January 31, 2012
ENGINEERING CRUCIAL TO SOLVING NAT'L CHALLENGES - ANGARA
Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the field of engineering is important in finding solutions to such cross-cutting issues as climate change, disaster preparedness, abject poverty, inadequate energy access, food insecurity and environmental degradation.
Angara made the statement during his keynote speech at the 2ndEngineering Summit organized by the Philippine Technological Council (PTC) and the ASEAN Academy of Engineering and Technology (AAET).
"Engineering--it's so obvious--underpins the human condition. This is the engine by which science is transformed into technology, the mechanism through which knowledge is harnessed into innovation," said Angara, who is Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).
He continued, "So complex are the technical challenges which today's many issues pose that our solutions have to be interdisciplinary and sustainable in implementation. Traditionally, engineering has been the harvester of material resources--food, energy, water, minerals. Today, it must be seen and employed for resource conservation and waste management."
The former UP President added that engineering must also help address urbanization, especially in light of recent natural disasters brought about by climate change.
"Many of us see the congestion and unplanned growth of Metro Manila and our suburbs. Clearly, our losses will be great if one or two of the disasters that struck Japan last year, hit our area. Just look at what happened in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.
"This is where, I think, our engineers can make a big contribution to our society. Engineers can help make our country more resilient," explained Angara.
He then pointed to the importance of engineering in assuring energy access throughout the country.
"Cleaner and greener energy systems is clearly the future of power generation. The Philippines is quite fortunate because if we exploit our renewable energy resources, we can replace our imported crude oil and make our country cleaner, greener and our people healthier.
"But it takes some political will and time to do all these. But the engineers can expedite and facilitate the process, especially in renewable energy," said Angara, who is also Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.
The veteran lawmaker concluded, "I'm just suggesting that there are many engineering solutions to many of the problems we are now encountering--it just takes a little inventiveness and creativity. I have no doubt that with enough support our engineers will be able to provide some answers."
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