IAEA exec visits the Philippines

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Director General Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency visited the Philippines last February 7 to 10 and held high level meetings with energy officials led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and his team, which is currrently preparing for the development of nuclear power as a long-term part of the Philippine energy mix.

 

The DOE’s recommendations on a national position on nuclear power, which will be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte, is based on several energy planning studies with IAEA assistance.

 

After meeting with DOE officials, he met with Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato De La Peña and other DOST officials to discuss the current and future engagements with various IAEA technical cooperation projects.

 

Amano emphasized the role of the IAEA in spearheading the use of nuclear science and technology to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

These projects and technologies include food irradiation to increase the shelf-life of export products, cyclotrons for producing radiopharmaceuticals for early cancer diagnosis and sterile insect technique to control the population of mosquitoes which serve as vectors for various diseases.

 

Amano also witnessed last February 8 the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between DOST - Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) and the Department of Education (DepEd) on the implementation of the IAEA technical cooperation project on nuclear science and technology education for secondary schools in the Asia-Pacific region.

 

The project aims to help increase the interest of students in the Asia - Pacific region regarding science and technology in general, eventually leading to future careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

 

Then he met with several heads andrepresentatives of Philippine universities, colleges and members of the academe for a roundtable discussion and open forum. Several officials from IAEA, DOE, DOST and other government agencies were also present during the forum, which was facilitated by DOST-PNRI Director Dr. Carlo Arcilla.

 

The academic institutions brought up the possibility of obtaining support from IAEA and DOST-PNRI towards building their capabilities in the study and development of nuclear and radiation applications.

The Director General’s visit to the Philippines was the second leg of his Asian tour early this 2018, which also includes Indonesia and Thailand.

 

 

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