The Balik Scientist Program

Patriotism is being inculcated among Filipinos as early as childhood years. This is the same patriotism spirit Filipinos who left the country bring with them which encourages them to go back and serve our country. Through the Balik Scientist Program (BSP) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Filipino scientists, technologists, and experts are encouraged to return to the country and share their expertise in order to promote scientific, agro-industrial, and economic development, including the development of our human capital in science, technology and innovation.

Balik Scientist Program 2020 Annual Convention launches online




As part of the Department of Science and Technology’s annual National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) for 2020, the Balik Scientist Program (BSP) conducted an online forum with the theme “Balik Scientists: Kabalikat sa Agham at Teknolohiya sa Pagharap ng Hamon sa Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan at Kinabukasan” last 17 November 2020 through zoom conferencing, broadcasted live through BSP’s facebook page.

The webinar commenced with Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Guevara’s welcome remarks. She emphasized how the program adopted alternative strategies and engagements during the pandemic. Undersecretary Guevera also acknowledged the Balik Scientist Awardees who volunteered in sharing their knowledge to combat the pandemic. Finally, she hoped for a productive webinar.

Following Undersecretary Guevera’s welcome remarks was DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña giving a brief history of the Balik Scientist Program – how it started in 1975 up until present.

Subsequently, three host institutions of the program delivered their testimonials emphasizing how the Balik Scientist Awardees made significant contributions within their organization. Dr. Laura David, director of the University of the Philippines – Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) manifested that Balik Scientists helped in identifying gaps and how to address them. She mentioned that the Awardees focused on mentoring, publishing, training, and development of facility and database. On the other hand, Dr. Carlo Arcilla from the UP Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (UP-PNRI) mentioned that nuclear medicine can help the late diagnosis of cancer for the Filipino. This is being developed through the help of the awardees in their institution. Lastly, Dr. Eugenio Guhao from University of Mindanao demonstrated the engagements of the Balik Scientists in their university. Some of the engagements he mentioned are infrastructure programs, activated charcoal, characterization of nanomaterials, as well as trainings and workshops for Chemical Engineering students.

The highlight of the webinar was the three parallel sessions that discussed the New Normal for Education, New Normal for Health, and New Normal for Livelihood. In every session, five Balik Scientists conversed about the different adaptation engagements for each sector.

The New Normal for Education was facilitated by Balik Scientist Dr. Ryan Arevalo. The session started with Dr. Maryrose Salvador’s initiatives to education such as the Barrio Agham, Hackathon for Science Education, and Technofair. Next is Dr. Lawrence Limjuco’s discussion on the promotion of Material Science and Engineering amidst the isolation and remote learning through international collaborations. Dr. Jayvee Saco discussed how social media help the education sector through IEC Materials, video series, and online lecture series. Dr. Nikki Heherson Dagamac summarized three techniques adopted during the pandemic which are software utilization, virtual and home experiments, and modeling simulations. Last for this session was Dr. Gerard Dumancas that tackled strategies in mitigating COVID-19 in the education sector.

On the New Normal for Health was moderated by Balik Scientist Dr. Arnulfo Rosario. Dr. Thomas Neil Pascual, Dr. Romulo De Castro, Dr. Jhalique Jane Fojas, Dr. Fidela L. Moreno, and Dr. Joselito Quirino shared their knowledge towards the innovations for the sector. Some of the highlights of the discussion was how medical records were digitalized, effective data management, affordable medicines for the Filipino, and SARS Cov-2 diagnostic through microfluids.

New Normal for Livelihood was the last session facilitated by Balik Scientist Awardee Dr. Venecio Ultra. The first speaker for livelihood was Dr. Anthony Halog who tackled circular economy and bioeconomy for sustainable livelihood. Dr. Halog discussed potential products that can be derived from biomass. Dr. James Li discussed the impact center model. Dr. Roleda then shared his initiatives in enhancing seaweed productivity and novel strain selection to enhance livelihood outcomes for small-scale fisherfolk. Dr. Divina Amalin, on the other hand, manifested about how to sustainably develop and efficiently manage cacao. She also mentioned the development of extension materials such as modules, and field guide to insects, pests, and diseases. Lastly, Dr. Narceo Bajet presented about enhancing sweet potato productivity through the use of virus-free planting materials.

The Executive Director of DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology (DOST-PCIEERD), Dr. Enrico Paringit marked the webinar to its closing remark. He thanked everyone for their lively participation. Finally, Dr. Paringit hopes that online initiatives such as the annual convention will encourage more Filipino Scientists in serving the country through the program.

