The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) leads the celebration of the 2017 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) on July 11- 15 at World Trade Center in Pasay City. Carrying the theme "Science For The People", this year's NSTW will highlight S&T services, products, and research outputs that help improve the life of every Filipino. The NSTW also features various activities such as science and technology forums, exhibits, career talks, film showing, and journalism workshop.
Below is the general program of activities for the week-long celebration.
Nuclear Science Helped Filipino Students Shine in Several S&T Events
Nuclear science can make high school students winners and bring them to another part of the world. This was proven by students from Philippine Science High School – Central Visayas Campus, who won second place in the Regional Invention Contest held in Cebu City, and students from Manila Science High School, who represented the Philippines in the ASEAN Nuclear Youth Camp in Thailand.
Elijah Joseph Consing and Bryne Alric Yu (3rd and 4th from left, respectively) from Philippine Science High School – Central Visayas Campus receives the second prize for the Outstanding Student Creative Research (SIBOL Award) for High School on June 22 at the Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City
Radiation Shielding Project Wins SIBOL Award 1st Runner-up
Bringing home the bacon from Cebu City are the students of Philippine Science High School – Central Visayas who placed as the 1st Runner-up for the Outstanding Student Creative Research (SIBOL Award) for High School on June 22, during the 2017 Regional Invention Contests and Exhibits.
The winning research project entitled “Radiation Shielding Property of Nemipterusisacanthus (Lagaw) Fish Scales Against Gamma” was authored by Elijah Joseph Consing, Joseph Karl Salva and Bryne Alric Yu. The project was done with consultation and assistance from the PNRI Radiation Protection Services Section.
Aside from the certificates, the winners also received a cash prize of P10,000.
The contest was part of the celebration of the 2017 Regional Science and Technology Week with the theme “Science for the People” held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel, Lahug, Cebu City from June 20 to 22.
Gil Philip Inocando and Marc Francis Iringan (1st row, 3rd and 5th from right) with their instructor, Joahna Lei Cabreros (2nd row, 2nd from right) and more than thirty representatives from various countries in Southeast Asia during the ASEAN Nuclear Youth Camp 2017 held from June 28 to 30 in Thailand
High School Students Represent Philippines in ASEAN Nuclear Youth Camp
The following week was no less brilliant for the Philippines in the global stage as participants from Manila Science High School represented the country during the ASEAN Nuclear Youth Camp 2017 held at the National Science Museum in Pathumthani, Thailand from June 28 to 30.
Gil Philip Inocando, a Grade 11 student, and Marc Francis Iringan, a Grade 10 student, was joined by their instructor, Joahna Lei Cabreros, as they participated with more than 30 representatives from neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.
The three-day event was organized by Thailand’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT), Office of Atoms for Peace (OAP) and the National Science Museum in Thailand.
The youth camp sought to provide an opportunity for high school students and teachers in ASEAN countries to share knowledge and gain better understanding on nuclear science and technology and its contribution to the development of their respective countries, as well as to increase the interest in nuclear science and technology from the new generation in ASEAN community.
The camp includes group activities, lectures on nuclear and radiation concepts, a walk rally, and site visits to the Thailand Research Reactor (TRR-M1) and several other nuclear technology and radiation detection facilities.
Honorable Alicia dela Rosa-Bala, Civil Service Commission Chairperson (extreme left) administers the oathtaking of PNRI Agriculture Research Section Head Ms. Glenda Obra (4th from right) and Mr. Fernando Aurigue from the PNRI Plant Mutation Breeding and Biotechnology Research Unit (3rd from right) as they joined the new batch of Scientists under the Scientific Career System on June 19 at the Luxent Hotel in Quezon City. Also in photo are Dr. Luningning E. Samarita-Domingo, Director IV, National Academy of Science and Technology – Philippines and Dr. Christina Binag, President of the National Research Council of the Philippines (1st and 2nd from right, respectively)
Two New Scientists from PNRI Agriculture Research Section
Heralding the improving capabilities and recognition among its research and development personnel, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) proudly congratulates two of its researchers in the field of agriculture who were included in the most recent batch of Scientists under the Scientific Career System.
Glenda Obra, the section head of the PNRI Agriculture Research Section and Fernando Aurigue of the Plant Mutation Breeding and Biotechnology Research Group were formally awarded the rank of Scientist I along with three other researchers from the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) during the oathtaking ceremonies hosted by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) on June 19 at the Luxent Hotel in Quezon City.
The oathtaking of new scientists was administered by Honorable Alicia dela Rosa-Bala, Chairperson, Civil Service Commission and Chairperson of the Scientific Career Council.
Specializing in entomology, Ms. Obra devoted her research to study the applications of radiation against pests which damage crops. Under her watch, PNRI has developed several measures which helped improve the welfare of the mango industry such as the sterile insect technique (SIT) against fruit flies in Guimaras Island, as well as the irradiation quarantine treatment for the mango pulp weevil, which is now certified under the US Federal Register.
She was also involved in the establishment of a treatment protocol on extended hot water dip (EHWD) as an alternative quarantine treatment for mangoes exported to China. Her section is currently developing SIT for use against mosquitos such as Aedes aegypti, which serves as the vector for the dreaded dengue virus.
