The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) launched the first virtual 2020 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration on 23 November 2020 via Facebook live and the 2020 NSTW virtual platform.

This year’s theme, “Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan,  atKinabukasan”, aims to highlight different innovative solutions and new S&T knowledge related to agriculture, livelihood and enterprise development, safety, health and nutrition, education, disaster preparedness, and community development.

“The pandemic did not deter us from celebrating the 2020 NSTW. On the contrary, it inspired us more to think outside the box. In reality, it helps us to be more creative, be more resourceful, and be more innovative,” said Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña of DOST.

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peña commenced the opening of this year’s NSTW.

This is the first time that the DOST will be holding a virtual celebration of the science week. In the previous years, NSTW is held in a big convention venue.

Pangako ng DOST ang NSTW sataong bayan bawattaon at kahitna may pandemic ay hindinamin kayo dapatbiguin. It may have been a challenge, but it is not impossible. With the power of technology, we were able to design virtual exhibits.”, Sec. de la Peña added.

The DOST believed that the NSTW has become a beacon of hope ever since. As DOST aimed to bring science closer to the people to let them experience, to let them live, and let science work for them.

At the virtual kick-off, the DOST also recognized outstanding research projects in the 2020 National Science and Technology Awards.Annually, the DOST, through the National Academy of Science and Technology or NAST PHL, gives recognition to deserving individuals or groups who exemplified outstanding qualities in science and technology and who proved themselves worthy of their achievements and accomplishments in their respective fields. 

The DOST awarded two (2) winners for theOutstanding Research and Development Award for Basic Research or the Eduardo A. Quisimbing Medal. The winners are Dr. Rachel June Ravago Gotanco, of theMarine Science Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman for her research titled, “Rarity of the ‘common’ coral Pocilloporadamicomis in the western Philippine archipelago” and Dr. Roel R. Suralta, with co-authors Jennifer M. Mangkil, Jonathan M. Manangkil, Jonathan M. Niones, Jerwin R. Undan, Mitsuhiro Obara, Teodora E. Mananghaya, Rachelle P. Mallari, Maybell DM. Banting, Sherilyn B. Estrada, and Mark Philip B. Castillo for their research titled, “Quantitative Trait Loci Associated with Root Elongation Ability of Rice under Nitrogen-deficient Condition”.

The Outstanding Research and Development Award for Applied Research or the Julian A. Banzon Medal was awarded to Dr. Erwin P. Enriquez of the Ateneo de Manila University with co-authors Sarah May Sibug-Torres and Isagani D. Padolina for their research titled, “Field-ready tools for fingerprinting of herbal materials for the medicinal plant industry”.

The Outstanding Science Administrator Award or the Dioscoro L. Umali Medal was given to Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma of the Philippine Genome Center in recognition of her profound and lasting contributions as Executive Director of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) of the University of the Philippines (UP) System.



The recognition aimed to serve as an inspiration to all scientists out there to continue using science and technology in creating a progressive Philippines.

Continuing with the opening ceremonies, Dr. Shamika Sirimanne, Director of the Division on Technology and Logistics of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) delivered a keynote speech. She highlighted the importance of digital technologies in giving voice and empowering the people.

"Your commitment to advocating the role of S&T in the Philippines particularly in this challenging time is commendable. The Philippines has been a proactive champion of STI discussion in the UN and has previously chaired the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development and its effort in STI in this time is commendable,"said Dr. Sirimanne.

Dr. Sirimanne recognized the importance of international collaboration to address the digital divide.

In closing the ceremony, Secretary de la Peña then formally opened the 2020 NSTW virtual exhibit. The virtual exhibit features the innovations and technologies under the4Ks of NSTW that stands for:Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan, at Kinabukasan.

The NSTW will run from 23 to 29 November 2020. The DOST, the different agencies, and regional offices are holding several activities such as virtual fora, workshops, career talks, technology and project launchings, and film showings. Know more about the 2020 NSTW by visiting and the official NSTW Facebook page.(Jachin Aberilla)

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