Balik Scientists Presented in NSTW Mindanao

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña (fourth from left) gives some important announcements during the press conference for the 2018 NSTW-Mindanao. With him are (L-R:) Dr. Martin A. Wee (Director, DOST-X); Dr. Alfonso P. Alamban (Director, DOST-X); Dr. Anthony C. Sales (Director, DOST-XI); Dr. Zenaida P. Hadji Raof-Laidan (Director, DOST-XII); Dr. Dominga D. Mallonga (Director, DOST-Caraga); Ms. Myra B. Mangkabung (Regional Secretary, DOST-ARMM); and Richard P. Burgos (Director, DOST–STII).

The Department of Science and Technology recently presented returning scientists from various fields of expertise who are involved with local universities under the Balik Scientist program.

Recognized in the event were the following:

Dr. Jonel P. Saludes who came back from Washington State University to assist in enhancing the research program of University of San Agustin, particularly on soil-derived antibiotics against the so-called “flesh-eating bacteria” and other multidrug-resistant bacteria.

Dr. Louie Mar A. Gangcuangco who returned from his research coordinator post at University of Hawaii in the US to collaborate with University of the Philippines Manila – Philippine General Hospital on determining the neurological implications of HIV.

Dr. Gerard F. Dumancas who was an assistant professor at the Louisiana State University Alexandria in the US before returning to collaborate with University of San Agustin City and Saint Paul University on molecular genetics and chemometrics, particularly on predictive statistical modeling for determining the authenticity of honey.

Dr. Eli Christopher I. Enobio who, after finishing his doctorate degree and post-doctoral fellowship at Tohoku University in Japan, came back as a full-time professor at Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology to teach the young bakwit (people displaced by the Marawi siege) from Marawi City who are DOST scholars.

Dr. Hernando P. Bacosa, a graduate of Mindanao State University Marawi, who had a brief stint at the Philippine Textile Research Institute before securing a research associate post at Texas A&M University Galveston. He eventually returned to work on marine pollution and bioremediation research at Western Philippines University.

Dr. Arnold A. Lubguban who is now a full-time professor at Mindanao State University–Iligan Institute of Technology, working on lignocellulosic biomass extracts derived from rice straws and pineapple leaves for recycling into insulative polyurethane foams. He is currently working with another Balik Scientist, Dr. Arnold C. Alguno, who is now a professor at the same university after his research fellowship at Tohoku University in Japan.

Dr. Raymond Francis I. Sarmiento who returned to his Alma Mater, University of the Philippines Manila, to serve as director of the National Telehealth Center. He was able to implement a health system interoperability middleware that connects DOST-PCHRD’s RxBox flagship project with the electronic medical records systems of UP Manila and the Department of Health.

Sec. Fortunato T. de la Peña (DOST Secretary, second from the left) speaks to DOST officials, guests from the House of Representatives, Balik Scientists, and media personnel to promote the Mindanao NSTW celebration on 06-08 Jul 2018 at SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang, Davao City.

The Balik Scientists were presented during the press conference of the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) that opened at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang, Davao City on 06 July 2018.

Secretary de la Peña also recognized key officials of the House of Representatives who were responsible for the successful institutionalization of the Balik Scientist initiative, namely: Rep. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, chair of the House Committee on Appropriations; Rep. John Marvin C. Nieto, member of the House Committee on Science and Technology; and Rep. Christopher V.P. de Venecia, co-author of the Balik Scientist Act and technical working group chair of the Philippine Space Bill.

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