umbrella program that will encompass the DOST’s S&T initiatives on various fronts such as disaster mitigation, governance, health care, agriculture and transportation.
The DOST will formally launch the program on Wednesday in Davao City to showcase some of its ongoing projects.
These are: Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) disaster warning system and its biggest component, the Disaster Risk Exposure and Assessment for Mitigation-Light Detection and Ranging (Dream-Lidar) flood forecasting system; the Integrated Government Philippine (iGovPhil) project, which was rolled out in June and which seeks to integrate and interconnect the government’s ICT systems; Smarter Farms; and Smarter Healthcare.
Montejo stressed that all the innovations were developed by Filipino experts.
“We will brandish world-class products and processes that are conceptualized by local talents and experts and developed using local technologies,” he said.
Montejo also cited the DOST’s most recent innovations, namely, the P350-million state-of-the-art Advanced Device and Materials Testing Laboratory (Admatel) for the semiconductor and electronics industries and the Automated Guideway Transit that is currently being tested as an alternative mass transportation system.
In the pipeline, Montejo said, are the dengue diagnostic kit, dengue early warning system, drugs made from local herbs and the RxBox that will connect health professionals in the countryside.
In agriculture, he said the DOST and the Department of Agriculture were designing farm implements for more effective farming.