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Outgoing DOST chief lauds Duterte for picking an insider successor
TACLOBAN CITY, June 1 (PNA) –- Outgoing Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo lauded President-elect Rodrigo Duterte for picking an insider as the next head of DOST.

Speaking to employees here on Tuesday, Montejo said the appointment of Undersecretary Fortunato dela Peña will ensure continuity of what the department has been implementing in the past years.

“I am happy that he’s from the ranks because there will be continuity. As a nation, we should develop technology self-reliance and it can be easily achieved if someone from the ranks will lead,” Montejo said.

The outgoing DOST chief reiterated the need to sustain existing efforts such as the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program, launched during the Arroyo administration and expanded by the Aquino government.

SETUP is DOST’s response to their public’s demand to improve access to technologies and breakthroughs developed by the different facilities of DOST.

This program is focused in helping SMEs utilize and adapt technological innovations and scientific processes that improve business productivity and efficiency.

“We have many programs that should not be stopped. These are multi-billion peso programs, which are bearing fruits,” he added.

Other key programs are food innovation and processing center, scholarship, technical and consultancy services, and standards and testing.

Dela Peña is the DOST’s current undersecretary for science and technology services. Under his watch is Science and Technology Foundation Unit, International Technology Cooperation Unit, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Joint Scientific Cooperation program, gender and development, human resource development, biosafety committee, and biosafety clearing house.

Dela Peña's stint in DOST started when he became head of the planning service division of the National Science and Technology Authority (DOST's forerunner) in the early 1980's. (PNA)
JMC/Sarwell Q. Meniano

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