University of the Philippines Los Baños
Friday, 04 August 2017 14:38

Los Baños Science Community marks S&T week ‘Syensaya’ again

The Regional Science and Technology Week and ‘Syensaya,’ led annually by the Department of Science and Technology and the Los Baños Science Community Foundation, Inc. (LBSCFI), opened its doors to the public on Aug. 2 at the Copeland Gymnasium, UPLB. This year’s celebration is themed “Science for the people: science and technology in harmony with biodiversity.”

During the opening program, Dr. Fortunato T. de la Peña, Secretary of Science and Technology (DOST), and Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, undersecretary for research and development of DOST, emphasized the importance of educating the youth in science and technology and producing more researchers, scientists, and engineers to further national development. Sec. de la Peña encouraged the students present in the program to be curious about everything in the exhibit.

Sec. de la Peña said that Syensaya 2017 is focused on developing national leadership, not just among students but also among entrepreneurs, who they hope to inspire in building their small businesses, so that each one can contribute to “a comfortable life for all.”

Meanwhile, Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., represented by Prof. Jerry R. Yapo, director of the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts, said that the exhibit can provide an experience of how the latest innovations in science and technology can be used to help conserve the country’s rich biodiversity.

Syensaya’s exhibit, called “Wonderama,” which is mounted at UPLB Copeland Gymnasium, is divided into four clusters: agriculture, forest and environment, urban, and aquatic. The agriculture exhibit is an immersive experience that highlights the advantages of sustainable agriculture and the possibilities in pursuing an agriculture-related field. Among them are UPLB’s edible landscaping project and BIOTECH’s bee and coconut products. The forest and environment cluster, on the other hand, showcases the richness of Philippine forests featuring its various forest trees and the ASEAN Heritage Parks.

The urban cluster features the results of combining the innovations of science and technology and environment protection to create sustainable technologies. Lastly, the aquatic cluster presents the technologies that aim to improve the fishery sector and sustain fisherfolks’ livelihood. It also features documentation about the diversity of the Philippine Rise, previously called the Benham Rise.

UPLB water experts at techno forum

Syensaya also used the opportunity to discuss water security among Los Baños stakeholders during the LBSCFI Techno Forum. Entitled “Makakalikasang talakayan tungo sa sustenableng supply ng tubig sa Los Baños”, UPLB experts discussed the current state and use of Laguna’s water resources. It was held on Aug. 3 at the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development.

Dr. Nathaniel C. Bantayan, professor at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources, discussed the current state of the Makiling Watershed and the technologies that the University employs to study and protect the area under its jurisdiction. On the other hand, Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez, associate professor at the School of Environmental Science and Management, discussed the issues on water security and what could be done to improve the current situation.

Another speaker, Engr. Fatima Jean R. Alvarez, production supervisor at Laguna Water District Aquatech Resources Corporation, presented the water distribution in Laguna and the factors that affect it.

Chancellor Sanchez, who also graced the forum, emphasized in his welcome remarks the significance of holding such activity because of the importance of water in daily life. “It is unwise to believe that our resource is infinite and will always be abundant,” he said. He added that concerned institutions must enhance policies to ensure that future generations will still have enough water in the years to come.

Syensaya runs from Aug. 2 to 4, 2017. (Jessa Jael S. Arana)