PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur — Innovation in various fronts thrived during the Regional Science and Technology Week (RSTW) in this city.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) IX showcased the DOST’s OneLaboratory (OneLab); OneSTore; OneExpert; Food Innovation Center (FIC), and other innovations featured at the RSTW that opened on November 5.

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Department of Science and Technology (DOST) IX organizes and hosts the RSTW in collaboration with the local government of Zamboanga del Sur via Pagadian City. (EKU)

Led by Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, the DOST has been bringing the RSTW to the various regions of the country to communicate to the people its solutions, services, and products resulting from research breakthroughs.

It’s part of the DOST’s Science for the People program, signifying that scientific research should not remain on paper, but put the breakthroughs into use for the benefit of the nation, society, and citizens.

Avowed mission

It’s the avowed mission of the DOST, specially during the incumbency of de la Peña, who just marked his 69th summer this week.

This month it’s the turn of Zamboanga Peninsula at celebrating RSTW staged at the Provincial Capitol Building here.

Key guests included Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Antonio H. Cerilles and Pagadian City Mayor Romeo P. Pulmones, among others.

Director Martin A. Wee, DOST IX regional director, in an interview with SDN — Scitech and Digital News, said it’s the turn of Region IX to conduct the RSTW.

SFTP group

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña (2nd, left) and DOST Undersecretary Renato Solidum, Jr. display an instructional scarf for disaster risk management. One of those in the photo at right is DOST IX Regional Director Martin Wee. (EKU)

“We are now taking turns in celebrating the RSTW. All the regions are celebrating but this is Zamboanga Peninsula’s schedule for the RSTW, we are conducting it here in Pagadian City,” he said.

The celebration, he added, featured exhibits of food products and mechanical innovations, including on STI, as will as various forums on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), technology demonstration on corn products processing, Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHIL) forum on intellectual property rights, quiz on nuclear science (regional elimination), Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNR) technical session, S&T bazaar, and others.

Various sectors invited

Wee said they invited entrepreneurs, members of the academe, students, youth, and the public to come and either apply for DOST services, or see for themselves the scientific products on exhibits.

“All those interested with the DOST technologies are welcome,” he added. “One big program we are implementing in the whole DOST is Science for the People, so we are bringing STI closer to the people, that is why we are celebrating it here,” said Wee.

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Zamboanga del Sur Gov. Antonio H. Cerilles. (EKU)

The DOST IX director said it is about bringing the services the people can avail themselves of, the services available from the government.

“So, this is very important to us because our main concern again is the economic development of the region, particularly here in Zamboanga del Sur.

“And we want to be part of the major changes that happen by helping specifically the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), side by side with developing capabilities in the academe,” said Wee.

OneLab for all

Dr. Carol M. Yorobe, DOST undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services, and Rose Marie S. Salazar, DOST IX assistant regional director, spoke with SDN — Scitech and Digital News the concept and idea behind One Lab.

The former described OneLab as a facility the DOST established to help and serve MSMEs that need their products to be tested.

“They can be served wherever they are. They will be referred if the service they are availing themselves of is not available in their area,” Yorobe pointed out.

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DOST Undersecretary Dr. Carol Yorobe (middle) and DOST IX Assistant Regional Director Rose Marie Salazar at OneLab booth. (EKU)

The latter explained it further, being the one in-charge of the innovative facility concept.

“DOST conceptualized OneLab to assist clients because the laboratory of each is not complete (with equipment). In the past before OneLab, when clients came and we did not have the test they needed, we were not able to help them. We were not able to refer them either because we did not know where to send them for the test they needed,” said Salazar.

It’s different now

“Now that OneLab was conceptualized we have a network of laboratories. At first, we started with only 22 labs of DOST, 16 regional laboratories all over the country, and plus six laboratories which are research and development institutes (/RDIs) of DOST,” she added.

Salazar said that DOST management saw afterwards the importance of inviting other organizations with laboratories to become part of the OneLab network; so, DOST invited private and other government owners of laboratories.

“Now, we have 19 non-DOST laboratories as members of OneLab, we have three from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) — two in Thailand, SGS and Intertex, and one in Vietnam, Intertek,” the DOST IX official said.

SFTP taste test

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña in a product taste test. (EKU)

“If there is a (product) test we are not capable of doing (in the Philippines), we send the client’s product abroad,” said Salazar, emphasizing the clients or customers do not have to do anything but pay the cost of shipping and test.

DOST will be the one to send the product, she said, the same thing when a test is not able in a certain laboratory in the country, the product will be send to another, she said.

“What we can do is the customer goes only to OneLab facility and we will facilitate everything. So (the customer) does not have to go anywhere; it is a one touch point. We have OneLab portal,” said Salazar, adding the services can be seen in the portal.

Here’s a description of OneLab, OneSTore, OneExpert, and  FIC from DOST:

The One-stop Laboratory Services for Global Competitiveness (OneLab)
project is an IT-based solution envisioned to broaden public access to testing services of all DOST laboratories at a single touch point. OneLab integrates the laboratory of services of six (6) RDIs, Industry and Technology Development Institute (ITDI, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), Forest Product Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), Metal and Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), and 15 Regional Standards and Testing Laboratories (RSTLs) from across the country on a single platform, the Unified Laboratory Information Management System (ULIMS).oneSTOre.ph is an E-commerce Web Application that operates nationwide and caters to Philippine consumers.

SardinesSome of the products on exhibit. (EKU)

  •  oneSTore helps the DOST’s assisted MSMEs widen the scope of their market. It can help deliver economic growth and increase business opportunities. oneSTore provides customers with an effortless shopping experience and retailers with simple and direct access to the largest customer base in the Philippines. At present, it has more than 12,000 enrolled products from different parts of the country. In Region IX, a total of 115 products from 15 MSMEs can now be bought at oneSTore. The products include the region’s best sellers – Spanish-style sardines and calamansi concentrate.
  • ​​One Expert is an interactive web-based nationwide pool of S&T experts intended to provide technical advise and consultancy services to Filipinos anywhere they are in the Philippines. OneExpert is intended to improve access to experts and technologies particularly by people living outside of the major urban centers where most research and technical institutions are located. In the same manner, One Expert will likewise bring the services of any accredited expert located anywhere in the Philippines to clients that need S&T assistance.
  • The Zamboanga Peninsula Food Innovation Center (ZamPen-FIC) – was established in the region to support the National Program/Project Title: “Roll-out of the DOST-Developed Food Processing Equipment to the Regions” of theDOST. ZamPen-FIC serves as a hub for food innovations and technical support services for food industry in the region. A center equipped with DOST-designed equipment and other food processing facilities where new food products can be processed and developed.onestore-1.jpg

OneSTore showcase. (EKU)

De la Peña, in his message for the DOST IX RSTW, cited the reasons for the event.

“One of the major reasons for the RSTW celebrations is to provide an opportunity for the country’s researchers and scientists to meet up and interact with potential venture investors, professionals, entrepreneurs, industry workers, and students.

“Such interaction and networking activities between and among members of government, private sectors, academe, and NGOs (non-government organizations) are essential in bridging the S&T knowledge base and the people for which it ultimately services.” (EKU)