Department of Science and Technology (DOST) officials and employees, together with their associates and friends, focused this year’s Christmas celebration on helping others, especially typhoon Pablo victims in Mindanao. In a fundraising and charity activity billed as “Sulong Tulong para sa Mindanao” (S & T for Mindanao), DOST raised a total of around P 110,000 in cash as of press time and collected various donations in kind. “S&T para sa Mindanao” is a continuing activity, thus the amount is expected to increase as donations and pledges continue to pour in.

Aside from raising funds, DOST also sent to Mindanao some experts from Program NOAH to make a study on typhoon Pablo’s effects. DOST officials believe that in addition to financial and other kinds of help, the people need to know the scientific explanation of what actually happened before, during, and after the wake of Pablo.

Sec. Montejo expressed pride and satisfaction over DOST people’s willingness to share and extend help to the survivors of the calamity, as he articulated in his welcome message. Attended by employees and officials from DOST’s various sectoral councils, institutes, advisory bodies, regional offices, and provincial S & T centers, the year-ender became more memorable as the DOST family looked outwards to extend a helping hand.

“For what we have done today, as we do a collective effort to extend our help, and for continuously extending support and sharing our love to our fellow Filipinos in Mindanao, I am truly satisfied,” he said.

“S&T para sa Mindanao” is the highlight activity of Ignite the Mind (ITM) 3.0, DOST’s year-end activity held recently at the DOST Complex in Bicutan, Taguig City. ITM 3.0 is a part of the Changing the Mindset program initiated by the Science and Technology Information Institute, DOST’s information arm.

Said program aims to develop a culture of science among Filipinos by initiating and supporting activities that integrate science and technology to the lives of people.

This year, ITM’s objective of awakening the spirit of oneness within the DOST population went a step further by uniting DOST employees and officers in the act of reaching out to survivors of typhoon Pablo.

With ferocious winds rushing up to 200 kilometers per hours, typhoon Pablo ravaged parts of Mindanao, Central and Eastern Visayas last December 4, leaving a death toll of over a thousand with hundreds more missing in its wake. Among the victims are DOST personnel in the regional offices, namely Region X, XI, CARAGA, IV-B, and VIII.

“I am really moved as we embrace the theme for this yearend gathering “DOST @ 54: Changing Lives” as we begin to genuinely touch the lives of our fellow Filipinos,” Sec. Montejo further said in his message.

Earlier, Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD officiated a mass and acknowledged DOST’s efforts to help alleviate the situation of the survivors.

In the same yearender activity, DOST agencies also “adopted” orphans from various institutions, in which the orphans were treated to special S&T learning activities like a tour of the Science Heritage Center which houses Filipino S & T inventions, exposure to PAGASA’s mobile planetarium, and film showing of environment-related films. Every agency likewise prepared gifts for every adopted orphan to make the orphans feel special despite their situation.

DOST continues to receive donations in cash or in kind. For pledges and donations, please get in touch with the office of DOST- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) Executive Director Jaime C. Montoya, chair for S&T para sa Mindanao, 3/F DOST Main Bldg., Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City at tel. nos. 837-2942 or 837-7534.

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