Ilongga scientist encourages science and technology experts to go home, help the Philippines

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ILOILO CITY, March 27 (PNA) — Ilongga scientist Dr. Doralyn Dalisay gave up her flourishing career, which she nurtured for almost 15 years in the United States (US), and went back to the Philippines to share her expertise under the Balik Scientist Program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD).

“It was very hard for us to give up our work there and also do the science because the science there is very fast,” she said in an interview, Monday.

Dalisay was joined by another BSP recipient, Dr. Jonel P. Saludes, both currently based at the University of San Agustin (USA) in Iloilo City. Saludes holds the position as Associate Vice President for Research. They still travel to the US to do research with their collaborators.

“We have already put University of San Agustin in the map throughout the country, that we have an existing research facilities and research that is authentic, innovative ideas. These are original, new ideas, not a third party kind of research,” she cited.

Last week, Dalisay was lauded by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim for coming home to the Philippines and becoming “catalyst” for science and technology innovation in the country.

Saludes spoke on behalf of the scholars of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE).

She works as chief investigator for the Php4 million grant awarded by the USAID to the University of San Agustin for the “Chemical Profiling and Characterization of Pharmaceutical Biomarkers of Iloilo Honey.” It is done in partnership with the Maridan Industry Inc.

Dalisay received the award from the USAID March 17 in Manila. The study aimed to “increase the marketability of Iloilo honey by providing comprehensive description of its chemical profile and biological properties as quality measures for food and pharmaceutical standards.”

The study is expected to be completed November this year.

Dalisay and Saludes are two of the BSP grantees who are based in Iloilo. She said that she is also giving her colleagues in the US positive feedback about the Philippines to encourage them to come home.

“The Balik Scientist Program is so good, it opens up opportunities for funding, for research for innovation. That’s why we are telling our colleagues- Filipino-Americans-to come home,” she said.

She added that the government is pouring a lot of money in the countryside for research.

“The money is being defused in the countryside and second tier cities like Iloilo, Cagayan, Zamboanga, Batangas, Bohol Ilocos, is where the money is going right now because of the Duterte administration. And I support that. You really need to advance our science here and not just concentrate in one area. We also have our own problems too that’s why we also need experts,” she said.

Dalisay and Saludes are members of the American Chemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Society for Pharmacognosy.

They were also elected to Full Membership in the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering on July 2015.

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