Marinduque governor pitches research-based development projects

As lawmakers are citing research-based policy development, the Department of Science and Technology – National Research Council of the Philippines underscored the need for more researchers.

“Decision-making should be based on evidence,” said Presbitero J. Velasco, Governor of Marinduque province.

He said this during the Basic Research Caravan 2020, wherein he presented “Evidenced-based policy making in the province of Marinduque,” a webinar attended by over 120 participants and jointly organized by the DOST-NRCP and DOST Region IV-B (DOST IV-B).

Velasco discussed their proposed project in Marinduque to entice tourists during the Moriones celebration, supposedly this year. However, it will instead be implemented in 2021, when people’s movement is no longer constrained by the pandemic.

Based on previous tourism data on the influx of visitors during Moriones celebration, Velasco’s team estimated a hundred thousand visitors and a revenue of P250 million for one week’s celebration. As a former part of the judiciary, review of evidence has always been a part of Velasco’s job.

Marieta B. Sumagaysay, Director of DOST-NRCP said that more researchers are needed, especially now that the law makers are requesting for research studies as basis for their policy development.

Marieta B. Sumagaysay, Director of the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) of the DOST (Photos from DOST Website)

DOST-NRCP said that some of the ongoing basic research requested by the lawmakers have to do with the following: Biodiversity inventory, assessment, and conservation for ecotourism development; Study on the Utilization of Marang fruit, and assessment of fruit production in Mindanao; Looming water crisis in the Philippines; and Socioeconomic and political study to support public policy towards transforming the municipality of Ubay, Bohol into a science city.

The DOST-NRCP has 4,840 research members scattered nationwide. However, only a very small portion, 31 research members or 0.6 percent of these researchers are from MIMAROPA.

Region IV-A, however, has 15.6 percent research members registered with DOST-NRCP. Region XII and BARMM, like Region IV-B also have low number of research membership that is why the Council strongly encourage researchers from these areas to become members.

Velasco is aware of the environmental situation in the Marcopper area in Marinduque and while there is a great tourism potential for areas surrounding it, he emphasized that the safety of the people in the area is their top priority. The government of Marinduque is currently looking for solutions to their electrical and water situation, since those are the basic things needed for their tourism industry to flourish.

Velasco requested DOST-NRCP to guide them in the development not only of the Marcopper area but other areas as well. Sumagaysay and Ma.Josefina P. Abilay, Director of DOST-MIMAROPA, assured the governor that they can count on their support when it comes to R&D of the province.

“NRCP’s Research membership is free. We don’t collect fees and all they have to do is visit our website, check out the requirements and submit for evaluation,” Sumagaysay said.

The DOST-NRCP’s Basic Research caravan is a part of the DOST’s 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration. The public is invited to the NSTW which will run on a virtual platform from November 23 to 27, 2020.

This story was first published on Manila Bulletin

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