CHED, NRCP call on AQD expertise

On November 6, AQD attended the last Public hearing on the proposed policies and standards for Master of Science in Fisheries (MS Fi) at the invitation of the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The hearing was held in Quezon City with AQD represented by scientist Dr. Ma. Lourdes Aralar of the Binangonan Freshwater Station (BFS).

The hearing was attended by deans and other representatives of fisheries schools in the country
and organized by CHED’s Technical Committee on Fisheries. Two committee members are AQD former Chiefs ~ Dr. Rogelio Juliano and Dr. Efren Ed. Flores.

It seems CHED will impose stricter policies for schools that are offering or planning to offer MS Fi. Graduates must be competent in research: from conceptualization to implementation of project proposals and publication of results in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Acknowledgment from the journal editor of manuscript submission is sufficient for graduation. In addition, graduates are also expected to be competent in technology verification. Deans, school chairs and a minimum six full-time faculty must have doctorate or master’s degrees, publications in refereed journals, and a license to practice the profession of Fisheries Technologist.

Consultative forum on basic research agenda
AQD was again invited to the Consultative forum for national integrated basic research agenda (NIBRA) organized by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) that was held 7 November in Pasay City. Attending for AQD were Dr. ML Aralar and Dr. Ma. Rowena Eguia, also of BFS.

NIBRA aims to cover immediate (2010), medium (2015) and long (2020) term periods; minimize duplication and maximize research; and involve all stakeholders with interest in the basic R&D in the country.

The forum invited Senator Edgardo Angara who encouraged NRCP members not to “waste too much time basic research” and go instead into applications. Because of limited resources, the focus, he said, must be on research that will immediately pay off and benefit the Filipinos.

Senator Angara specified four areas of research priority: biotechnology, information & communications technology, neurotechnology and nanotechnology. He also emphasized the importance of research on climate change and renewable sources of energy.

The AQD representatives joined the discussion in NRCP’s Cluster IV (biological sciences/ agriculture & forestry) as four parallel working sessions were conducted to review R&D resolutions.

Under Cluster IV, these were the identified priorities to be later presented to the Philippine President: (1) impact assessment of the introduction of exotic species in aquatic environment; (2) algae, in particular the biology, prevention and control of harmful algal blooms, biofuels and natural products from algae; (3) sustainable and environment friendly aquaculture, in particular, the biology and culture of indigenous species and environment friendly feeds and feeding management; (4) ornamental fish culture; (5) disease prevention, diagnosis; (6) fisheries management, ie. stock assessment, fishing technology, and studies on spawning grounds for sustainable management; and (7) post-harvest, ie. value addition and reduction of post harvest losses.

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