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DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara with Rd Leaders, S4CP Secretariat, and DOST Regional Directors during the DOST-S4CP Visayas cluster in Bacolod City.

The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), the implementing agency of the Research and Development Leadership (RDLead) program, showcased 3 of its engagements in the Visayas leg of the Science for Change Summit last May 5, 2022, at Seda Hotel, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

The RDLead engagements featured were the following: Northern Iloilo State University (NISU), formerly Northern Iloilo State Polytechnic College (NIPSC) with RD Leader – Dr. Gerald F. Quinitio; Bohol Island State University (BISU) with RD Leader – Dr. Esperanza Maribel G. Agoo; and Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) with RD Leader – Dr. Argel A. Bandala. The program segment featuring the RDLead engagements started off with the technical video presentation of the engagements done by the RD Leaders. This was then followed by a brief live presentation of the beneficiary via a representative from the host institution. The beneficiaries discussed how the RDLead engagement paved the way for notable breakthroughs in their institution.

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DOST-NRCP Executive Director Marieta Bañez Sumagsaysay, DOST Region VII Assistant Regional Director Marilyn O. Radam, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, DOST VI Regional Director Rowen R. Gelonga.

NISU – from a state college to university

Dr. Rosario Noderama, former NIPSC’s research director, presented the RDLead-NIPSC engagement. She oversaw the engagement from start to finish and saw how it helped open opportunities for the then state college – NIPSC. She highlighted how NISU’s personnel had a change of mindset towards research, under the guidance of Dr. Quinitio as its RD Leader. She discussed how they have always been reliant on internal funding for research given that they did not know how to write proposals for external funding.

Their efforts finally paid off as NISU now has 2 externally approved research project grants amounting to PhP 4.4 million. One was supported by the DOST – PCAARRD (PhP 1.9M) and the other one from the DOST Region 6 (PhP 2.5M). Another notable highlight her presentation was how membership to the NRCP was encouraged and accomplished. NISU had no NRCP member prior to the engagement. During the engagement, 20 of its faculty were approved as members. After the engagement, growth continued with 3 approved members and 15 more awaiting approval.

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Dr. Rosario Noderama presenting the output and development after Dr. Gerald Quinitio assisted their institution

Following these breakthroughs is the main highlight of Dr. Noderama’s presentation – the recent conversion of NIPSC to NISU. She expressed her gratitude for the RDLead engagement and highlighted how the outputs and activities of the engagement were contributory to the elevation of the NIPSC into a university from a state college. She pointed out they accounted for all the outputs and the accomplishments they’ve had and submitted them for consideration in the evaluation process for university hood.

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Dr. Jesrelljane Amper presented the improvement of their research endeavor after their engagement with Dr. Experanza Agoo. 

BISU – from hardly any to notably many

Dr. Jesrelljane Amper, Dean of the College of Fisheries and Marine Science of BISU Candijay Campus did the live presentation of the RDLead-BISU engagement. She emphasized the notable jump in the number of proposals developed by BISU’s faculty researchers. From the usual 1 – 3 per year submitted proposals, BISU managed to submit 6 full-blown proposals to various DOST funding agencies in the first 6 months of the engagement. She supported this further by mentioning that all BISU campuses were involved in the development of the 6 proposals, with around 30 personnel taking part. This was a stark contrast from the few faculty members generating proposals for submission prior to their RDLead engagement with Dr. Agoo.

While she recognized that the proposals are still up for evaluation and may be approved or disapproved, she stressed that submitted 6 full-blown proposals within the last 6 months is already a big leap forward for the whole BISU community. She further went on to say that it was the first time that all the BISU campuses got to seriously talk about research collaboration resulting in all 7 campuses being involved.

In recapping her discussion, Dr. Amper underscored BISU management’s response to one of the recommendations provided by Dr. Agoo based on her institutional research readiness assessment – hiring of additional personnel to coordinate all externally funded research projects. She believes that this will help create a more encouraging environment for BISU researchers to continue with their efforts to develop and submit proposals leading to more funding opportunities.

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Engr. Roxcela T. Reas, deliver her testimonials before and after their engagement with Dr. Argel Bandala

EVSU – from a simple idea to social impact

Engr. Roxcela T. Reas, Research Faculty of EVSU presented their engagement milestones. She started out by explaining how EVSU college of engineering hardly had anyone involved in doing research prior to their engagement with their RD Leader, Dr. Bandala. She narrated how the lack of knowledge on making proposals and funding opportunities led to the research inactivity of EVSU engineering faculty. This changed when the RDLead engagement began in 2020, which led to research interest among the faculty of the college.


She presented the 50% increase in the number of research involved in EVSU from around 40 faculty members to around 60 as of October 2021. This was achieved in one year since the engagement began in November 2020. She also noted the 5-fold increase in the number of research proposal presented to EVSU research development and extension office (RDE) from 20 in October 2020 to 100 as of October 2021.

Another evidence of EVSU’s newfound confidence is the multiple recognition that some engineering faculty have received from presenting their papers in various conferences and fora. In capping her discussion, she reported the PhP 21M grant committed by the Leyte Provincial Government for the deployment of the Integrated Green Box (IGB) in 6 municipalities. The development of the IGB was also one of the projects that Dr. Bandala was able to help in by rendering his expertise in the set up and planning during his first engagement visit back in November of 2020.

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development personally congratulated the three presenters from the RDLead host institutions in Visayas as they got off the stage. An open forum followed the presentation of various projects under the S4C. The three RD Leaders joined the panel on stage and entertained questions from the attendees as well the online audience on Facebook.

Usec. Guevara expressed how happy she is to see the research breakthroughs experienced by the RDLead-assisted institutions. Similarly, she thanked the RD Leaders for generously sharing their expertise and guidance to their host institutions. In closing her message, she encouraged the host institutions to continue pressing on despite the challenges and assured that the DOST and the NRCP will be with them every step of the way to ensure that they all realize their potential to make positive and lasting changes in their community, their regions, and the country (Marfy H. Lita, PDO V).

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