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Tacloban City - Around 200 active researchers, including artists, from 17 institutions in Eastern Visayas participated in the first DOST-NRCP Regional Basic Research Caravan (RBRC) for the year 2020 held last January 16-17 at the HRDC Gym, Leyte Normal University. The RBRC was in partnership with the DOST Regional Office No. VIII, Leyte Normal University and University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College.

The DOST-NRCP started to conduct its research caravan in August 2019 with Batanes as launching point. Since then, the caravan has reached Ilocos Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Batangas, Benguet, Iloilo, Davao, and Leyte. With its theme Nurturing Regional R&D Niches, the Council aims to increase its membership and create an expert’s pool that will strengthen research corridors in the region. Alongside this objective, the Council intends to promote a science culture by showcasing NRCP research outputs and accomplishments. Also, in an effort to enhance the social relevance of NRCP research priorities, a regional stakeholders’ dialogue on R&D agenda along the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda and National Integrated Basic Research Agenda (NIBRA) is made part of the caravan.

As the national repository of researchers, engineers, scientists and artists in the country, the Council has around 4500 members where 47. 5% comes from the National Capital Region, while only 2.05% was from the Eastern Visayas. The Council hopes that through this caravan the experts, not just in Eastern Visayas but to all regions as well, will be encouraged to apply for membership.

With this, Dr. Jude A. Duarte, President of LNU and Dr. Patricia B. Arinto, the Dean of UP Visayas Tacloban College pledged to encourage all active researchers and artists of their respective institutions to get enlisted as NRCP members.

Researchers from the other SUCs/HEIs such as Biliran Province State University, Visayas State University, Eastern Visayas State University, Southern Leyte State University, Samar State University, Eastern Samar State University, Northwest Samar State University and the University of Eastern Philippines also signified their interest to apply for NRCP membership.

On the 8th stop of the NRCP Regional Basic Research Caravan in Tacloban, two of the Council’s breakthrough researches were presented. The first one is entitled “Fungal Avengers: Infinity War against Deadly Microbes” by Dr. Thomas Edison dela Cruz, NRCP Member under Division of Biological Sciences. This research which was presented by Dr. dela Cruz’ co-researcher, Mr. Carlo Chris S. Apurillo, show the potential of 22 isolated mangrove fungal endophytes extracted from the mangrove forests in Samar and Leyte, in combating pathogenic microorganisms.

The second one is “Dayegon: The Cebuano Christmas Singing Tradition” by Dr. Hope S. Yu, NRCP Governing Board Member and Chair of the NRCP Division of Humanities. Dr. Yu reiterated the importance of the Social Sciences and Humanities studies in socio-economic development, especially in cultural preservation. She also suggested to all aspiring NRCP members in the Division of Social Sciences and Division of Humanities to start considering Samar and Leyte songs as subject for future project proposals.

For his part, Engr. Ernesto M. Granada, the Officer-in-Charge of the DOST Regional Office No. VIII, shared the commitment of the department in promoting scientific, technological and innovative cultures to all sectors of society.

At the end of the 2-day caravan which is being conducted in celebration of NRCP’s 85th Founding Anniversary, Dr. Sumagaysay announced that the Council will hold the 87th Annual Scientific Membership and General Membership Assembly (GMA) where new members will take their oath. This will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center on March 9, 2020.