Musical instrument maker commends DOST-FPRDI

Posted on 07/11/2020 08:51 am

Nine years into making musical instruments, Jay Sarita is still looking for ways to improve his craft. The owner of the Dipolog-based Sarita Instrument Artisan and a Master Teacher at the Dipolog Pilot Demonstration School, Sarita has commercially produced traditional rondalla instruments, including banduria, octavina, laud and base guitars. He has also made bamboo musical instruments (BMI) such gabbang, angklung and xylophones. “My interest in music led me to become an instrument-maker and music teacher. Instrument- making was all trial and error for me, until I met Dr. Wu Shih-Yin, a retired professor and consultant of the Taiwan Bamboo Orchestra. He taught me how to speed up my production process using science-based procedures,” Sarita shared. “I encountered setbacks when I was starting out in the business,” Sarita said. “For example, my technique in producing wooden xylophones was not completely applicable for making the bamboo version. Because of the bamboo culm’s natural round shape and varying thickness, it was difficult to cut it in precise dimensions,” he said. To lend a hand to commercial instrument makers, the DOST- Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) started in 2019 the “Bamboo Musical Instruments R&D Program”. The program seeks to come up with technologies that will enhance the musical instruments’ sound quality and standardize the production of specific BMIs. “We have been talking to BMI makers around the country and most of them said they need technologies to upgrade their products and ease the production process,” explained Program Leader Aralyn L. Quintos. According to her, commercial producers like Sarita also complain about the durability of their BMIs. Some instruments tend to crack when brought to a place with a different climate (i.e., from highland to lowland provinces, from tropical to temperate countries), while other products are prone to bukbok (powder-post beetle). “We hope to help boost the industry by introducing new processes that will solve these problems,” Quintos added. Sarita, meanwhile, looks forward to a growing BMI sector and to passing on his knowledge in using and making traditional musical instruments to the younger generation. That will only happen, he said, with the help of science-backed solutions from groups like DOST-FPRDI. “I am grateful to DOST-FPRDI for leading the way in this field,” he said. “We have no choice but to constantly innovate if we want to perfect our craft. We owe it not only to ourselves but to the next generation, if we want them to also enjoy the richness of our country’s musical heritage,” he ended. The BMI research program is funded by the DOST Grants-in-Aid, and is conducted in collaboration with the UP Center for Ethnomusicology, UP Electronics and Electrical Engineering Institute, and the Philippine Normal University. ### (Apple Jean C. Martin- de Leon, 29 June 2020)

