Five months after the Philippines recorded its first-ever positive COVID-19 case, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has approved three programs aimed at the challenges brought about by the disease.
The projects worth P200 million cover health, agriculture, natural resources, industry, and emerging technology in preparation for urgent research.
The first program is titled “Addressing and Responding to COVID-19 through Health Research (ARCHER)” which intends to study about vaccines as well as repurposing of existing drugs and supplements for new formulations; artificial intelligence and information and communications technology-driven models and prediction studies; and the enhancement of facilities, laboratories, and hospital equipment. This project will be led by the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).
Another program is the “S&T for a Resilient Community against the Pandemic (STRAP)” which will look into the development of work-from-home tools, workplace safety, safe mobility and transport, response, and coping with the new normal. This study will be spearheaded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD).
The STRAP will also study about the testing and calibration of locally-developed medical devices, geospatial and ICT solutions for COVID-19, new devices and products, PPEs, detection and disinfection technologies, and emergency food for COVID-19 affected families, communities, and frontliners.
Meanwhile, the third program named as “Rebuilding the Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources in Response to COVID-19 (ReAARRC)” will be led by the DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD). The project will push for research and development in the field of technology transfer and information dissemination to ensure food security in the time of COVID-19 and under the new normal.