DOST Unveils Php500-M ‘Envi’ R&D Projects, Announces New Single-use Plastics R&D  

PCIEERD News:

“Through the local technologies we generate from research and development, we make change happen in our environment.”

— Undersecretary Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara

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The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has been championing the development of innovative technologies, implementing projects and programs, and providing services to address issues and concerns on the environment and particularly on solid waste management.

In a press conference on Thursday, July 1, 2021, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña pointed out the science department has been supporting R&D programs and projects that help address environmental issues, particularly solid waste management.

DOST unveils Php500-M projects on environment.
Image supplied

“Over the past 11 years, DOST has provided Php532 million to fund and support 146 projects that seek to address environmental challenges. These projects have been implemented in various parts of the country and the technologies that have been generated by these projects have been adopted at various levels,” de la Peña said.

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“We believe in having all hands on-deck in a science-based approach in our phase-out of non-environmentally acceptable products (NEAP) with utmost consideration to environmental protection, sustainable development, economic viability, and social acceptability.”

— Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña

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e la Peña stressed the agency maintains an equal consideration of all sectors in the implementation of its projects and believes in a whole-of-government approach in addressing environmental concerns, particularly solid waste management.

“We believe in having all hands on-deck in a science-based approach in our phase-out of non-environmentally acceptable products (NEAP) with utmost consideration to environmental protection, sustainable development, economic viability, and social acceptability,” he added.

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara said technologies and services on solid waste management developed by Filipino researchers are already available and can be adopted by stakeholders.

“Through the local technologies we generate from research and development, we make change happen in our environment,” she said.

Guevara announced that DOST will also be conducting a new R&D initiative on the End-of-Life Cycle Analysis of Single-Use Plastics which will look into the economic and life cycle assessment of specific single-use plastic vis-à-vis its alternatives to help in the crafting of responsive policies to manage environmental implications from the use of such materials.

Collaborations cover government, industry, academe

DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) Executive Director Dr. Enrico C. Paringit added that the department supports a harmonized pursuit towards protecting the environment through research, development, and innovations.

He said DOST has 10 existing partnerships with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) which includes being part of the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) and working closely with various multi-agency sub-groups on different programs and in technical working groups that address issues ranging from mining to climate change adaptation to conservation of natural resources.

“Our collaborations span government, industry, and the academe as we ensure that our key stakeholders are one with us in pursuing innovative ways to address environmental concerns, particularly NEAP,” he said.

On the other hand, DOST Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) Director Dr. Annabelle Briones said the agency ensures that economic viability, social acceptance, and environmental soundness are looked into the research projects that they conduct relative to solid waste management.

“For research projects on solid waste management, we shall address not only environmental protection but also economic growth and social well-being of the current and future generations,” she said.

The NEAP list is one of the key provisions of the two-decade-old law Republic Act (RA) No. 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, where the NSWMC is mandated to prepare a list of non-environmentally accepted products within a year after the law’s effectivity and to update the list annually.

The DOST is one of the agency members of the NSWMC. (✓)

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