MANILA -- The best provincial science and technology (S&T) director for the entire Department of Science and Technology (DOST) system was awarded to a former statistics and agricultural engineering professor from the Romblon State University.

Dr. Bilshan Servañez of Mimaropa ruled in the Outstanding Provincial S&T Director awarding ceremony at the DOST Executive Lounge in Bicutan, Taguig City recently.

Servañez has been serving the government agency for 22 years. He won the award against three other finalists namely; Engineer Mario dela Peña of Central Visayas, Felina C. Malabanan from Calabarzon, and Angelita Parungao of Central Luzon. They also received citations and cash prizes.

“This (recognition) is important for me,” Servañez said.

“This is actually an affirmation of the decision that I made,” he added.

Servañez chose to work in the department instead of pursuing his teaching career in a university twenty years ago.

“I took up engineering and wanted to become a scientist,” he said.

Servañez also shared the challenges they went through in DOST Romblon office which he thought made a big impact on his winning.

“We are a province with a backwater economy so we only have small industries there. The only huge industry we have is the marble industry,” he said.

“But what we lack in size, we make up in number,” he added.

According to Servañez, the Romblon office is currently handling about 62 Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (Setup) projects in Romblon.

The department was far from the market and transportation is costly.

Servañez said that as a solution, they cultivated the local market for these Setup products which they produce at top level quality, like the peanut butter which they produce and sell to a distributor in huge malls like Shoe Mart (SM).

“The next time you eat pancakes or waffles with peanut butter, think Romblon,” he said.

“We also bring our marble to the province. We have several contributions to the marble industry - cutting machine, turning machines, polishing machines, lathe machines – we deploy all these to the marble sector,” he added.

Servañez believed that being able to overcome those challenges became a big factor for him to clinch the biggest award from the department.

Most Outstanding Provincial S&T Director awarding is a laureate award from the DOST being done annually.

This year’s award was handed over to Servañez by DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo at the DOST Executive Lounge in Bicutan, Taguig City. (Sunnex)