New Scientists of the Philippine Scientific Career System

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On 13 March 2013, seventeen (17) qualified full time researchers from the University of the Philippines were conferred Scientist Rank under the Scientific Career System (NCS).

The recognition of non-faculty research personnel from State Universities and Colleges is one of the Program’s initiatives to help harness the research capabilities of and at the same time establish a system of reward and recognition to researchers in academic institutions.

Three more productive researchers from the research institutes of the Department of Agriculture were included in the roster of scientist in SCS on 16 May 2013.

The Scientific Career System (SCS) was established within the Civil Service pursuant to Executive Order No. 784 on 17 Marc 1982 and formally organized on 19 July 1983 with the issuance of Executive Order No. 901.

The System was further reinforced by Section 4 of RA 8439 or the Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and other Science and Technology Personnel in the Government.

The Scientific Career System is a system of recruitment, career progression, recognition and reward of scientists in the public service as a means of developing a pool of highly qualified and productive scientific personnel. The system is co-implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) with the DOST Secretary and CSC Chair serving as co-Chairs of the Scientific Career Council. The SCS program is now administered by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines.

Mary Jane S. Apines-Amar, Scientist I, Aquatic Biosciences, UP Visayas

Developed diets with improved nutrient bioavailability, enhanced growth, and heightened immunocompetence/improved health in fish. Contributed to the generation of scientific information in the field of aquaculture nutrition and biotechnology. Participated in institution-building by evaluating research proposals, reviewing manuscripts for publication and serving as panelist in graduate thesis committees.

Sancho G. Bon, Scientist I, Plant Genetic Resources Conservation and Management, UP Los Baños

Discovered and collected nine new populations of the wild rice varieties, Oryza officinalis and six Oryza meyeriana, two of the four wild species known to occur sporadically in the country. Re-established the UP Los Baños-PhilRice Rice Germplasm Collection through the UPLB-PhilRice collaborative project which now has a thousand accessions of native varieties and some introgressed breeding lines.

Gayvelline C. Calacal, Scientist I, Forensic DNA Technology, Population Genetics, UP Diliman

Engaged in rigorous academic research specializing in the use of DNA technology for forensic applications and human population genetic studies. Handled and analyzed forensic case samples of varying conditions, the results of which used as evidence in courts of law. Undertook initiatives in promoting the applications of forensic DNA technology in aid of justice.

Maria Corazon A. De Ungria, Scientist II, Forensic Genetics; Human Population Genetics, UP Diliman

Contributed significantly in developing and validating DNA techniques and establishing Philippine population databases for forensic and health applications in the country. Assisted courts on actual cases as expert witness and the Philippine Supreme Court in the drafting of the Rule on DNA Evidence, that was eventually promulgated in 2007. Advocated for the case of DNA to fight crime and uphold human rights through her publications, lectures and public engagements with government agencies, NGO’s and media.  Read more…

Lolita M. Dolores, Scientist I, Plant Pathology (Virology), UP Los Baños

Contributed significantly to the isolation and identification of two major strains of sweetpotato feathery mottle, sweetpotato cholorotic stunt virus, onion yellow dwarf virus on garlic, cucumber green mottle mosaic virus on bottleground, tomato leaf curl Philippine virus of cucurbit aphid-borne yellow virus. Optimized regeneration protocol for local sweet potato varieties and improved and standardized virus indexing protocol for producing sweet potato clean planting materials.

Senen H. Escamos, Scientist I, Agronomy, UP Los Baños

The principal breeder of two irrigated lowland and two TGMS-based two-line hybrid rice varieties approved by National Seed Industry Council (NSIC). She was instrumental to the granting of Plant Variety Protection (PVP) certificates to the two TGMS-based hybrids and their parents. Also contributed to the development of one glutinous and three rainfed lowland rice varieties.

Romeo V. Labios, Scientist I, Crop Production and Physiology, UP Los Baños

Contributed significantly to research on rice and corn-based farming systems to address food security and nutrition problems using on-farm participants adaptive research methodology. His recent research collaboration with national and international organizations resulted to the development of approaches and protocols of the Site Specific Nutrient Management (SSNM) for corn and Participatory Varietal Selection (PVS) for stress-tolerant rice and white corn for the Philippines. These protocols are now used in the all DA Regional Field Offices in the country.

