PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur — It’s the turn of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) IX to stage the Regional Science and Technology Week (RSTW).

And because today, November 5, Monday, is the 3rd World Tsunami Day observance, DOST IX headed by Director Martin A. Wee, the regional director, the agency joined the early morning National Earthquake and Tsunami Drill in the city’s downtown.

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña’s delegation for the RSTW also joined the observance, participated by hundreds of elementary and high school students, and residents and their children who scrambled for their lives in a mock earthquake and tsunami hitting the city.

The “actors” demonstrated the now-popular “duck, cover, and hold” actions popularized by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (DOST-PHIVOLCS) when a quake hits as well ran for safety from an incoming tidal wave.

Speakers recalled the tsunami that hit Pagadian City in 1976 that killed over 3,000 people and many missing, the catastrophic tidal wave generated by what was called the Moro Gulf Earthquake of an estimated 8.0 magnitude.

The Official of Civil Defense (OCD) in collaboration with the provincial and city governments of Zamboanga del Sur province and Pagadian City conducted the drill complete with “victims.”

With de la Peña’s party included other DOST officials, one of them Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services Dr. Carol M. Yorobe, and others.

They joined the nearly two-hours drill before processing to the RSTW venue at the Provincial Capitol Building.

DOST IX under Director Martin A. Wee, regional director, held the RSTW celebration for Zamboanga Peninsula in conformity with bringing science, technology and innovation (STI) closer to the people and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and let them see the STI research breakthroughs they may avail themselves of for commercialization.

Or determine what services they may need from DOST.

When the Cebu Pacific flight that carried the delegation of the DOST  landed at the Pagadian Airport late afternoon of Sunday, November 4, they later learned a 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit Mindanao, affecting the city.

Was there a message brought by the quake?

Message or not,  the DOST’s “Master of Disaster Risk Management” Dr. Renato S. Solidum, Jr. came with the Manila delegation. He is the undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change as well as the officer-in-charge of DOST-PHIVOLCS.

DOST and its attached 18 agencies as well as its 17 regional offices have been holding the RSTW annually to communicate and bring down to the people, specially in the far-flung areas of the Philippines, DOST’ funded projects research breakthroughs in the form of products and services — inventions, discoveries, or innovations.

Key guests of the week-long event included Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Antonio H. Cerilles, Pagadian City Mayor Romeo P. Pulmones, and others.

Here’s a photographic narrative of the RSTW of DOST IX held at the Zamboanga del Sur Provicncial Capitol, Region IX:.P_20181105_112558DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña at the opening of DOST IX RSTW, Pagadian City.

To be updated. (EKU)