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DIPOLOG CITY – Close to 300 people joined forces Monday for a multi-sectoral tree planting caravan that ushered the Opening of the Regional Science and Technology (S&T) Week in Dipolog City.

The tree planting caravan – participated by different government agencies, local government units, academe, businesses, and non-government organizations – planted some three hundred Mahogany seedlings along Dipolog By-pass Road in Barangay Minaog, this city.

According to Regional Director Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano of the Department of Science and Technology – IX, the tree-planting activity is a "quick enthusiastic response" to President Aquino's Executive Order No. 26 series of 2011, otherwise known as the National Greening Program.Top Left: DOST-IX’s Engr. Mahmud L. Kingking supervises the tree planting activity; Top Right:  PTRI Director Dr. Carlos C. Tomboc plants a mahogany seedling while DOST IX Director Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano looks on; and below, are some participants of the tree planting.

"We are very grateful for the show of support of our partner agencies, LGUs, academe, the businesses and the private organizations. For us, this is a manifestation of everyone's all-out support to this year's celebration of S & T Week," she said in her opening message.

S & T Week is a comprehensive promotional activity of DOST, aimed at engaging concerned stakeholders to bring science and technology (S&T) initiatives closer to the people.

Prior to the tree-planting activity, a short launching program was held in a local convention center here. The Director of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI), Dr. Carlos C. Tomboc, served as the keynote speaker.

In line with the theme of this year's celebration: "Nasa Siyensiya ang Pag-asa," Dr. Tomboc explained how science and technology can be a key towards national development.

He enumerated different programs of DOST which he said are "solutions to pressing national problems that persistently oppress our masses."

He also rallied the different sectors present during the program to support other S&T programs in the region.

"Making S&T work for the betterment of our lives is not the sole responsibility of DOST, nor the government. Each of us has our own roles to play... Let us be the agents of Science and Technology for a better and globally competitive Philippines," he stated.

Honorable Governor Rolando E. Yebes through his provincial administrator Atty. Rafael Cabanlit welcomed the guests and the participants of the RSTW. In his message, the provincial governor also acknowledged the importance of Science and Technology as he said: "This is a "must" factor to assure success of our effort to develop and make our province globally competitive."

In another message of support, Dipolog City Mayor Hon. Evelyn T. Uy also acknowledged the importance of Science and Technology as she specifically thanked the DOST for introducing appropriate technology innovations to local sardines industry in Dipolog.

"Those S&T interventions have helped us establish and retain our City branding as the Bottled Sardines Capital of the Philippines," said the Mayor.

Mayor Uy, who is also the concurrent chair of the Regional Development Council, will be the guest in the opening program of Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit (RICE) on July 7. RICE, which will run from July 7-9 at Lee Plaza City Central, is still part of the weeklong RSTW celebration.

Besides the opening program, tree-planting caravan and RICE, other activities are lined up for the weeklong event.

According to Engr. Mahmud L. Kingking, DOST-IX's Assistant Regional Director for Field Operations Services and the Chairman of the RSTW 2011, other activities include symposium on natural hazard mitigation, preparedness and global warming; nutri-feeding in Roxas, Zamboanga del Norte; technology training on food processing; technology investment forum; forum on patent assistance and invention development; and seminar for student researchers. (Nuhman M. Aljani and Thelma E. Diego, DOST-IX)

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Department of Science and Technology
Regional Office No. IX
Pettit Barracks, Zamboanga City
Tel.: (062) 991-1024
Telefax: (062) 992-1114