President keen on local drones

By Julianne A. Suarez

President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his interest with the locally developed drones among other local inventions presented during the National Science and Technology Week that ended Sunday, the regional director of the organizing Department of Science and Technology said.

DOST-Davao Regional Director Anthony Sales said the locally made aerial vehicle “can be used for surveillance or mapping.”

“It has various applications,” Sales said.

For mapping, Sales said it can be used for assessment of resources like coastal resources, forest resources, water resources.

The drone, he added, can also be used for detection of diseases in plantations.

The other invention that President Duterte expressed interest is the vertical helophyte filter which was developed by DOST-Davao.

The vertical helophyte filter, Sales said, is intended to treat waste water from septic tanks, either from household or from industry.

“What it does is filter the waste water and what comes out is clean water that can be disposed directly to our water bodies,” Sales said.

“It’s a low-cost technology that will allow, micro, small and medium enterprises, and households treat their water,” Sales added.

President Duterte graced the Friday opening of the three-day event where various locally-made technologies were exhibited. Those technologies, Sales said, “can find application in the home, in the communities, in the industry, and other sectors of the society.”

Also attended by DOST Sec. Fortunato Dela Pena, this year’s National Science and Technology Week at the SMX Convention Center of SM Lanang Premier was the first ever to be held outside Metro Manila.

“Traditionally, for the last several years, we (held) the NSTW celebration in Metro Manila and it’s fortunate that the management of DOST decided to stage the opening ceremonies here in Davao,” Sales said.

The event held last July 6 to 8, 2018 highlighted the theme ‘Science for the People in Mindanao: Innovation for Collective Prosperity’ with emphasis on how Science and Technology contributed to Mindanao Development.

Part of the event was an interactive exhibit of different products, services, and technologies mostly funded by DOST. Most of these are developed by the Department’s cooperators under the Small Enterprise Technology Upbringing Program (SETUP), the banner program of the regional offices of DOST.

A scientific forum on different topics including Going Great Heights Towards Building the Nation’s Knowledge-base, Technology Innovation & Value Creation, Balik Scientist Progeam, Magna Carta and the Scientific Career System, DOST Scholarship Programs, Community-based Flood Early Warning System (CBFEWS) Project, Geinformatics for Systematic Assessment of Flood Effects and Risk (GEOSAFER), and Greening Mined-out Areas (Bioremeditation) also took event.

He expressed optimism for spectators to learn and earn from the showcased technologies as many of these can be commercialized already and be applied in schools and households.
Sales also voiced his hopes for Davao region to host more NSTW events in the future.

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