DOST eyes research-based techs to address dengue problem

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 5, 2019   •   1150

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) wants to look into research-based technologies to address the dengue problem in the country.

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said the department has funded several research projects and programs to aid in addressing the different aspects of the disease.

“Through the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, we have funded a number of research projects and programs consistent with the multi-prong approach in the control of dengue that address different aspects such as diagnosis and treatment,” he said.

One of the researches supported by the DOST is the Biotek M which is a rapid diagnostic test for dengue. This kit can diagnose dengue as early as two to three days after the onset of illness.

They are also looking into a possible herbal medicine for dengue.

“Dengue research and development has always been one of the priority research areas in the country. This is stated in the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda led by the DOST,” said Sec. de la Peña.—AAC

DOH: No recorded case of dengue transmission through sexual intercourse in Phl

Maris Federez   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said there are no clear expert studies yet on the supposed recorded case in Spain of dengue transmission through sexual intercourse.

Based on a report, a male tested positive of dengue after having sexual intercourse with his partner who has dengue.

The health department said it was an isolated case.

“E kasi ito naman hindi siya the usual, this is very atypical. So, the chances of its spreading via that route are very low,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

Sec. Duque said the DOH is rather concerned over unprotected sex which causes an increase in the number of HIV-AIDS cases in the country.

He added that the alleged transmission of dengue virus through sexual intercourse will remain theoretical or mere speculation.

 He underscored that the Philippines has yet to record a similar case of dengue transmission.

The department, he said, is pushing for safe sex and clean living, especially this year when the country is recording an average of 35 individuals who are HIV positive daily.

“I will not be worried that there can be an epidemic of dengue via that route because there already is with mosquitoes. So, I would be worried for lack of protection primarily because we don’t want anymore HIV-AIDS cases as much as possible. So incidental lang iyong isa e to the main issue of unprotected sex. It’s a (very) collateral issue,” Duque said. (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

Duterte in ASEAN: South China Sea issue must be resolved peacefully in accordance with UNCLOS

Maris Federez   •   November 3, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries during the 35th ASEAN Summit Plenary at Impact Exhibition and Convention Center in Nonthaburi, Thailand on November 2, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Malacañang has confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte joined his fellow heads of state and government of the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in their plenary session in the evening of November 2.

A statement released by Malacanang on Sunday reads that President Duterte talked about the challenges that face ASEAN, such as, transnational crimes, advances in technology, protectionism and trade-related tension among ASEAN partners, environmental sustainability and geopolitical transformation.

The Palace said that the President thereafter shared his insights in addressing said challenges.

In elaborating geopolitical transformation, the Chief Executive made mention of the issue of the South China Sea “which he considers as one that is of strategic importance to ASEAN”, stressing his firm stance that it “must be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”

The President further mentioned that maintaining freedom of navigation and overflight above the South China Sea is a priority of ASEAN.

With its role as ASEAN-China Country Coordinator, the Philippines “vowed to do its utmost best to conclude the negotiations on the Code of Conduct — one that is effective and substantive — at the soonest possible time.”

The President also discussed the changing landscape of the Southeast Asian region “which recognizes the rise of the dragon (China) in a world still dominated by a soaring eagle (United States).”

The statement also confirmed that the Chief Executive called on ASEAN leaders not to choose — or be forced to choose — sides by pointing out what he calls a “strategic mistake” committed by the Philippines’ past leaderships, which he is now rectifying through his independent foreign policy.

The Palace further said that, for the remainder of this year’s ASEAN Summit, the President will likely continue elaborating and discussing the Philippines’ position in relation to important matters that are beneficial not just to the Filipino people but to the citizens of ASEAN member countries. (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

House members push for a bigger budget for DOST in 2020

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

The first Philippine-made train developed by DOST that takes the PNR Tutuban-Alabang route. | Photo courtesy of DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute

Members of the House of Representatives are pushing for a bigger budget for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2020.

The DOST’s budget proposal is P20.18 billion, which is P79.85 million lower than its 2019 allocation of P20.26 billion.

However, 2nd District Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. pushed to increase the DOST budget by at least P5 billion for all the provinces across the country.

During the budget briefing of the House Committee on Appropriations, DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the efforts of the department has raised the country’s rank by 19 spots in the Global Innovation Index this year.

The DOST Secretary also added that several initiatives of the department has helped address the concerns of the Filipinos. These include the Anti-Dengue Program, the Malnutrition Reduction Program, the creation of Hybrid Electric Trainsets, and others.

Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Elago also expressed hope for the DOST’s budget augmentation.

“I really lament that you have very meager budget…Science and technology should be our top priority,” Elago said.—AAC 

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