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At least 230 researchers, scientists, engineers (RSEs) and artists from the academe, government agencies, and other sectors joined the first online membership promotion caravan hosted by DOST Regional Office XI and the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) on March 9, 2021.

The activity is an avenue to inspire and encourage more RSEs and artists across Mindanao to become part of the NRCP’s pool of experts, thereby increasing the country’s share to world competitiveness index. Also, it aims to provide equal fund opportunities for researchers in the regions.

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The participants of the Membership Promotion Caravan with NRCP Team

Dr. Anthony C. Sales, project leader of NSTEP Mindanao Cluster I and Regional Director of DOST XI, stressed the value of basic research as a foundation of all innovations and that it should be grounded by keen technologies and policies that are responsive to societal needs.

“The rapid and dynamic environmental changes of COVID-19 pandemic have significantly highlighted the role of researchers, scientists, and engineers in finding solutions to the emerging issues. Hence, the engagement of new members in the regions is considered a top priority,” Dr.  Sales added.

Ms. Louise Abigail De Layola, Science Research Specialist II of NRCP, presented a brief background of the NRCP Science and Technology Experts Pool (NSTEP) Project. She highlighted the components of the project namely: membership promotion, small R&D grants, experts’ engagement, and capacity development. She also gave a background on the activities of the project such as the organization and mobilization of regional clusters. This includes webinars, membership promotion, proposal writeshops, among others.  NSTEP is on its first year of implementation under the program, “Support to the Promotion of a Science Culture in the Regions for Global Competitiveness.”

To encourage membership to the NRCP, Dr. Ephrime B. Metillo, Chair of NRCP Mindanao Regional Cluster, shared his motivations as a member of the Council and as a researcher and these are passion, perseverance, determination, courage, diligence, and networks. These motivations have helped him expand his network with local and international researchers. He was also able to share his expertise to other researchers and other stakeholders.

Dr. Lesley C. Lubos, NRCP Regular Member and Auditor of NRCP Mindanao Regional Cluster, also shared that being a member led him to various opportunities on research, publication, and extension. He was also able to expand his network and honed his knowledge and skills in producing international publications. Moreover, NRCP served as a bridge in his research programs and community extension for environmental conservation.

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The three speakers of the activity who shared their journey as an NRCP member
(from left: Dr. Ephrime B. Metillo, Dr. Lesley C. Lubos; Dr. Marites B. Sanguila [bottom])

“In many ways, I was able to contribute in the realization of the NRCP vision as highly trained and productive scientist and researcher addressing the demand for knowledge, skill and innovations in the sciences and humanities”, Dr. Lubos said.

Likewise, Dr. Marites B. Sanguila, NRCP Regular Member and Treasurer of NRCP Mindanao Regional Cluster, shared that she was able to meet and collaborate with mentors from NRCP, thus, she was able to continue with her research career.

Ms. Karizza C. Yambao, NRCP Science Research Specialist, discussed the priority areas for funding under the NSTEP small R&D grants component. These are along the six (6) programs of NRCP’s National Integrated Basic Research Agenda (NIBRA).   In addition, Ms. Kim Glaiza Wong of NRCP, shared the criteria and requirements on membership application. She also discussed the benefits and responsibilities of being an NRCP member.

Dr. Alfonso P. Alamban, Regional Director of DOST X, encouraged the participants to consider applying as an NRCP member especially with the growing demand for relevant research.

“I hope that the engagement between researchers be sustained and the culture within the region will be cascaded to the individual institutions to sustain and enhance a more productive research and development culture”, said Dr. Alamban.

Meanwhile, there are 427 new members in 2020 who have joined the NRCP’s pool of experts and 61 are from Mindanao.

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