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DOST OKs 3 programs worth P200-M on COVID research

By Dhel Nazario 

Three programs aimed at responding to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have been approved by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) covering areas such as health, agriculture and natural resources, industry, and emerging technology.

Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said the programs worth P200 million were implemented in preparation for urgent research.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña (TOTO LOZANO/ Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña (TOTO LOZANO /  Presidential Photo / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Sa ngayon, although merong mga proposals na isinusubmit, di mo masabi kung kelan magkakaroon ng urgent na research na kailangang gawin. Alam mo naman bigla nalang sasabihin ng halimbawa ng IATF or ng DOH, o aralin ninyo ito kasi kailangan ito,” he said. (For now, although there are proposals being submitted, you cannot say for sure when research needs to be done right away. For example the IATF or the DOH will suddenly say that we have to study something because it is needed.)

“Kaya nag set aside na kami ng program na inaanticipate yung ganitong mga ipapagawang research. Nag approve kami ng tatlong programs na para siyang general pa, nakaabang na siya para dun sa mga ipapagawa pa,” he added. (Which is why we have set aside these programs that might require urgent research. We approved three programs that are generally ready for future projects.)

Those approved were: the program “Addressing and Responding to COVID-19 through Health Research (ARCHER)” to cover interventions involving vaccines, repurposing of existing drugs and supplements or new formulations thereof, diagnostics and kit validation studies, Artificial Intelligence (AI)/ Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-driven models and prediction studies, and enhancement of facilities, laboratories, and hospital equipment. Regulatory studies and other COVID-related public health researches will also be undertaken. The ARCHER program will be spearheaded by the DOST- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD);

The Program “S&T for a Resilient Community against the Pandemic (STRAP)” to be led by DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) will cover studies and technology development on work-from-home (WFH) tools, workplace safety, safe mobility and transport, response and coping with the new normal, testing and calibration of locally-developed medical devices, geospatial and ICT solutions for COVID-19, new devices and products, PPEs, detection and disinfection technologies, and emergency food for COVID-19 affected families, communities, and frontliners;

The DOST – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) Program “Rebuilding the Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources in Response to COVID-19 (ReAARRC)” will pursue R&D, technology transfer and information dissemination to ensure food security in the time of COVID-19 and under the new normal.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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