STEM learning through radio and online

Posted on 06/26/2020 10:08 am

Prior to SARS-CoV-2 virus and Extended Community Quarantine (ECQ) period, some students in the provinces get to appreciate science because of the Science Explorer and nuLab buses of the Science Education Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-SEI). These facilities bring science and laboratory experiences to the students in different parts of the country. However, with the current situation where mobility is limited and social distance needs to be observed, these buses will have to park temporarily. But this does not mean that students’ learning will also have to stop. Natural disasters and recently even public health crises have brought all educational activities to almost a complete halt, with most schools compressing the academic curricula to take home assignments, readings, and home-based activities. Children are left to the guidance of their parents, doing written activities using workbooks/worksheets, or for urban schools, to the technology of online teaching and learning. These frequent disruptions in the formal schooling of K-12 students, greatly impede the learning of basic concepts necessary in building a strong foundation for higher education. “Learning the basics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM at the pre-secondary level is considered foundational in that it serves as the pillars for processing more complex concepts in later years of education,”says Dr. Josette Biyo, Director of DOST-SEI. To ensure that the students’ learning will not be hampered by the current national health situation, DOST-SEI is developing supplemental education resources that will enable the students and teachers to enrich their STEM learning even when they’re outside the confines of their classrooms and in effect promote STEM careers. This school year, elementary students, especially in the remote areas of the country which do not have a reliable internet connection, and high school students who have access to the internet, will be able to learn the sciences even when they’re at home. DOST-SEI will be collaborating with he Department of Education (DepEd) to enhance STEM learning for elementary students through their RadyoEskwela sa Siyensya and for high school students through TuklaSiyensya sa Eskwela programs. These programs will be on the roll in time for the opening of classes this school year. RadyoEskwela for elementary students Why “balik radyo?” Radio remains as the most accessible medium in the rural area. It has proven to be an effective educational channel in the past when used in combination with classroom learning and/or printed learning materials. Online learning may be feasible to students in the urban areas, but this is not the case for the students in many disadvantaged areas in the country who do not have access to reliable internet connection at home , and whose family may not own tablets, laptops or computers . For these school population, information comes from the radio, which is considered to be the second most-used media, reaching 85 percent of Philippine households, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority data. Communities with no access to internet, television, and mobile communication have been relying on radio for information. The basic yet pervasive mass-based channels and approaches again become useful in the delivery of science education for school age children in the countryside. This school year, grade school students can listen to RadyoEskwela sa Siyensya, a radio program which will feature story-based science lessons to be aired by a network of community radio which will be the media partner of DOST-SEI in implementing this project for the students. RadyoEskwela consists of twenty (20) 30-minute episodes which are story-based and produced for early, primary and intermediate clustered grade levels. The episodes may be replayed by regional stations and offered to the Department of Education as learning resources for students who will be in distance learning mode anytime during the school year. The teachers will also be provided with Teacher’s Guide to help them in integrating the episodes in their daily lessons. These may be downloaded from the SEI website and will also be accessible through the DOST regional offices and Provincial S&T Centers.Some of the topics for the RadyoEskwela include Mikrobyo, Lutang, Insekto, Pagsukat, Tala, Street Food, and Tubig. TuklaSiyensya sa Eskwela for junior and senior high school students TuklasSiyensya is designed as both a supplement to the traditional learning method for junior and senior high school students and STEM career promotions package. The modules are designed to help students adapt to the “new normal” and ensure their continuous learning amidst the post ECQ. Online modules will be produced using the facilities available at the nuLab and based on the existing modules developed by young scientists and scholars who will also serve as facilitators. It will feature engaging presentations by the scientist-facilitators, process demonstations, animations, and post viewing activities to enrich student’s learning experience and inspire them to explore natural phenomenon or know more about a particular STEM discipline. Results of project evaluation reveal how the scientists who facilitate nuLab and Science Explorer modules are able to influence the participants in their choice of future careers in the STEM fields. TuklasSyensya will produce fifteen (15) science lessons, each running for 30-45 minutes. These lessons will be uploaded to an online platform, making it available for access to formal and informal learners anytime. Topics include aerospace engineering, geological hazards, oceanography, nanotechnology, among others. The other good thing about this project is that, not only are the students’ learning enriched, but that the teachers also get to enhance their teaching skills because they will be provided with fifteen (15) Teachers Guide to be published online by DOST-SEI or reproduced as low-cost printed materials by DOST Regional Offices. Both teachers and students learn from adapting to this online platform. The country may have been caught unaware by the COVID virus, and it is not certain until when some areas will remain in quarantine, but what is certain is that the earlier initiatives in the area of S&T education is built on solid ground, strong enough that other initiatives can be developed on top of it. RadyoEskwela and TuklaSyensya are paving the way for students and teachers to not just cope, but creatively adapt to the “new normal.” (Geraldine B. Ducusin, DOST-STII)

ExperTalk Online - STARBOOKS Anniversary(June 24, 2020)

Posted on 06/24/2020 12:01 pm

Bilang tugon sa “new normal” sa education system dulot ng COVID-19 pandemic, nagdevelop ang STARBOOKS ng mobile app at online content para sa full suite, fingertip-ready at free science and technology information para sa lahat.

