DAVAO CITY – The Regional Development Council (RDC) XI, in partnership with the Regional Research, Development and Innovation Committee (RRDIC) XI, spearheaded the conduct of a Utilization Forum on the Davao Regional Development Research Agenda (DRDRA) on January 17-18, 2019 in Davao City. Around 70 representatives from the academe, industry clusters, research consortia, NGAs and LGUs joined the activity.  This is the third utilization forum conducted since the formulation of the first DRDRA in 2011.

In her welcome message, RDC XI Vice-Chairperson and NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim acknowledged the importance of the Region’s research institutions’ contributions towards the achievement of the Region’s development targets. She said that their initiatives in the area of research and development and science, technology and innovation can lead to significant improvement in the productivity of the Region’s farmers and fisherfolks, industries and other productive sectors.

The two-day forum was conducted to determine the adoption and utilization of the DRDRA 2017-2022 by Davao Region’s research stakeholders, as well as to further advocate the utilization of the Research Agenda. The Forum also served as venue for knowledge sharing among research partners in the Region.

As part of the knowledge sharing, RRDIC XI Chair and DOST XI Regional Director Anthony C. Sales presented the S&T Competitiveness Ranking of the Philippines, 2012-2018, wherein he emphasized that the Global Competitiveness Report is a leading tool in assessing the competitiveness of economies. He said that based on the 2018 Global Competitive Index, the Philippines got an over-all rank of 56 out of the 140 countries, which marks a 12-spot leap from the 68th rank in 2017.  Director Sales, however, informed that the Philippines’ lag in terms of competitiveness in the health sector at 101st place and in building enabling environments, particularly with institutions at 101st place and in infrastructures at 92nd place.

Dr. Susan Labutap of CHED XI presented the Typology of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). She said that this system of classifying HEIs will change the context of Philippine Higher Education where emphasis on developing professionals shall be hinged on knowledge and skills that will contribute to nation building, specifically through research and development especially for Universities.

R&D breakthroughs were also shared by duly recognized R&D experts of Davao Region. In the field of medicine, Ms. Nelyn Mae Cadotdot of the University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC), presented a study entitled “Investigation of Possible Inhibitory Action of Philippine Crocodile (Crocodylus Mindorensis) Serum Infectivity in Vitro-Prior to and After Attachment to Human Peripheral Blood  Mono Nuclear Cell” which is found to have a potential cure for HIV/AIDS. She said that the study shall be pursued for animal testing prior to its testing on human subjects. In the field of renewable energy, Dr. Randell Espina of the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) presented a study on “Optimal Design of a Solar PV Energy System”. The said project was implemented in the AdDU school campuses in Davao City and some parts of Davao Region. In the field of agricultural production, Dr. Roger Montejo of the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) presented the study on Pre-and Post-Harvest Tools and Facilities for Mango Production which include development of a Portable Mango Power Sprayer Nozzle, development of a Mechanical Mango Fruit Picker and development of a Model Integrated Mango Postharvest Facility. The project has already applied for Patent with the Intellectual Property Office and awaiting approval for its commercialization.

Workshops were also undertaken which afforded the participants the opportunity to provide recommendations on the gaps identified in the DRDRA formulation and implementation as well identify an initial list of research topics which shall serve as inputs to the updating of the DRDRA and Davao Regional Development Plan, 2017-2022.

DOST XI Assistant Regional Director Mirasol Domingo, in her closing message, called on the active participation of the RRDIC XI members and other relevant R&D institutions to make sure that the Region’s R&D outputs will effectively contribute in providing solutions to the regional development gaps. She also mentioned the need to establish a region-wide knowledge management system that will serve as repository of all research outputs in the region, provide a venue for sharing and matching research initiatives with industries, business sectors and development partners, as well as serve as mechanism for the utilization and commercialization of completed researches.  – Marivic C. Natividad, NEDA XI