Checked Out

A Trade Fair for Science

Despite the perception among many that the Philippines suck when it comes to science and technology, the country actually has a thriving, developing environment in the field of science and technology. Not as advanced as in other countries admittedly, but thriving nonetheless. Only that it is not well-publicized partly due to the low-key efforts of the people behind it, not to mention that our media tends to overlook these stories of innovation in favor of politics, entertainment, as well as trivial stuff like trending online videos.

Thankfully, there are events that give focus on this overlooked aspect of our country’s development. One of them is what the Urban Roamer checked out recently, the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) held at the SMX Convention Center.

Organized by the Department of Science and Technology, (DOST) the NSTW aims to highlight the programs and projects spearheaded and/or supported by the DOST in advancing science and technology in the various sectors of our society such as agriculture, education, energy, textile, and transportation.

showing new ways of growing and cultivating plants like coffee
breeding healthier chicks
testing water acidity

showcasing not only the Philippine Standard Time initiative of the DOST, but also this clock that is proudly Philippine made

This year, DOST’s efforts in transportation are in the spotlight as it touts its homegrown innovation, the Hybrid Electric Road Train. It is a five-car configured bus that runs on electric power. This technology comes at an opportune time as issues in the current mass transportation system hound especially Metro Manila and that there are efforts to put in place the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as a mode of transportation in some parts of the country.

The DOST has stated that there have been some parties that have expressed interest in this technology. It is hoped we not only get to see these vehicles on our roads soon, but also that they would help alleviate the worsening traffic situation as well.

scale model of an envisioned stop of the Hybrid Electric Road Train

Another point of focus in this year’s NSTW is disaster preparedness, especially the preparations for the possible strong earthquake that will affect Metro Manila and surrounding areas. With the metropolis abuzz with the forthcoming metrowide earthquake drill that is coming up, the DOST through its agency the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, (PHIVOLCS) had an interactive exhibit on earthquakes and disaster preparedness.

simulating an earthquake
simulating a tsunami

Also participating in the event are other government agencies, educational, and private institutions who support the development of science and technology in the country, some showing off their own innovations.

bamboo studies
satellite developed by students of UP Diliman
Mind Museum folks showing off a replica of a dinosaur bone

The event was an opportunity for many Filipinos to see that there is progress happening and the DOST is helping making it possible. With all the flak the government has been getting, the DOST is one government agency that should be given credit and support for doing its job without fanfare. My congratulations to the people of the department for this event and making science and technology accessible to all.

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