PIDS, MinDA, USP to host industrial Revolution forum

State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), and the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) held a policy research forum on September 11 that focused on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe) and its potential impacts on Mindanao.

The theme of this year’s Mindanao Policy Research Forum centers on “Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Mindanao: Creating our Future Today”.

Now on its fourth year, the forum convened decisionmakers, researchers, academics, and representatives from government, private/business sector, and civil society organizations in Mindanao to discuss how the region and the rest of the country can best take advantage of the opportunities emerging from the FIRe, also known as Industry 4.0, while also managing the risks and issues associated with its scope and complexity.

The topics focused on situating Mindanao in today’s age of disruptive technologies as well as identifying innovations and FIRe-related technologies that can benefit key sectors in the country, particularly agriculture, which remains a major source of livelihood in the Mindanao region.

During the forum, experts presented their papers, including a PIDS study on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe): Opportunities and Challenges for the Philippines” by PIDS Senior Research Fellow Ramonette Serafica and PIDS Consultant Dr. Elmer Dadios, “A Roadmap for Agro-Industrial Development in the Philippines” by PIDS Senior Research Fellow Dr. Roehlano Briones, and “Mindanao 2030 Peace and Development Framework and the Mindanao Development Corridors Strategy” by MinDA Executive Director Janet Lopoz.

Studies on agro-industrial technologies were also discussed, such as “StatWeather: Technology Application for Weather Forecasting” by StatWeather Founder and CEO Ria Persad, “Design and Development of Management Information System for Smart Agriculture (MISSA): An Integrated ICT-based Platform Introducing Smart Farming in Region 10”  by Engr. Alex Maureal of USTP’s Electronics Engineering Department, and “Geolocation of Small-Scale Fishermen Boats with Emergency Communication Using Sub-1 GHZ Network” by Miriam Mejias and Cenie Malabanan, both faculty members of USTP.

The forum also included a panel discussion on ways forward. Representatives from different sectors exchanged ideas on how to help Mindanaoans harness the FIRe toward the achievement of accelerated and broad-based socioeconomic development and ensure that no one will be left behind. Panelists include, among others, JHG Trading President Mr. John Gaisano, MSU-IIT Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Dr. Jinky Bornales, and PhilDev Program Director Mr. Emil Tapnio.

A press conference was also held, which was led by MinDa Chairman Sec. Datu Hj. Abul Khayr D. Alonto, PIDS President Celia Reyes, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno, and USTP President Dr. Rosalito Quirino as part of the forum.

Started in 2015, the Mindanao Policy Research Forum is part of a series of events organized throughout the month of September in line with the celebration of the Development Policy Research Month (DPRM).

The observance of the DPRM is intended to cultivate a strong culture of research and use of data and evidence among the country’s national and local decisionmakers in policy formulation.