RD Leaders with the representatives from RDLead-assisted institutions as they pose for a photo opp with DOST officials and members of the NRCP Governing Board

INTRAMUROS, MANILA – To report and celebrate milestones and accomplishments of the Research and Development Leadership (RDLead) since 2018, the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) – RDLead Team conducted its 3rd RD Leader’s Conference and Year-end Assembly on December 13, 2022.

The event served as an avenue for the NRCP-RDLead team to express its gratitude to its partners particularly the RD Leaders, provincial science, and technology offices (PSTOs), DOST regional offices (ROs), higher education institutions (HEIs), research and development institute (RDIs), national government agencies (NGAs), the NRCP Evaluation Committee (NEC) of the RDLead program and the RDLead Advisory Board.

As of the event, the RDLead, one of the component programs of the Science for Change Program (S4CP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has now engaged a total of 75 RD Leaders mentoring researchers and personnel in 72 institutions across all 17 regions in the Philippines.


DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum delivered his speech during the RDLead Conference and Year-end Assembly

“I salute our RD Leaders for the generosity that they extended to their mentees and their host institutions. I also commend the leadership [of] administrators of the host institutions for the openness in welcoming the idea to have an external expert shake the status quo to stir up the research culture,” said DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum in his inspirational message.

Moreover, the RDLead brought 23 new institutions from 12 different regions into the DOST research network since it started in July 2018.


The former DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara gave her inspirational speech

“It is really inspiring to see the NICERs (Niche Centers in the Regions) grow because we have RD Leaders [whom] we can call on. Pero ang binaklas talaga ng RDLead ay ‘yung pagkakanya-kanya ng mga research institutes at saka ng mga universities,” said former DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara.

(It is really inspiring to see the NICERs (Niche Centers in the Regions) grow because we have RD Leaders [whom] we can call on. But what the RDLead really accomplished is that it has stripped off research institutes and universities from being too self-reliant.)


Motivational message of the DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development,  Dr. Leah J. Buendia to the participants and guests.

“I’m very glad that the RDLead Program continues to support DOST enjoined efforts to provide scientific initiatives that are made for filipino people.”  said DOST Undersecreatry for Research and Development Dr. Leah J. Buendia.

Video presentations of the accomplishments of some of the RDLeaders in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were presented. For Luzon, RD Leader for Sorsogon State University (SorSU) Dr. Shirley Palisoc shared that the RDLead Program amplified SSU’s capabilities in terms of research and project proposal writing. Notable SorSU accomplishments include project proposals submitted to NRCP and to DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD; and creation of a research program in collaboration with Partido State University (PSU) in Camarines Sur to pursue studies on 3 lakes in Region 5.

For Visayas, RD Leader for Bohol Island State University (BISU) Dr. Esperanza Maribel Agoo discussed the research readiness assessment that she conducted to identify the university’s strengths and needs by looking at itsmanpower, infrastructure, and policies. Dr. Agoo also facilitated training courses on proposal writing and biodiversity conservation, and guided BiSU’s researchers in writing collaborative project proposals to involve researchers from BISU’s 6 different campuses.

As for Mindanao, RD Leader for Philippine Women’s College (PWC) Davao Dr. Casiana Blanca Villarino reported about the MERiDIan (Mindanao Ecosystem Research for Development and Innovation) Center on Emergency Foods Project. The goal of the project is to establish a hub for research and development and technological transfer of emergency foods in collaboration with various HEIs and government institutions in Mindanao. Apart from providing guidance to PWC in revising the proposal for the said project, Dr. Villarino also capacitated PWC in thermal processing and sensory evaluation of foods. The knowledge and skills PWC staff have gained from the trainings can serve as inputs to project implementation and other PWC Davao’s initiatives in pursuing research and development on emergency foods.

During the last part of the event, National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) Executive Director and RDLead Project Leader Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay presented the RDLead Program Report and announced upcoming endeavors of the program in the pipeline.

As reported by Dr. Sumagaysay, some of the key accomplishments of the RDLead Program include Php 152.4 million approved grants for 12 new institutions; Php 35 million worth of grants for laboratory establishment or upgrade in RDLead host institutions; 76 developed and submitted manuscripts, 50 of which have been accepted/published; and 281 NRCP membership applications from January to July 2022.


Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, NRCP Executive Director and RDLead Project Leader during the presentation of the RDLead report.

“I am very confident that with our full support and trust, the RDLead Program will continue its happy and blessed journey as we are all in this together going fast, going far, going the extra mile in cadence,” said Dr. Sumagaysay in closing her report.