The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) gathered stakeholders from the health and nutrition sector, representatives from the legislative body and other concerned government agencies, the academe, the private sector, and the pharmaceutical industry on June 28 at Hotel Jen Manila for a Science Legislative Forum (SLF) on Folic Acid.
The objectives of the SLF were to review the global and Philippine burden of neural tube defects; review the burden of folic acid deficiency and insufficiency in the Philippines; review evidence for, impacts of, and safety of increasing folic acid intake; review experiences in increasing folic acid intake globally and in the Philippines; to orient the variousstakeholders on the proposed legislations on folicacid supplementation and fortification; and discuss the role of government agencies, the academe, and the private sector.The participants of the legislative forum were welcomed by Academician (Acd.) Fabian M. Dayrit, acting president of NAST PHL. One of the mandates of NAST PHL is to serve as an adviser to the government and the scientific community on policy formulation. Through the initiatives of Acd. Carmencita D. Padilla, member of the Health Sciences Division (HSD) of NAST PHL and focal person of the SLF on Folic Acid, the Rare Disease Act or the Republic Act No. 10747 was signed into law by President Benigno Aquino III. Its stakeholders can be traced from a successful legislative forum that captured cohesive inputs for the advocacy of the said act.
As there no are existing folic acid fortification efforts in the Philippines and supplementation efforts have achieved low coverage, there is a need to put a comprehensive policy in place not only to increase the awareness and knowledge on how folic acid can prevent NTDs but also to improve the maternal health of every Filipino mother and woman of child-bearing age; hence the conduct of a legislative forum for folic acid fortification and supplementation, Acd. Dayrit stressed.
Folate is a B-vitamin that plays a significant role in preventing birth defects particularly of the baby’s brain and spine, which are collectively known as neural tube defects (NTDs). Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate that occurs in fortification and supplementation.
For his pioneering works and invaluable contributions to marine biology, National Scientist (NS) Edgardo Dizon Gomez was conferred the honorary degree Doctor of Science during the 176th commencement exercises of De La Salle University (DLSU), held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) last June 18.
“...as a marine biologist, my focus has been on our oceans and coasts, specifically the coral reefs and important invertebrates. Indeed, the focus on their conservation and my relative successes contributed largely to my being honored today with a Degree of Science, a distinction that precious few individuals obtain. Indeed, this is an unexpected honor, but an honor that vindicates my pursuing a career in marine biology and conservation...” NS Gomez mentioned in his commencement speech.
Invertebrate biology and ecology, true giant clam (Tridacna gigas) culture and restoration, and coral reef assessment and conservation are among the noteworthy contributions of NS Gomez that resulted in applications of public, industrial, and scientific significance.
He also led the world’s first national-scale assessment of coral reefs leading to international conservation initiatives such as coral reef rehabilitation.
In 1993, he was elected to the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) as Academician and was conferred the Order of National Scientist in 2014. ~Ana Loren B. Durana
NAST PHL members and awardees were among the top ranking scientists in Philippine Institutions based on their Google Scholar Citations public profiles as reported by Webometrics, the largest academic ranking of higher education institutions.
During the second week of June 2016, Cybermetrics Lab collected data from the public profiles of researchers working in Philippine institutions as reflected through the Google Scholar Citations database. Among the top 453 profiles listed in the third edition of the ranking, National Scientist (NS) Lourdes J. Cruz and Academician (Acd.) Jurgenne H. Primavera ranked second and third, respectively. The academicians who made it to the top 20 were Acd. Antonio L. Dans (rank 7), Acd. Rodel D. Lasco (rank 13), Acd. Arsenio M. Balisacan (rank 14), Acd. Gisela P. Concepcion (rank 16), Acd. Allan B. Bernardo (rank 18), and Fernando P. Siringan (rank 19).
Outstanding Young Scientist awardees also secured spots in the list namely, Arnel Salvador (rank 4), Raymond Tan (rank 5), Arvin C. Diesmos (rank 9), Porfirio Alino (rank 12), Ernesto Pernia (rank 15), and Mary Ann Lansang (rank 17) while NS Gavino C. Trono Jr. landed on the 20th spot.
Webometrics publish a unique ranking of universities in every edition – a result of a careful investigation of a combination of indicators. Its data is generated by Cybermetrics Lab, which has been developing quantitative studies on the academic web since the mid 90s.
The ranking aims to promote academic web presence by supporting Open Access initiatives, electronic access to scientific publications and other academic materials. It also uses web indicators as proxies in the correct, comprehensive, deep evaluation of the university global performance, taking into account its activities, outputs, and their relevance and impact.Google Scholar (GS) is a free bibliographic database while Google Scholar Citations is a tool for setting up author profiles of individuals and their publications as covered by GS.
To view the full list, visit http://www.webometrics.info/en/node/148.
~Ana Loren B. Durana