Department of Science and Technology (DOST) VII Regional Dir. Edilberto L. Paradela and Tuklas Lunas consultant Dr. Amelia P. Guevara recently held a meeting with the Siquijor State College (SSC) to assess the latter’s capability to serve as a Tuklas Lunas Center (TLC) in the island-province of Siquijor.
The capability assessment conference was conducted in light of SSC’s request for the DOST to establish the educational institution as a provincial center for “Tuklas Lunas”, a natural drug research and discovery program initiated by DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).
Held at the SSC campus last May 18, 2017 in close coordination with the DOST Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) in Siquijor, the meeting was attend by Dr. Amelia Guevara, DOST Tuklas Lunas consultant and former DOST undersecretary; DOST VII Regional Director Edilberto Paradela, and SSC Research Director Josel Mansueto, among others. Also present in the meeting were BOT Secretary Maxwell V. Panzo and SSC Vice President for Administration and Finance Dr. Filemon P. Caroro.
Tuklas Lunas (formerly called as Natural Substance Research Program) is one of the initiatives under the drug discovery development program, which seeks to provide solutions on the countries’ pressing medical needs. The program is an innovative way of discovering natural drugs by promoting research and discovery of the natural healing properties of indigenous plants and animals in natural environment.
Mansueto presented in the conference a report entitled “Siquijor Folk Uses of Medicinal Plants and the Role of Siquijor State College in Research and Innovation”. The said report was an update on the research entitled “Folk Healing Practices of Siquijor: Documentation of Philippine Traditional Knowledge and Practices on Health and Development of Traditional Knowledge Digital Library on Health Phase II”. The research work conducted by SSC and is funded by the DOST-PCHRD. The first phase involves documentation of traditional health practices in the mountainous areas in Siquijor town. The 2nd phase documents similar practices in the coastal areas in Siquijor and San Juan towns.
During evaluation, the DOST VII officials had pointed out both the strengths and weaknesses in the capability of SSC to effectively conduct drug research and development functions.
Guevara, on the other hand, expressing concern with SSC’s lack of manpower, advised SSC to first boost its manpower resources by offering courses like Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Paradela, who also sits as a member of the SSC Board of Trustees (BOT), supported the proposal to expand the SSC’s course offerings.
De la Peña said SSC was also advised to collaborate with other institutions like University of San Carlos in Cebu or the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute in Manila.
As new member of the Central Visayas Consortium for Health Research and Development (CVCHRD), SSC also has a chance to collaborate with other member health research institutions when conducting researches,” de la Pena added.
Mansueto has welcomed the suggestion, saying that the SSC could, in the meantime, function as a satellite office of the University of San Carlos-TLC.
“We will start as extraction laboratory then we’ll undergo training. However, we are required to submit the revised proposal to Dr. Amelia Guevara first before submitting it to the Director and SSC is given until June 15. 2017,” she further said. (With reports from Licino Gingoyon, DOST VII IO-designate)
written by: Engr. Reinhold Jek Y. Abing, Science Research Analyst/IO-designate DOST Siquijor