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1NRCP Executive Director Dr. Marieta Banez-Sumagaysay (topmost 2nd from left} followed by DOST 5 Regional Director Rommel Serrano, NRCP Biological Sciences Division Chair Dr. Arvin Diesmos, and the guest speaker, Dr. Fema Abamo {2nd tier, leftmost) from Mindanao State University-Marawi Campus with the other presenters and participants during the Bicol Region RBRC.

The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) conducted its fifth virtual Regional Basic Research Caravan (RBRC) last January 20, 2021, in collaboration with DOST Region V and partner academic institutions. There were 347 participants to the webinar – 44.7 percent are male and 55.3 percent are female.

The virtual gathering that carries the theme “Nurturing Regional R & D Niches” was composed of four (4) parts - sharing NRCP research findings, expanding regional experts, enhancing governance through science and the arts, and alignment to the R & D agenda of the region where Region V presented its priority R&D thrusts.

DOST Assistant Secretary for Finance, Maridon O. Sahagun, gave the Opening Remarks. She encouraged everyone to pledge and commit to work as one for the promotion of basic research in the country and also contribute to science, technology and innovation (STI) initiatives.

Regional Director of DOST Region V, Rommel Serrano, welcomed all participants. He also presented the Bicol Regional R & D Agenda 2018-2022 which is aligned with the Harmonized National R & D Agenda of DOST, the R & D priorities of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other relevant institutions. The region’s R & D priority areas and programs are on: Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources, Health, Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology, and the Basic Research.

Dr. Fema Abamo, NRCP member from Mindanao State University-Marawi Campus, presented her DOST-NRCP funded study entitled “Ciliated Protozoan as Bio Marker in Lake Lanao.” This study show that Lake Lanao is still clean and pristine. She also shared with the participants her journey as a researcher and as an NRCP regular member. She cherishes her first externally-funded project granted by NRCP, and how the seed grant has significantly made her productive and able to get bigger projects and funding.

Hon. Mayor Noel E. Rosal discussed evidence-based policymaking (EBP) in the City of Legazpi, Albay. He emphasized the importance of EBP in monitoring and evaluating if the interventions provided by the City contribute to the upliftment of their standard of living. The EBP model that he presented is a proof of how science and the use of research leads to effective governance.

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Honorable Mayor Noel Rosal of Legazpi with his presentation about Evidence-Based Policy Program implemented in Legazpi City.

For her part, Ms. Ma. Theresa D. Alcantara, OIC-Chief Science Research Specialist, DOST Region V cascaded the results of the survey regarding the regional issues to be addressed with research, and that which aligns with the R & D priority areas of NRCP’s National Integrated Basic Research Agenda (NIBRA). Most of the concerns fell under the agricultural and health sectors.

In expanding regional experts, NRCP always takes the opportunity to present its programs through various discourse. Ms. Maria Estrella V. Borillo, Science Research Specialist of NRCP, gave a walk through on how to become an NRCP Member and the benefits of becoming one. Ms. Rizza Canon, Project Assistant of the RDLead program of NRCP, also narrated key points on how to become an RD Leader and how RDLead can assist in capacitating SUCs and HEIs in research, hence, improving the scientific productivity of scientists and researchers in the regions.

Dr. Bonifacio Tamparong, NRCP Science Research Specialist II gave a summary of the event’s highlights.  Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos, Chair of NRCP Biological Sciences Division gave the closing remarks and thanked all the RBRC partners, especially the DOST Region V for their support. He likewise commended the initiative of NRCP for bringing its researches closer to the region.

Proudly, NRCP has 17 partner institutions in the region, these are: Ateneo De Naga University, Bicol State College of Applied Sciences and Technology, Bicol University, Camarines Norte State College, Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges, Catanduanes State University, Central Bicol State University of Agriculture, Divine World College of Legazpi, Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa, Sr. Memorial State College of Agriculture and Technology, Naga College Foundation, Partido State University, Sorsogon State College, Universidad de Sta. Isabel, University of Northeastern Philippines, University of Nueva Caceres, University of Saint Anthony and University of Santo Tomas- Legazpi.

NRCP’s efforts such as this ensure community engagement and collaboration among regional LGU’s to promote the importance of scientific researches in finding solutions to society’s basic and common problems. This was further emphasized by the Executive Director of NRCP Dr. Marieta Baňez-Sumagaysay when she said, “We need basic research for the generation of new knowledge. We need these basic researches that can provide scientific and empirical evidence for good and effective policymaking decisions”.