Merdelyn T. Caasi-Lit, Scientist I, Host Plant Resistance Entomology and Plant Stress Physiology, UP Los Baños

Identified sources and determined the mechanisms of resistance of corn, eggplant, bamboo and other crops to insect pests. Investigated the responses of major pests and non-target arthropods to classical and transgenic resistant crop hybrids. Pioneered in documenting effects of UV-B irradiation on rice, including the discovery of novel UV-B absorbing flavonoids, elucidating kinetics of their accumulation in UV-B stressed rice plants and their consequent effects on selected insect pests.

Rodel G. Maghirang, Scientist I, Plant Breeding and Plant Pathology, UP Los Baños

Developed stop-gap and NSIC-approved vegetable varieties including bush sitao, cowpea, pole sitao, snap beans, garden pea, eggplant, alugbati, saluyot, okra, pigeon pea. Developed organic breeding system and varieties for vegetables such as ampalaya, cucumber, squash, eggplant, pepper, tomato, lettuce and pole sitao. Designed training modules and audiovisual materials and trained growers, groups and companies on vegetable production, organic agriculture and seed production.

Enfronicio D. Marfori, Scientist I, Plant Tissue Culture, UP Los Baños

His pioneering studies on co-culturing plant callus and fungus to produce novel bioactive compounds led to the discovery of a new antibiotic called trichosetin. Studied the antimicrobial compounds of Lansium domesticum fruit peel and the alkaloids of Catharanthus roseus, and developed the cell culture technology to produce these compounds in vitro. Established the protocol for the tissue culture of Aloe barbadensis and Moringa oleifera for rapid clonal propagation.

Rosario G. Monsalud, Scientist I, Microbiology-Ecology and Systematics, UP Los Baños

Contributed more than 1,000 bacteria, yeasts and molds with enzyme, antimicrobial, or phosphate-solubilizing properties to the Philippine National Collection of Microorganisms (PNCM) from her bioprospecting work in the mangrove and agricultural soils. The PNCM which she leads has distributed more than 3,000 microbial cultures and performed various microbiological analyses for the academe and the industry.

Marcela M. Navasero, Scientist I, Entomology-Biological Control and Pest Biology, UP Los Baños

Developed mass rearing techniques for pest thrips (Dichromothrips Corbett), mealy bugs (Dysmicoccus spp.), spider mites (Tetranychus truncates and T. urticae), two phytoseiid predators (Neoseilus calori and Proprioseiopsis lenis) and one predatory earwig (Chelisoches morio) now utilized in government and private institutions.

Mario V. Navasero, Scientist I, Entomology-Insect Taxonomy, Biological Control, and Pest Management, UP Los Baños

Developed crop protection technologies including biological control agents that are used in the management of pests on various crops. Discovered and contributed to the local insect fauna two new genera and five new species of jumping plant-lice.

Cecilia B. Pascual, Scientist I, Plant disease Resistance and Molecular Plant Pathology, UP Los Baños

Contributed to the elucidation of corn/sorghum resistance to Peronosclerospora philippinensis, Rhizoctonia solani, Pectobacterium chrysanthemi pv. zeae & Diplodia macrospora, Fumonisin-producing Fusarium verticillioides, and on the pathogen’s genetic diversity and to the development of rapid identification by molecular techniques.

Florencia B. Pulhin, Scientist II, Climate Change and Environmental Forestry, UP Los Baños

Pioneered works on carbon stocks assessment of different land uses. Co-initiated greenhouse gas inventory for the forestry sector and the first integrated assessment of climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation in watershed areas. Developed, produced and translated IEC materials on climate change into five major dialects.

Evangeline C. Santiago, Scientist I, Environmental and Analytical Chemistry, Environment Toxicology, UP Diliman

Contributed data from the Philippine environment on Persistent Organic, Pollutants (POPs) to the Global Monitoring Program of the Stockholm Convention. Helped various private and government laboratories prepare for the technical requirements of accreditation to ISO-17025. Developed analytical services that are needed by exporters and regulatory agencies to comply with the stringent testing requirements of importing countries for food safety.

Lolita DC. Valencia, Scientist I, Plant Breeding and Plant Pathology, UP Los Baños

Contributed significantly to the development, improvement, mass propagation and release of NSIC-approved varieties of selected fruits like ‘Red Princess’ cashew, ‘Mabini’ jackfruit, “Roja” and ‘Amarillo’ rambutan an gumamela or Hibiscus hybrids “Oblation Series” including Hibiscus rosa-sinesis “Estrella F. Alabastro”, Hibiscus rosa-sinesis “Emerlinda R. Roman” and Hibiscus rosa-sinesis “Nelia T. Gonzalez”. Determined the initial antifungal effects of extracted lemongrass oil as potential biocontrol agent against major fungal pathogens of gumamela.

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