Zamboanga City – Dir. Rommel Serrano, Regional Director of DOST V, visited its counterpart S&T agency in Western Mindanao last March 14 to benchmark the Seaweed GIA-funded project and IT-based info systems developed by DOST IX.
RD Serrano together with Ricardo Apolinario III, S&T Director for Zamboanga and Isabela Cities, conducted the project visit to BLGU in Buenavista, Zamboanga City where two (2) solar-powered seaweed dryers were adopted and a nursery was established to benefit the local seaweed farmers.
Fig 1. (From left to right) RD Rommel Serrano, Mr. Isnarin I. Cala, Mr. Ricardo Apolinario III posed while inspecting the seedling in the seaweed dryer.
“Since the provision of solar drying technology, 253 seaweed seed lines were established,” Apolinario said. He further highlighted that the quality of dried seaweeds produced from the said technology improved with no traces of impurities. Through reduced drying time from 10-14 day to 2-3 days, productivity and sales of the farmers have increased.
DOST IX allocated 7.6Million Grants-in-Aid funds for the region’s seaweed industry development. A total of 24 permanent- and floating-type seaweed dryers were deployed throughout the region – 11 in Zamboanga City, 7 in Zamboanga Sibugay, 2 in Zamboanga del Sur and 4 in Zamboanga del Norte. The said technology was developed by the University of the Philippines - Los Baños.
Similar to Zamboanga Peninsula, RD Serrano recognized the potential to employ similar development strategies as Bicol region is surrounded by abundant coastlines. He adds that DOST V, through his leadership, wants to steer the growth of the Seaweed Industry in Region V. In fact, they have already initiated a collaboration with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to discuss the region’s approach to impact their local seaweed farmers.
Mr. Aris Moratalla, head of ICT unit, briefed RD Serrano on all information systems developed and maintained by DOST IX. Moratalla noted, “Managing information saves money, makes money, and keeps you out of trouble,” further adding that IT-systems facilitate ease of transactions and traceability of office processes for both internal and external customers.
Fig 2. Discussion on IT-based systems of DOST IX attended by (Left to right) RD Rommel Serrano, Mr. Aris Moratalla, Mr. Ricardo Apolinario III
The Bicol S&T Director took strong interest on the presented systems. In particular, RD Serrano appreciated DOST IX’s version of TRACE or the Tracking, Retrieval, Archiving of Communications for Efficiency. Originally developed by DOST IVA, Mr. Moratalla and his team added a notification module wherein the said system sends SMS and email notifications to concerned personnel who have been tagged to act on a specific document.
In terms of procurement and supply management, RD Serrano stated that SCIMS, or the Stock Control & Inventory Management System is exactly what he wants for his office. This info system records the withdrawal of items made by end-user and receiving transactions from suppliers. The system aids the supply and accounting unit in generating reports as required by the office.
Other DOST IX info systems on STSIMS (S&T Scholarship Information Management System), FAIMS (Finance and Administrative Information Management System), HRMIS (Human Resource Management Information System), and VRAMS (Vehicle Reservation and Management System) were also introduced.
The meeting ended with RD Serrano sincerely thanking Mr. Apolinario and Mr. Moratalla for the effort they have extended, noting that through the invitation of RD Martin Wee, he experienced the excellent performance and culture in DOST IX. His visit to DOST IX in Zamboanga City was a success. The Bicol S&T Director is looking forward to a partnership between both agencies as he envisions the organizational transformation of DOST V through strengthened strategies for community enhancement and the adoption of tested information systems to improve operations.
For more information, contact DOST-IX at (062) 991-2050 or follow our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DOSTRegion9 (Jean M. Dagoy/ DOST-IX Press Release).