Mindanao researchers develop vitamin A-enriched noodles from alugbati

Posted on 06/21/2020 08:48 am

Do you know that other than being added to Filipinos’favorite monggo or ensalada, alugbati can also be combined with wheat flour to make egg noodles? Alugbati (Basella alba), also called Indian spinach, Malabar spinach, Ceylon spinach, and vine spinach, is an indigenous leafy vegetable found in the country and widely cultivated in the Visayas region, that is considered a healthy food and is claimed to have medicinal value.In other countries it is called Genjerot, Jingga, Gendola (Indonesian); TsuruMurasa Kai (Japanese); Paag-Prung (Thai); and MongToi (Vietnamese). Finding intrinsic value in this vegetable, a team of researchers from the University of the Philippines Mindanao developed a product using alugbatileaves powder, which is a good source of vitamin A, as an ingredient in fresh egg noodles. Studies have reported that fresh alugbatileaves are relatively high in crude ash and crude protein, which signifies that it has a high mineral content that can help address protein energy malnutrition. This is the reason why alugbatican be utilized in food fortification and enrichment in certain products, such as noodles. Normally, egg noodles are made of wheat flour, eggs, and water. The study substituted wheat flour with 10%, 15%, and 20%, respectively of alugbatileaves powder in the for-mulation. Results show that a substitution level of 15% was the most preferred. Noodles can be used as carriers of nutrients if plant-based or animal-based ingredients are added to enhance their nutrient content. Vitamin A Deficiency (VAD) remains one of the three common forms of malnutrition worldwide, the other two being iron deficiency anemia and iodine deficiency disorder. According to the National Nutrition Survey, despite the declining mortality rate caused by VADin the Philippines, the overall prevalence rate of VAD increased from 5.9% in 2008 to 6.1% in 2013. Incidentally, preschool children have a VAD prevalence rate of 20.4%. Micronutrient deficiency, the lack of needed vitamins and minerals needed for growth and development, leads to stunting, wasting, and other severe illnesses especially among children and pregnant women. “Consuming the alugbati egg noodles can help provide the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin A especially for children, pregnant and lactating women, and the elderly,”Kriza Faye A. Calumba, one of the researchers, explained. For the full version of the article, visit the Philippine Journal of Science (PJS). It can also be accessed through this link PJS is a publication of the Science and Technology Information Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-STII). DOST also has testing facilities in its regional offices nationwide that provide technical assistance to those who wish to venture into technology-based businesses. (Geraldine Bulaon-Ducusin, S&T Media Service)


Posted on 06/19/2020 11:57 am

WATCH: May imbensyon ka ba? Narito ang mga dapat malaman tungkol sa mga assistance na ibinibigay ng Department of Science and Technology para sa mga Pinoy inventors. Kasama sina Sec. Boy de la Peña at Dir. Edgar Garcia ng Technology Application and Promotion Institute.

ExperTalk Online - Antimicrobial Personal Hygiene Products (June 17, 2020)

Posted on 06/17/2020 11:54 am

WATCH: Alamin ang teknolohiya sa likod ng antimicrobial soap and hand mist gawa sa bamboo-activated carbon at sa iba pang forest-products resources na dinevelop ng DOST-FPRDI kasama si Gel Miranda.

DOST partners with PCAFI and Air21 Global to meet local food needs in the new normal

Posted on 06/16/2020 10:05 am

Manila- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Inc. (PCAFI), and Air21 Global forged a partnership to implement a smart food value chain program to guarantee food security in the new normal. The collaboration will cover food production, food processing, logistics supply chain and resources management system, and smart retailing systems. In a virtual meeting, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Pena sealed the partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PCAFI Chair Mr. Philip Ong and President Mr. Danilo Fausto, and with Air21 Global President Ms. Judy Ascalon. "This is a milestone that will surely strengthen the cooperation between DOST and its partner industries, PCAFI and Air21, to heighten food production, processing, and extending the shelf-life of local food for national consumption," DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development Executive Director Dr. Enrico Paringit said. Accelerating local food production and generating market opportunities for farmers, the DOST through PCIEERD, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), and partner state university and college (SUC) as well as Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have developed several technologies that will be integrated to complete the value chain. Smart technologies such as Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines (SARAI) of DOST-PCAARRD and artificial intelligence to process data across the value chain will be used in the undertaking. The Food Value Chain (FVC) is a series of activities that aims to build and create values from each stage, from agricultural production, processing and manufacturing, distribution up to consumption. Its goal is to develop a sustainable food value chain in the country—from farms to firms and their successive coordinated value-adding activities that produce particular raw agricultural materials and transform them into particular food products that are sold to final consumers and disposed of after use, in a manner that is profitable throughout, has broad-based benefits for society, and does not permanently deplete natural resources.

