MANILA, Philippines – Rappler speaks to Science and Technology secretary Mario Montejo.
Montejo was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III in June 2010. Before this, he taught at the College of Engineering in the University of the Philippines.
As the head of the DOST, Montejo deals with everyday problems including traffic, disasters, and public health. Montejo sees innovators as the key to confronting these problems.
Montejo is now pushing for the creation of what he calls, “Tuklas Lunas Centers” where researchers explore production of medicine from local sources. He says the aim is “to provide quality yet inexpensive drugs to consumers and generate livelihood opportunities in the countryside.”
The DOST is also involved in testing the Automated-Guideway Transit (AGT). Created by the University of the Philippines Diliman, the train is fully-automated which may help solve traffic problems on the Bicutan to Taguig route. It’s dubbed as the “first Filipino-developed train.”
For public health, the DOST is looking into combining its dengue-alert website with Project Noah, a weather-monitoring website. People will be able to look out for mosquito breeding grounds during bouts of rainy weather.
Montejo will talk to Rappler about DOST’s projects and what the department hopes to achieve during the National Science and Technology week.
Innovation towards progress is the theme of this year’s National Science and Technology Week, set on July 23-27.
Watch the interview below.
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