VICE-PRESIDENT Teofisto Guingona Jr. urged Filipinos to excel more in science in the advent of technology and globalization.

“The more competent a nation is in science, the more it can absorb transferred technology and develop it further for its competitiveness in the international market,” Guingona said, as he addressed the World Conference on Science and Technology (WCST) at the Manila Hotel last Sept.13-15.

With the theme “Harnessing Science and Technology to meet the Globalization Challenge,” WCST celebrated the 50th founding anniversary of the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science, Inc. (PhilAAS).

Founded in 1951 PhilAAS has been actively involved in the advancement of science and technology in the Philippines.

Part of its programs is the regular holding of seminars and projects related to the natural and applied sciences all over the country. Meanwhile, its contributions in the past include the enactment of a bill in the mid 50s creating the National Science and Development Board, establishment of the Philippine Science High School, and the establishment of the special Science Fund under Republic Act 5448. The organization also supported the inclusion of provisions promoting S&T in the new Philippine Constitution.

Guingona also added that if globalization is to be accepted, it must benefit humanity, and not just catering to the “demands of the pocket,” like costly medicines from multinational drug companies.

“The better training a country has in S&T, the better prepared it is for globalization,” Guingona emphasized. He also encouraged the WCST delegates to treat the conference as a venue for a true globalization of knowledge in S&T in the country.

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Department of Science and Technology Secretary Estrella Alabastro on the other hand discussed in the proceedings that the scientific community should continue with its endeavors amid limited resources and economic difficulties.

“Let (us) see what we can do to push the country forward through judicious application of S&T, and at the same time keep on improving our capabilities in areas such as Biotechnology and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). We have to be in sync with the developments of the world.” Alabastro said.

PhilAAS president Dr. Lydia Tansinsin said their organization encourages the youth to be science-conscious and take up science-related courses in college.

WCST organizing committee chair Dr. Fortunato Sevilla III, the University’s assistant to the Rector for Research and Development agreed. He also added that for the past 50 years, PhilAAS has led the way for the development of S&T in the country.

Selected Thomasian faculty members presented their researches: “Potential Cell Protecting Effect of Sublytic Doses of Streptolysin O (SLO) on Human Proximal Tubule Cells from Complement Mediated Cytotoxicity” by Raquel Tan and Dr. Gloria de Castro-Bernas; “Radiation Disinfestation and Its Impact on the Cancer Chemopreventive Value of Green tea” by Rommielynn Manzon and Custer Deocaris; “Fabrication of a Carbon Dioxide Gas Sensing Probe using Conducting Polypyrrole-based pH transducer” by Bernard John Tongol and Dr. Christina Binag.

Meanwhile, researchers from the UST Graduate School, the Faculties of Pharmacy, and Engineering, and the College of Science showcased their studies in the scientific poster exhibit: “Monitoring of the Bioactive Constituents in Ipomoea muricata (Jacq) Convolvulaceae seeds collected from 1985-2000 by HPTLC” by Dr. Mafel Ysrael, B.C. Tan, A.G. Chan, X.L. Liu, and D.S. Nepomuceno; “The Vasorelaxant Activity of the Crude Extract and Fractions from the young bark of Chrysophyllum cainito Linn.(Sapotaceae)” by Albert Quentela, Jovencio Apostol, Dr. M.F. Ysrael, and Dr. Roger Wadsworth; “The Fermentation Profile of Streptomyces Isolate USTCMS 107 Exhibiting Broad Anti-bacterial and Anti-fungal Activities” by Edward Quinto; “Poly(3-Methylthiophene)-modified electrode for electrochemical determination of Dopamine” by Regina Aileen May Vergara and Dr. C.A. Binag; “Development of Conducting Polyaniline (PAn)-based potentiometric inorganic anion sensors” by Karen Santiago and Dr. C.A. Binag; “Biomimetic piezoelectric quartz crystal sensor for caffeine based in a molecularly imprinted polymer” by Benilda Ebarvia and Dr. Fortunato Sevilla III; “A Comparison of Diluents for the recovery of Root-Associated Bacteria” by Mary Anne Gonzalez-Santos; “Cryptosporidium parvum: Humoral Tissue Response in Experimentally Infected Gnetobiotic Calves” by Gil Cauyan, Y. Onata and A. Saito; “Effect of Chemical Additives on the Capric-Lauric Acid Mixture as Phase Change Materials for Cooling Application” by Ma. Natalia Dimaano and T. Watanabe.

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The three-day conference was attended by delegates from the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, India and other countries from the Asian region, including local delegates from all parts of the Philippines.

Symposia on various fields of basic and applied sciences like microelectronics, natural products, health sciences, earth and marine science, material science and energy resources, food and agriculture, science education, ICT, environmental sciences, molecular biology and biotechnology were held. There were also discussions on international cooperation through research in Science and Technology, bioethical issues, and its public understanding. Stephen Roy O. Chua-Rojas

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