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by Rizal Raoul Reyes / Correspondent
08-May-2010 Business Mirror
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A CHIEF science research specialist, a coastal-resource management specialist, an industrial-engineering and operations-research expert, a nuclear-technology chemistry research specialist, a plant-breeding and biotechnology specialist, and a computer-science specialist.

These were the expertise of the six scientists honored by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Thursday because they have made contributions to the advancement of scientific research in the country. Science Secretary Estrella Alabastro led the ceremonies held at Sulô Hotel in Quezon City.

Dr. Sergio Francisco, chief science research specialist of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), was conferred the level of scientist by the DOST under the Scientific Career System.

Dr. Francisco’s areas of specialization include production economics, impact assessment and benefit-cost analysis of management options, multicriteria analysis, resource economics and statistics. He authored and coauthored 27 scientific papers and technical bulletins published in scientific journals.

The Scientific Career System was established within the civil service pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 784 on March 17, 1982. It was formally organized on July 19, 1983, with the issuance of EO 901. It was reinforced when Section 4 of Republic Act 8439, or the Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and Other Science and Technology Personnel in Government, was included, according to the information on the pamphlet.

Four other scientists were honored as graduates of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) program to earn their Ph.D. dissertation, or the Ronpaku program.

They were Dr. Victor Soliman of Bicol University, Dr. Iris Ann Martinez of University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, Dr. Lucille Abad of DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), and Victoria Lapitan of PhilRice.

Soliman, an Assistant Professor V, specializes in coastal-resource management, while Martinez is affiliated with the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in UP Diliman.

Abad, a senior science research specialist at the PNRI, is focused on chemistry research. Lapitan is specializing in plant breeding and biotechnology.

The Ronpaku program is offered to deserving researchers and academicians in Asia to give them the opportunity to obtain a Ph.D. degree in Japanese universities with free matriculation. The program is one of the major components of the DOST-JSPS Joint Scientific Cooperation Program.

Since the Ronpaku program started in the Philippines in 1979, it already produced a total 69 graduates, with 16 ongoing fellows from 18 institutions and 12 fields of specialization as of fiscal year 2009.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ricolindo Cariño was honored in the Balik Scientist Program. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science at La Trobe University in Australia. He finished his Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics at UP Los Baños.

Dr. Cariño was credited for improving the registration process of UP Los Baños by installing an upgraded registration software and developing software manuals, and also conducted users’ training.

Secretary Alabastro also inducted the 2009 officers of the Philippine Association of Career Scientists Inc. (PACS). The new PACS officers are Dr. Eulito Bautista (president), Dr. Teotimo Aganon (vice president), Dr. Constancio Asis Jr. (secretary), Dr. Evelyn Gergon (treasurer), Dr. Victor Amoroso (auditor), Dr. Eusebio Dizon (PRO), Dr. Carlos Garcia (business manager) and board members Dr. Erlinda Mari, Engr. Samuel Franco, Forester Arsenio Ella and Dr. Trinidad Trinidad.

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