DOST in awe of Scholars’ volunteerism amid COVID-19

Posted on 06/15/2020 08:41 am

When the country imposed the nationwide community quarantine amid the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), worry and uncertainty clouded the minds of many, especially the poor, who are unprepared of the sudden restrictions in movement and economic activity. Despite this, scholars of the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) were among the first to respond and to organize themselves to do volunteer work in their localities. DOST officials are amazed with the various initiatives done by its scholars - both ongoing and scholar-graduates. “It is very inspiring to know that our DOST scholars are doing their own part to help the nation recover from the current crisis,” said DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña who regularly reports of the agency’s efforts in his official social media page. As of June 5, there are 1,081 ongoing and former science scholars who volunteered in relief operations; data encoding and validation; 3D printing of frames for face shields and production of other personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontliners; and production of alcohol as disinfectant. Some even helped in their community safety assistance program by monitoring persons entering and leaving their barangay. DOST-SEI Director, Dr. Josette T. Biyo, said that while they are in awe of these initiatives, she credits the Institute’s scholars’ formation program called “The Filipino Patriot Scholars Project” in further awakening patriotism and servant leadership traits among scholars. “Since 2017, we wanted to inculcate the core values such as professional excellence, social responsibility, servant leadership and volunteerism among our scholars aside from them pursuing academic excellence. We know that those values don’t fully blossom in a matter of days or weeks, but the Patriot Project allowed them to find deeper meaning to the brand of being DOST scholars,” Dir Biyo said. The number of scholar-volunteers kept rising from an initial 500 in April to more than a thousand as of date. Dir. Biyo further said that there are still scholar-volunteers whose contributions were undocumented. “The documented efforts may represent only some of the initiatives from DOST Scholars but the impact cannot be overstated,” she said. Among the documented efforts, Dir. Biyo said are some notable modes of assistance that include data validation for the distribution of Social Amelioration Program, development of online tracking mechanism for persons under investigation and monitoring (PUIs and PUMs), and strategic campaign to provide baby-friendly relief via a movement called #FeedPHBabies. A number of scholars and alumni also pooled resources to buy food packs, groceries, and other essentials for the vulnerable individuals in their localities. Scholars further assisted in information dissemination by creating infographics and publication of relevant information materials while others enlisted as volunteers for the Molecular Biolab to be established to augment in COVID-19 testing. Another example of volunteerism among the DOST scholars is their involvement in research. The Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler (FASSSTER) was developed by a team led by researchers from the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) that allows forecasting of possible cases in a given area at a specified period of time. The project is used for creating predictive models and visualizing possible scenarios of outbreaks of dengue, typhoid fever and measles at specified time periods. Under the FASSSTER project, 45 DOST scholar-volunteers are deployed at the Department of Health (DOH) regional offices nationwide and work as data encoders and analysts. Data gathered from this model support the decision-making of DOH, local government units and healthcare facilities in terms of resource planning and other measures to mitigate the spread of the virus The project was funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the DOST. On the other hand, Biyo mentioned that Shana Genavia, a DOST scholar, was also part of the DNA Sequencing Core Facility that helped validate the COVID-19 Detection Kit developed by the University of the Philippines - National Institutes of Health (UP NIH). A number of MD-PhD scholar-graduates of UP Philippine General Hospital also underwent training at the UP National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (UP-NIMBB) for deployment to the different Department of Health (DOH) Testing Centers. She also cited that some DOST Balik Scientists and graduate scholars from University of San Agustin in Iloilo are doing epidemiological modelling of COVID-19 for the Province of Iloilo, Guimaras, and Panay. The results of which are given to the City Mayor and Governors in aid of policy making. Dir. Biyo also said that the volunteerism efforts of DOST scholars were also seen during the Marawi Siege in May 2017. “Even in Marawi, we saw great volunteer efforts from those who benefitted from our Bangon Marawi Scholarship Program. These scholar-graduates who named themselves Team Batis distributed food packs in Marawi City and Balo-i in Lanao del Norte, and Saguiaran, Marantao, Maguing, and Tugaya in Lanao del Sur,” she said. As the community quarantine continues to be implemented in various parts of the country, DOST-SEI is very positive that the initiatives from its scholars will remain. “Indeed, there’s no amount of volunteer work that is too small nor big enough. The fact that reaching out to others while being under the same threat of exposure to the deadly virus is noble for our young scholars. We’re so proud of them,” Dir. Biyo disclosed. Source: Marco D. Melgar,, (632) 8837-1925/(0917) 3246245

DOST Report (June 12, 2020)

Posted on 06/12/2020 11:45 am

Shopfloor at Grassroot Innovations ating tatalakayin kasama si USec. Brenda Nazareth-Manzano at mga bagong balita sa mundo ng siyensya at teknolohiya, dadalhin sa atin ni Sec. Fortunato de la Peña ngayon na!

ExperTalk Online – Startups respond to the pandemic (June 10, 2020)

Posted on 06/10/2020 11:32 am

WATCH: Alamin kung anong mga inobasyon ang ginawa ng mga startups sa bansa upang makatulong sa ating sitwasyong dulot ng #COVID19. Paano nga ba nagsimula ang mga ito, panuorin 'yan straight from the startup founders dito lamang sa #Expertalk Online.