WITH its theme, “Pinahinog ng Panahon, Pinalakas ng Hamon sa Loob ng 35 Taon,” the Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST) has prevailed over even with the pandemic adversities that came its way in the last two years.

The DOST- Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII), boasts of achievements despite the pandemic that struck globally since 2021. “I can say with confidence that in the year 2021, DOST-STII rises and uses its wings to lift higher. DOST-STII rises despite the adversities that happened in the two years of the pandemic. The wings that constantly lift us remain to be our mandate, mission and vision, core values and our people that are willing to serve amidst the crisis and difficulties,” said DOST-STII director, Richard P. Burgos in his speech at the Hotel Sofitel where the celebration of the department’s 35th anniversary was held.

Burgos underscored the importance of each employee “who made our pivot to success a seamless process.” “Together we fly high! Let us all celebrate our flight together toward the future of our vision,” he said.

DOST passed the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) while the DOST Internal Audit Service gave the DOST-STII the highest rating among the 25 DOST agencies it had assessed so far.

In communicating Science for the People, the DOST has generated 37,558 news stories last year, 110 percent up from 2020, valued at P13.6-billion or more than double from last year’s P6.6-billion. “On social media, we had 6,421 posts, 386 percent up year-on-year and extended our reach to 30-million, 435 percent up from 5.6-million in 2020,” Burgos said confidently.

The online reach of the DOST’s online broadcasts exceeded 76.2-million representing an increase of 78 percent over the previous year.

Meanwhile, “Siyensikat,” a science show on CNN, increased the average viewership per minute to as much as 107,000 compared to 83,000 when it initially aired on GMA News TV in 2019. It was also able to achieve an audience reach of 869,000 for the afternoon slot and 768,000 for the morning slot every Saturday and Sunday at 8am and 4pm, respectively. This generated an advertising value of P169-million and media pickups valued at P17.9-million.

On the other hand, the installation of STARBOOKS in 449 new sites despite the continuous travel and mass gathering restrictions due to pandemic, was successful. It continues to hold its coveted spot in the National Economic Development Authority’s (NEDA) National Priority Plan (NPP). Since 2017, it generated a total of P12.8-million of donations.

For its part, DOST also saw its inclusion in the NPP and generated P7.4-million donations in four years, including two Hyundai vans in 2021.

The DOST-STII also saw its achievements breaking ground in different fields in 2021, including a publicity that was awarded Best Special Feature in the 43rd Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) while the 18th Philippine Quill Awards cited STARBOOKS for excellence in government communications program.

Also in 2021, the institute earned the Bronze Award from the Civil Service Commission (CSC), which was supposedly a major step in the constant drive toward excellence in human resources management.

The achievements, according to Burgos, contributed to raising the national awareness level of science, technology and innovations. (DOST-STII)