The Economic Development Committee of the Regional Development Council VI conducted its 3rd Quarter Meeting via Zoom on 9 September 2021. The discussions during the meeting focused on the theme “Advancing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI): Growing Industries Amidst the Global Pandemic”.

Director Rowen R. Gelonga of DOST VI shared the updates on DOST Strategic Plan 2017-2022, 11-Point Agenda, landmark programs, the Regional Research and Development (R&D) landscape, R&D Consortia and Networks, R&D outputs of the Region, enabling and pending STI legislative bills and laws. It was emphasized that there is a need to strengthen the dissemination of R&D outputs to stakeholders. The committee also invited STI practitioners to share about their experiences. Ms. Noreen Marian C. Bautista, Co-founder, Chief Igniter of SlashIgnite, shared about STI, the youth and startups in the region. Mr. Heinz Z. Militar, Chief Technical Officer of TakeOut.ph talked about his experience as one of the “Digipreneurs” in Aklan who helped MSMEs go digital. Mr. Paul Felipe S. Cruz of Herbanext Laboratories, Inc., on the other hand, shared about STI advancement in the development of science-based health and wellness products from Philippine medicinal plants.

EDC Chairperson and ILED Executive Director Francis E. Gentoral led the fruitful exchange of experiences and ideas among the members and invited guests which brought to light the hindering factors that needed to be addressed for the region to fully take advantage of developments in STI. Taking this into consideration, the Committee recommended for the Council to endorse the passage of pending STI legislative bills and laws. Among these are: Science for Change (S4CP) Act, Development of Sustainable Cities and Communities Establishing ICT Centers for Excellence in all Regional of the Philippines and the Development of Science and Technology Parks. / rcyap