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Seventy-two researchers and academicians from the different academic institutions in the Visayas rubbed elbows on June 21-22, 2012 during the 9th General Membership Assembly of the National Research Council of the Philippines – Visayas Regional Cluster (NRCP-VRC) at the VSU's Center for Continuing Education. This year's assembly was dovetailed on the theme "Towards Building Dynamic and Invigorated Basic Researchers in the Visayas Cluster for Philippine Progress."

 

The VSU President, Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo, gladly welcomed the participants to the University. He emphasized the importance of research in the academe and encouraged the participants to share the research outputs by publishing them in refereed journals, which is an index of productivity and quality. The VSU President also acknowledged NRCP for always being there in promoting the conduct of basic research. However, he observed that the policy-making body has not given enough attention or has not invested much to this kind of research. Dr. Bacusmo added that the reason for this is that applied research is generally carried out to solve the problem while basic research is carried out to increase knowledge.

Nevertheless, he said that both kinds of research are important to the advancement of society, although each works in different ways.

On the other hand, Engr. Edgardo M. Esperancilla, Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology of Region 8, emphasized the need to identify the gaps and strategies to meet the objectives in the next 5 years. He revealed that there is an allotment for R and D programs for state universities and colleges (SUCs). He also mentioned the plan of DOST 8 to purchase the Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer and to establish consortium of laboratories wherein there will be sharing of expertise.

On behalf of the City Mayor of Baybay Carmen L. Cari, Mr. Deogracias Pernites, City Administrator, read her message. The Mayor expressed her full support to the activity organized by the NRCP and is confident that VSU can provide the needs of the participants being the host institution.

To set the tone of the assembly, a keynote address entitled "NRCP for S&T-Based National Development" was delivered by Dr. Lourdes J. Cruz, president of NRCP. Dr. Cruz talked about the importance of research as the nucleus of science for without research there will be no scientific development. She said that it does not matter whether one is doing basic or applied research, what is important is to do good science.

Dr. Cruz also shared the output of her research work funded by the NRCP on conus from its species to molecular diversity and other researchable areas.

Moreover, she discussed the developments in technology and research over the past 40 years. Dr. Cruz underscored that research in a knowledge-based economy will serve as the key element for an innovative and economically prosperous nation. "The research must be of the highest international quality and standard for a nation to be competitive," she further said.

The NRCP president added that the development of S&T to propel economic growth of the country is strongly based on strengthening the pillars of S&T productivity such as the critical mass of well-trained researchers, pool of scientific knowledge, adequate research, and efficient administrative system.

The participants were also engrossed by the different topics presented during the plenary session such as "Feeling Good About Oneself", The Greater Goal – More than the Money", "Recruiting the Young, Re-Tooling the Research-Fatigue", "Balancing Teaching, Research and Extension in the Academe", "Conducting Research: Battling the Twin Demons of Teaching Overload and Research Fatigue", and "To Publish or To Perish."

The occasion also paved the way for the business meeting wherein the NRCP-VRC chairperson and VSU professor emeritus, Dr. Manuel K. Palomar, reported the accomplishments and plans of the Council. The oath-taking of new NRCP members administered by the NRCP President, Dr. Cruz, also took place.

The two-day assembly wound up with a synthesis from Dr. Lualhati M. Noriel, VSU professor VI and secretary of NRCP-VRC.