COTABATO CITY—The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) will be mapping its own resources of science and technology intervention and innovation at community level, the BARMM’s Ministry of Science Technology (MOST) said over the weekend.
This developed as the national government’s Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has turned over to BARMM-MOST the program manual of its Grassroots Innovation for Inclusive Development (GRIND).
MOST Minister Aida Silongan said the GRIND program “is not just about providing technological solutions; it is also about empowering communities to drive their own development initiatives and endeavors in the fields of science and technology.”
“Last Dec. 2022, the MOST, as the implementing agency, signed a tripartite MOA with DOST and the National Research Council of the Philippines for the project GRIND, bringing science and technology closer to the margins,” Silongan said.
Abdulrakman Asim, director-general of the MOST, said the DOST national also turned over to BARMM the SalikLakbay Solutions Mapping Trainer’s Training and Immersion Manual, during a two-day activity on February 14-15.
Engineer Nasrudin Buisan, MOST Director III for Research and Development Services, said the term “SalikLakbay” combines the Filipino words “Saliksik” (to explore or research) and “Lakbay” (journey) for the mapping of solutions involving science and technology nationwide.
Moammer Tabara, research and development specialist at MOST BARMM, said the region still heavily relies on collaborative working endeavors with and in the tutelage of the national DOST in terms of policy frameworks, formulation and adaptation.
It is said the Moro people have preserved their own distinct centuries-old craftsmanship that wittingly or unwittingly involved some known theories of chemistry and physics.
The wooden boat-building in Tawi-Tawi heavily involves the science and technology of symmetric precision (in terms of weight and physical form) in structural naval architecture design, and of the law of buoyancy in physics.
The “gador” and other decorative brass fabrication in Tugaya, Lanao del Sur utilizes heating of prime metal, molten and hammered to physical change in form in an elaborate chemical process.
The few surviving blacksmith shops in Maguindanao produce traditional farm implements such as bolos, plow blades and kitchen knives, hammered in the chemical procedure of metal heating to form another physical shape, from industrial metal bars beyond use, such as the axle suspension spring.
Up north, kitchen recipes are deemed essential part of food science and technology. The challenge is up for a closer look at science collaboration with BARMM on the award-winning mat-weaving cottage industry in Basilan.
The BARMM also has thousands of human resources potentially working in the field of traditional technology, including those complementing the Tawi-Tawi shipwright industry with boat mechanical components (basically: engine, quell shafting, transmission gears), as well as lighting and other navigation facilities that now include the application of the modern-day GPS (global positioning system) and a pilothouse-based hydraulic gearshift in the Moro maritime industry.
Support to UN-MDG, PDP, BARMM Agenda
“By working together, we can help support the innovative ideas of the communities and bring them to the market, providing them with tools they need to achieve economic stability and growth,” she added.
Minister Silongan added that through the partnerships built, the BARMM and the national government can work together in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Philippine Development Plan, the Bangsamoro Development Plan, the Chief Minister’s 12-Point Priority Agenda, and the Philippine Innovation Act.
In his online message, DOST Undersecretary Sancho Mabborang said: “We (in the national government) have (conceptualized) this (SalikLakbay) program as part of our endeavor toward secure technologies, so that we can achieve the new direction of our (administrative) regional operation and sustainable communities.”
Also present at the event was GRIND Ambassador Kyle Douglas Jennermann a.k.a “Kulas”, a Canadian vlogger known for his ‘BecomingFilipino’ Youtube channel.
“It is very exciting for me to see the diversity, unique knowledge, and diverse experience of the people outside and inside the BARMM,” Jennermann shared.
“Together, we bridge the gap into empowering people to see the positive innovations that the communities are doing here in BARMM,” he added.
Dr. Diane Maharjan, executive director of the National Innovation Council Secretariat at the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Dr. Anthony Sales, CESO III, Regional. Director of DOST XI, Dr. Kenneth Barroga Assistant RD DOST-XI, were also present at the event.