DA-SCEC holds meeting; seeks higher DA career scientists nominations

The recently-reconstituted Scientific Career Evaluation Committee (SCEC) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) held a meeting on 18 January 2023 at the Crop Research Biotechnology Center, DA-Philippine Rice Research Institute, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija to discuss the terms of reference of the committee and evaluate the applicants for possible conferment to the Scientific Career System.

Focused on encouraging more DA employees to apply and be career scientists, the need to re-orient DA operating units on the processes and significance of the scientific career system and thereby enjoin them to create, in their respective units, an SCEC where initial screening and coaching of applicants shall be undertaken, was also underscored in the meeting. 

Dr. Mudjekeewis D. Santos, Scientist IV and chief of the Training Division of DA-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), as the newly designated committee chairperson, presided over the meeting and was joined by DA-Bureau of Agricultural Research director Joell H. Lales, as the co-chairperson, members of the evaluation committee, and secretariat. 

In his opening message, DA-SCEC chairperson Dr. Santos expressed his humble appreciation of the opportunity to lead the committee. 

DA-SCEC co-chairperson Lales, as the former chairperson of the committee, formally introduced and welcomed Dr. Santos as the committee chairperson. He also expressed his appreciation to the new chair and committee members for accepting the call to be part of the reconstituted committee.

Dr. Roel R. Suralta, Scientist III and director of the Crop Biotechnology Center, DA-PhilRice; Dr. Ofero A. Caparino, Scientist I and OIC-assistant director of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization; and Dr. Danilda H. Duran, Scientist I and head of the Reproduction and Physiology Section of the DA-Philippine Carabao Center, in their capacity as committee members, put forward recommendations to further systematize the screening and evaluation process. Plans to enhance the DA guidelines, in line with those of the Scientific Career Council of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-SCC) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) were also discussed by the group. Dr. Leny C. Galvez, Scientist I and head of the Immunology and Molecular Biology Laboratory of the DA-Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority, also serves as a committee member.

The DA, through the SCEC, hopes to boost the participation of DA researchers to the SCS and give due recognition to their role in agricultural development. Created in 1990, the DA-SCEC is tasked to conduct the screening and evaluation of documents submitted by the nominated applicants from DA units; conduct validation of accomplishments and other relevant functions of the applicants based on the guidelines set by the DOST-SCC and CSC; and recommend qualified applicants to the DA secretary for endorsement to the DOST secretary. (### Mara Shyn Valdeabella-Pacunana)