AGHAM-Laguna hold forum on role of scientists and engineers
Written by Agham Press Corps
AGHAM-Laguna recently concluded its forum on “The Role of Scientists and Engineers in Amplifying National Issues: The Cases of Power and Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Mechanization” last August 30 (Tues), 2005 at the College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology (CEAT) Lecture Hall, UPLB, College, Laguna.
Close to 60 students, faculty and professionals from various organizations and college units attended the forum jointly organized by AGHAM-Laguna and the League of Agricultural Engineering Students (NG).
The forum was seen as a venue for the academe and studentry to further internalize its role in redounding to the public the explanation of complex issues involving the environment, food security and self-sufficiency, public utilities, scientific and mass culture, and national industrialization. It campaigned among professionals, students and the general public the essence of pursuing and championing a science, engineering and technology that is truly for the benefit of the people.
During the forum, our very own Engr. Ramon Ramirez (electrical engineer and POWER convenor) presented various issues on public utilities, with concentration on power. Mon highlighted the Meralco issues and AGHAM and POWER’s role in opposing overcharging and unbundling schemes. Mon clearly impressed upon the audience the need for engineers “to undertake advocacy activities since they are the ones most inclined to provide technical knowledge and assistance in several national issues today”. He also discussed certain issues involving oil, water and telecommunications wherein AGHAM has actively involved in advocacy and campaigns.
Dr. Delfin Suministrado (agricultural machinery design expert) discussed the history, status and challenges in mechanizing Philippine agriculture. He acknowledged that one of the contraints in mechanization is the lack of primemovers or engines, which up to now is sill being imported and not being manufactured by the country. Also according to him, most of the areas being mechanized are the ones inside haciendas. He also cited the lack of a national agricultural mechanization program. He imparted that “scientists and engineers should play a major role in policy advocacy for true agricultural modernization”.
Dr. Giovanni Tapang (physicist and AGHAM National Chairperson) shared the framework of science and technology for the people, informing everybody that there is at present “a call by the people towards scientists and technologists to work and create technologies for the true benefit of the people”. Ganni conveyed that scientists and engineers should work hand in hand with the farmers, fisherfolks and marginalized sectors in pressing for genuine land reform, and in creating industries for national industrialization.
During the reaction cum discussions, Prof. Manolo Villano (hydrology and irrigation expert) shared that in the case of water, engineers should further undertake programs to reduce the inefficiencies of sourcing and distribution of water for irrigating vital crop areas. According to him, it is one way of supporting agricultural production and ensuring food for the country.
Prof. Edvino Eusebio (physicist and Electrical Engineering Department Head) lamented the quality of power in the Philippines, saying that this was important in order to support our industries. He was saddened by the fact that most of our scientists and engineers fall prey to work that are not research and technology-based. He encouraged the students to continue working in the Philippines as patriots, and not in other countries, to develop technologies that will be used by Filipinos.
Dr. Victor Ella (hydrology modelling expert and College Dean) challenged the students, saying that “one of the things that students of engineering should become, is a socially responsible person”. He challenged students to be always aware of the issues and discern their position in issues using the skills they learn in college.
Tracy Singson (student and President of NG) shared that by studying hard and practicing his or her profession, a student is already contributing to pool of budding experts that can help analyze problems in society.
In his synthesis, Engr. Glenn Bulao shared his personal experiences as electronics and communications engineer in several multinational corporations. He reiterated the sad plight of scientists and engineers in the research and development sectors, telling the audience that engineers should assume their roles in achieving national industrialization.
Florante Cruz, AGHAM-Laguna member and forum co-coordinator gave the Closing remarks and assisted in the distribution of certificates for the speakers and reactors.