COTABATO CITY – The Department of Science and Technology of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DOST-ARMM) formally launched here the region’s celebration of the 2015 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) on Thursday.

The event features DOST-ARMM’s biggest and latest breakthroughs, programs, and interventions in the fields of agriculture, enterprise development, industry competitiveness, information technology, e-government, healthcare, education and disaster preparedness.

This year’s theme is “Philippines: A Science Nation Innovating for Global Competitiveness.”

Myra Mangkabung, DOST-ARMM Secretary, said the celebration depicts the vision and dream of science and technology community to keep abreast with global economic integration through innovation.

DOST-ARMM awarded 11 Science and Technology Ambassadors in the fields of research and development, education, infrastructure, policy and advocacy, and governorship for their outstanding contribution and support in the development of science and technology in the region.

The ambassadors are Sulog Bra, PhD, professor at the Mindanao State University– Maguindanao; Filemon G. Romero, PhD; Yusop T. Alano, provincial board member of Basilan; Hon. Abdelrazi A. Amin, municipal councilor of Jolo, Sulu; and chairperson of Philippine Councilors League – ARMM; Hon. Cahar P. Ibay, assemblyman of the 1st District of Maguindanao; Jumelita B. Romero, PhD.; Hon. Janimah D. Pandi, representative of the 1st District of Lanao del Sur; Atty. Leonardo R. Reyes, chancellor of MSU – Tawi-Tawi College of Technology and Oceanography; Hon. Mujiv S. Hataman, regional governor of ARMM; Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman, Anak Mindanao partylist representative; and Ahmed Ibn “Amin” Turabin Hataman.

Parallel to the celebration is the 2015 ARMM Regional Invention Contest and Exhibits (RICE), a nationwide activity conducted in different regions to recognize the creativity of Filipino inventors in the country. RICE serves as the qualifying round for the National Invention Contests and Exhibit in July 2016.

The DOST- Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) oversees the invention contests. Engr. Edgar I Garcia, director of DOST-TAPI, said the invention contests serve as the avenue “to acknowledge the indispensability of Filipino inventors in the Philippine society and in the landscape of national economic development.”

On Friday, October 9, the first ARMM Halal Congress will be held as part of NSTW. The congress will feature an exhibit of halal-certified products in the region as well as a forum highlighting updates on halal technology and industry.

There will be speakers from Malaysia who will tackle the global halal industry as well as halal research and development. Other expected speakers are Director Anthony Sales of DOST-XI and Director Brenda Manzano of DOST-IX.

Raymund Liboro, DOST central office assistant secretary for climate change and disaster risk reduction, graced Thursday’s event. Aristotle Carandang, DOST – Science and Technology Information Institute director, ARMM’s Chief of Staff Rasul Mitmug, and partylist representative Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman were also present.

The Lakad Agham (Scientific parade) on Saturday concluded the three-day celebration.(Bureau of Public Information)