Balik Scientist COVIDeo Encounter and Website Launching




Pinoy students from Korea, Taiwan, China, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, USA, Sweden, Canada, and Germany were gathered by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in a virtual conference to witness the unveiling of the improved Balik Scientist Program website last Saturday, 10 October 2020. The event enabled students to interact with Balik Scientists and find out about the program’s contribution on the Philippines fight against COVID-19.

“The Balik Scientist Program has been instrumental in progressing science and technology especially in areas where we have limited local expertise,” shares DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña. “Even with the pressing conditions brought about by the pandemic, our Balik Scientists continue to serve and impart their expertise to the country.”

The Balik Scientist Program (BSP) continues to uphold its goal to strengthen the scientific and technological human resources of the academe, public and private institutions including locally registered enterprises to promote knowledge sharing and accelerate the flow of new technologies.

Three Balik Scientists imparted their experiences to Pinoy scholars during the event. All capturing the different sectors such as agriculture, health and industry. Though the Balik Scientist – Dr. Nelzo Ereful, Dr. Jonel Saludes, and Dr. Annabelle Vilallobos likewise imparted their contribution on the country’s fight against COVID-19 even beyond their Balik Scientist Engagements.

“It is our hope that in the coming years, we will be able to achieve greater heights by bringing home more scientists based abroad and help enhance the expertise and resources that we have here,” says Undersecretary for R&D Rowena Cristina L. Guevara. “Through the program, we envision that more Filipinos would opt to stay home and pursue their career here, with the mission of caring for and providing better solutions for our fellow Filipinos. The R&D of Balik Scientists will make change happen for the betterment of our country.”

KEEP THE LIGHTS ON



Balik Scientist Dr. Cynthia Goh's first engagement started in 2008. She has continued to be a Balik Scientist in the succeeding years (2009,2017,2020). Dr. Goh is an expert on Physical Chemistry with a diverse set of research interests, including fundamental studies of complex systems biomaterials, interfaces, probe microscopy, the development of new research instrumentation and nanotechnology. She invented the technique of diffraction-based sensing, a highly sensitive approach for the detection of biomolecules with applications in medical diagnostics and in drug discovery. The video presents her work in helping her hometown in Palawan.

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BALIK SCIENTIST DR. RICHARD ALORRO VISITS DOST-PCIEERD


Last January 22, Balik Scientist Dr. Richard Alorro paid a courtesy visit to PCIEERD Executive Director, Dr. Enrico Paringit.

Dr. Alorro is an expert in Geo-Environmental Engineering. He is hosted by the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), where he will be conducting special seminars and lectures to undergraduate and post-graduate students, academic staff members, and government and industry representatives, together with other universities in Mindanao. He will also be assisting the MSU-IIT College of Engineering and Technology in mentoring graduate and senior undergraduate students on research and development of Metallurgical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Sustainable Development.

Dr. Alorro is currently a university lecturer at the Western Australian School of Mines in Curtin University, West Australia.

The Balik Scientist Program (BSP) is a brain-gain initiative of the Department of Science and Technology to encourage Filipino scientists, technologists, and experts in other countries to return to the Philippines and share their expertise to accelerate scientific, agro-industrial, economic, and human resources development in the country. For more info, visit www.bsp.dost.gov.ph.




20 February 2019 -- Balik Scientist Dr. Ryan G. Banal pays a courtesy visit to PCIEERD Executive Director, Dr. Enrico...

Posted by DOST PCIEERD on Wednesday, February 20, 2019

BALIK SCIENTIST DR. DANIEL IBARRA KICKS OFF THE UP-NIGS 2019 LECTURE SERIES


17 JANUARY 2019 -- To kick off the 2019 UP NIGS (National Institute of Geological Sciences) Lecture Series, Balik Scientist Dr. Daniel Ibarra of Stanford University gave a talk entitled, "The Influence of Erosion, Lithology, and Plants on Weathering."

Dr. Ibarra is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Department of Geological Sciences in Stanford University. He is hosted by UP NIGS and is currently a part of the Balik Scientist Program (BSP) of DOST.

The Balik Scientist Program (BSP) is a brain-gain initiative to encourage Filipino scientists, technologists, and experts in other countries to return to the Philippines and share their expertise to accelerate scientific, agro-industrial, economic, and human resources development in the country. For more info, visit www.bsp.dost.gov.ph.






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17 JANUARY 2019 -- To kick off the 2019 UP NIGS (National Institute of Geological Sciences) Lecture Series, Balik...

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BALIK SCIENTIST PROGRAM

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