Siquijor, the so-called enchanting “island of fire” south of Cebu, came ablaze in its celebration of the Regional Science and Technology Week highlighting the latest technologies, products, and services in the local science community. 

The exhibits and forums were right smack in the heart of the province, at the Capital Square in Siquijor town. In attendance at the opening ceremonies 15 August 2019 were no less than the provincial and town dads who themselves have availed of S&T interventions for their respective turfs. 

And to this province which has no malls, cinemas, or modern supermarkets, this celebration jampacked the Capital Square with students, teachers, parents, entrepreneurs, and other interested individuals to check what this S&T event is all about. 

S&T intervention in Siquijor
Rep. John Vincent Villa, in a speech delivered by Atty. Caneza Joanna Antepuesto, acknowledged how the Department of Science and Technology has helped his constituents. “DOST has installed 18 STARBOOKS units, making S&T information accessible to our students,” Antepuesto read. 

STARBOOKS, or the Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks, is a digital S&T library that contains hundreds of thousands of materials, news, journal articles, and even videos, as well as K to 12 materials, that students, researchers, and entrepreneurs could use. He also said that more than 60 Surigao-based entrepreneurs have received various support from DOST to increase their production. 

Siquijor Gov. Zaldy S. Villa, meanwhile, informed that though Siquijor dramatically lowered its poverty rate at 10 percent from a previous 49 percent, its inflation rate is very high. This is why the province needs facilities such as feed mills to produce its own feeds because importing feeds contributes to the inflation rate. 

Sec. Fortunato T. de la Peña also informed that aside from support to entrepreneurs, the DOST has also given various assistance to mango farms in the province, and in various aspects such as energy conservation, cleaner production technologies, business incubators to start-ups, and scholarship for human resource development. 

The DOST regional and provincial offices have also provided Consultancy for Agriculture Productivity Enhancement and Manufacturing Productivity Extension Program services to Siquijodnons. 

“We are also working with the Siquijor State College in the documentation of herbal medicines and the province’s traditional medicinal practices,” he said. With this project, Gov. Villa said he now wants the province to be known as the “Healing Paradise Island of Siquijor” instead of “Mystic Island.” 

Meanwhile, Siquijor Mayor Richard Quezon has something to be very excited about. In his town, particularly in Brgy. Caipilan, he, along with Gov. Villa and DOST executives, laid down the time capsule of the DOST-PAGASA synoptic station to mark the site where the station will soon rise. 

The PhP 4M-facility will not only provide Siquijor updated and localized weather information but will also serve as a vital component in establishing the Siquijor International airport very soon. 

S&T champs
Also at the opening ceremonies, DOST recognized Dr. Lanndon A. Ocampo of the Cebu Technological University as an Outstanding Filipino Scientist for being named one of Asia’s Top 100 in the 2018 Edition of the Asian Scientist magazine. The recognition stemmed from his previous Outstanding Young Scientist Award conferred by the DOST-National Academy of Science and Technology for his major contributions to the Philippine manufacturing and supply chain sector.

During the RSTW, DOST-VII, as part of its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program, awarded to LCCJ Eatery and General Merchandize based in Lazi, Siquijor some PhP 300,000 worth of equipment; Mr. Brother Mechanics Motorcycle Repair Shop, PhP469,900.00 worth of equipment; and Lilibeth Viernes, PhP 414,700 worth of equipment. 

For its Grants-In-Aid program, DOST-VII awarded PhP 500,000 each to the local government of San Juan through Mayor James Capundag Jr. (as beneficiary of the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology program), Siquijor town through Mayor Quezon for enhancing its disaster prevention and mitigation program, and Siquijor province through Gov. Villa for technology enhancement.  (by: By: Framelia V. Anonas, DOST-STII | Photos by Gerardo G. Palad, DOST-STII / Source:

Dr. Lanndon Ocampo A. Ocampo receives his award as Outstanding Filipino Scientist as he was not able to personally receive his award as Asia’s Top 100 in the 2018 Edition of the Asian Scientist magazine. With him are DOST Sec. de la Peña (middle), Gov. Villa (left), and DOST-VII Regional Director Paradela.

DOST Sec. de la Peña (fourth from left) awards the DOST support to beneficiaries of the CEST (L-R): Representative of the Siquijor provincial government, DOST-Siquijor Provincial Director de la Peña, DOST-VII Regional Director Paradela, Siquijor Gov. Villa, and SETUP beneficiaries (middle to right) San Juan, Siquijor Mayor Capundag and staff, Lilibeth Pan Bisaya, Mr. Brother Mechanics Motorcycle Repair Shop, and LCCJ Eatery and General Merchandize.

DOST Sec. de la Peña (middle) visits the Farmer Scientist (FS) booth which displays fresh vegetables. With him are DOST-Siquijor Provincial Director de la Peña, Siquijor Gov. Villa, DOST-VII Regional Director Paradela, and the FS exhibitor.