Group photo of DOST-NRCP Officials and Secretariat, DOST Caraga Officials, Resource Speaker and participants during the virtual Regional Basic Research Caravan in Caraga. 

Bannered with the theme Nurturing Regional R&D Niches, the DOST-NRCP launched its first virtual NRCP Regional Basic Research Caravan (RBRC) in the CARAGA region, in partnership with DOST Regional Office XIII last September 9, 2020 via Zoom.

“We aim to promote NRCP’s breakthrough researches–basic research in particular, and to strengthen NRCP membership promotion amid the current situation,” NRCP Executive Director, Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay said.

The caravan features four (4) components: 1) Sharing of NRCP Research Findings, 2) Alignment to the R&D Agenda of the Region, 3) Enhancing Governance through Science and the Arts, and 4) Expanding Regional Experts. This activity targets to present the results of its funded selected research projects to target institutional beneficiaries and assure the participation of institutions in identifying research priorities that are aligned with the regional and provincial needs and the research thrusts and priorities as provided in the Harmonized National R&D Agenda (HRDA) and the National Integrated Basic Research Caravan (NIBRA). Through this activity, the Council also aims to strengthen collaborations and linkages with the DOST regional offices, Local Government Units, Higher Educations Institutes, and State Universities and Colleges in the regions.

In this virtual RBRC, the Council highlighted the outputs of one of its basic researches entitled “Fatty Acid Profile of Halophytophthora Species from Philippine Mangrove” presented by Prof. Gina Rio Dedeles, NRCP Regular Member from the Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences in University of Santo Tomas (UST). In this study, Prof. Dedeles found various fatty acids present among the different isolates of oomycetes, “fungus-like eukaryotic microorganisms”. These fatty acids are industrially important particularly in the current demand for alternative sources of oils.

“Our speaker, Dr. Dedeles, shows such passion to explore the potential use of one of the most important decomposers of fallen mangrove leaves worldwide, and important organisms for fatty acid production and biological activities,” said USec. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara in her Message.

This activity convened about 180 Zoom participants, 58% Male and 48% Female, who represented partner institutions such as the Agusan del Sur College of Agriculture and Technology (ASSCAT), Butuan Doctors College (BDC), Caraga State University (CSU), Caraga State University Cabadbaran Campus (CSU-CC) ,Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU), Holy Child Colleges of Butuan (HCCB), Philippine Science High School (PSHS) - Caraga Region Campus, Saint Joseph Institute of Technology (SJIT), Saint Paul University - Surigao (SPU), Surigao del Sur State University (SDSSU), Surigao Education Center (SEC), Surigao State College of Technology (SSCT), University of South Eastern Philippines (USEP- Bislig), Philippine Normal University – Mindanao, Saint Michael College of Caraga (SMCC).

From August 2019 to February 2020 (before the lockdown), the Council already conducted a total of nine (9) RBRCs in the following regions: Batanes (Region II); Ilocos Sur (Region I); Sultan Kudarat (Region XII); Batangas (Region IVa); Benguet (CAR); Iloilo (Region VI); Davao (Region XI); Leyte (Region VII); and Zamboanga City (Region IX).

The seven (7) remaining virtual RBRCs of the Council will be conducted until March 2021 in the following regions: Central Visayas, Bicol, MIMAROPA, Northern Mindanao, Central Luzon, NCR, and BARMM.

The next virtual RBRC will be held on September 30 for Central Visayas.