President Rodrigo Duterte signed a bill in May 2018 converting the former Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST) into a state university. Under Republic Act 11033, the tertiary school is now named Davao Oriental State University (DOrSU).
By conferring the university status, the President recognized the school’s pivotal role in nation building by offering advanced technological instruction to produce experts and professionals in various fields of science and technology.
What went before
The school used to be a partner implementer of the Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project (ICRMP), which was implemented between 2007 and 2013.
One of the outputs of the project was the establishment of five Regional ICRM Centers (RICs) to serve as hubs for biodiversity monitoring and research, training and demonstration. These were located at existing marine science institutions. ICRMP facilitated the construction of RIC buildings complete with necessary equipment and facilities such as laboratory, training room, and dormitory. The project engaged the services of the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines and Silliman University to provide the necessary technical and capability-building assistance.
DOSCST, being one of these marine institutions, has housed RIC for Region XI. At the time of completion of ICRMP, it had already completed four research studies that were relevant to Pujada Bay.
Meet Dr. Jimenez, the director of RIC
Dr. Lea Jimenez has been at the helm of RIC XI since its founding. In one stop by a team of personnel from the Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Service (FASPS) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to conduct post-project documentation, she took the group on a tour of the ICRM Center and showed the facilities acquired and various information, education, and communication (IEC) materials developed and produced through the assistance of the project.
Among the IEC materials that are still very much in active service are the mascots “Amikan,” “Amigong,” and “Buding” representing a sea turtle, a dugong, and a whale shark. In the offing was “Duping” for a dolphin. According to Jimenez, these “advocates” were usually brought to schools and communities to spread awareness of marine animals and to promote for their protection and conservation.
In recognition of FASPS
During the forum on lessons learned, good practices, and success stories of ICRMP implementation in the City of Mati that was conducted by FASPS in Davao City on December 5, 2018, Dr. Jimenez, sitting as one of the panelists, thanked FASPS for its contributions to the institution she worked for. She credited RIC XI for opening opportunities to establish partnerships and for improving the school’s overall standing among the national and international research communities. Most of the research works submitted to support the endorsement of the school for university accreditation, she admitted, had come from the Center. This speaks a lot about how far and well has RIC XI developed. (FASPS/ Sheela Legaspi)