Meanwhile, Mr. Aurigue’s work at PNRI involved the use of radiation to develop mutant varieties of ornamental plants such as orchids, anthuriums and hoyas. Mutation breeding involves the exposure of these crops to radiation to improve its characteristics such as changes in color, increase in yield, shortening of height and strengthened resistance against diseases. After several years of testing, three of these mutant varieties – Sword of Ibe (Sansevieria trifasciata), Golden Stairs (Freycinetia mulutiflora) and Afable (Cordyline fruticosa 'Kiwi') were successfully registered with the National Seed Industry Council as well as the Mutant Variety Database under the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Aside from his mutation breeding studies, Mr. Aurigue also contributed greatly to the study and popularization of Philippine Hoyas, having collected around 305 species, which are being maintained at the PNRI. Mr. Aurigue is also currently involved in the development and testing of PNRI’s recently developed Plant Food Supplements from irradiated natural polymers, which can increase the yield and resistance of food crops such as rice, mungbean and peanut.
Aiming to support the career and recognition of scientists in the public service, the Scientific Career System was established through Executive Order 784 and Executive Order 901, and was further strengthened by Republic Act 8439, also known as the Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and other S & T Personnel in the Government.
Entry in the Scientific Career System is both an honor and a challenge, with those selected having at least a master’s degree in the sciences, as well as significant outputs and contributions in relevant fields of applied and natural science. These include major publications such as scientific articles in international journals, books and compendiums, development of inventions, discoveries, practical applications of research findings and the training of the next generation of researchers, among others.
EU officials and experts with the PNRI Nuclear Regulatory Division staff during their final meeting at PNRI.
PNRI Completes EU Project on Legal and Regulatory Framework
After five years of close cooperation with representatives and experts from the European Union (EU), the Philippines, through the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) has finally completed its technical cooperation project with the EU to enhance and strengthen the regulatory regime for nuclear safety in the Philippines in accordance with international obligations, criteria and practices.
From 2013 to 2017, PNRI engaged in the EU-funded project PH3.09/09 (PH/RA/01) entitled “Technical assistance for improving the legal framework for nuclear safety and strengthening the capabilities of the Regulatory Authority of the Philippines and its TSO (PNRI)” through several meetings, trainings, workshops and fellowships. The project formally ends in June 2017.
The final project meeting was held at PNRI on March 24 with EU project counterparts and management team in attendance, namely Jorge Luis Hernandez, Jean-Yves Ravachol, Przemyslaw Imielski, Marianne Jelinski, Yann Berna, Mark Hulsmans, Francesca Nieto and Michel Chouha.
Around 20 experts from the EU facilitated the exchange of information, experiences and reference materials on topics covering legal and regulatory systems of other EU member countries vis-à-vis the Philippines, regulatory processes, safety requirements, human resource assessment and development and safety management system. The EU Project Team is composed of RISKAUDIT (France), IRSN (France), BEL V (Belgium), GRS (Germany), ITER Consult (Italy), STUK (Finland) and SUJB (Czech Republic).
Philippine experts participated in 14 major events organized under the project. Aside from PNRI, participants also came from agencies such as the National Power Corporation, Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau, Department of Health – Center for Device Regulation, Radiation Health and Research, and the Department of Science and Technology Legal Office. Fourteen PNRI regulators also engaged in on-the-job training and study visits in their counterpart regulatory agencies and nuclear facilities in Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Italy, and Germany.
The implementation of the project, led by Mr. Teofilo V. Leonin, Jr., Chief, Nuclear Regulatory Division, was divided into four major tasks with corresponding PNRI project counterparts: Task 1 – Technical Assistance for the Enhancement OfThe Regulatory Framework in the Philippines (M.V. Palattao/ A.A. Singayan), Task 2 – Enhancement of The Regulatory Processes For Assessing Nuclear Safety and Licensing Of Nuclear Power Plants (V.K. Parami/E.G. Racho), Task 3 – Strengthening Capabilities Of The Nuclear Regulator In Deterministic And Probabilistic Safety Assessment (C.M. Nohay) and Task 4 – Human Resources Development Plan And Training Program for PNRI And Its TSO (L.B. Cayabo).
The EU-funded project, the first of its kind, has resulted in a remarkable outputs and enhancement of the regulatory capabilities of PNRI, particularly in their technical background on legal and regulatory infrastructure for nuclear power plants, inter alia, all the technical documents and reference materials needed in performing the regulatory functions of PNRI. The final meeting was concluded by a plant walkdown of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.
Another major outcome of the project was reflected in the drafting of the Code of PNRI Regulations (CPR) Part 5 on Site Evaluation Criteria and CPR Part 7 on Licensing Requirements for Nuclear Installations, and the Human Resource Development Plan (HRDP) and Training Program for the staff of the PNRI Nuclear Regulatory Division (NRD).
Under Republic Acts 2067 and 5207, both as amended, and Executive Order 128, PNRI serves as the regulatory body of the Philippines for nuclear and radioactive materials and facilities, a function that PNRI performs through the NRD.