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SCS confers 3 UPD researchers with Scientist rank

The New Scientists of the Philippine Scientific Career System: (from left) Dr. Evangeline C. Santiago, Dr. Ma. Corazon A. De Ungria and Ms. Gayvelline C. Calacal.

(August 13)— Dr. Ma. Corazon A. De Ungria, Dr. Evangeline C. Santiago and Gayvelline C. Calacal, three full-time UPD researchers, were conferred the Scientist rank by the Scientific Career System (SCS) on March 13, 2013.

The SCS program is administered by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines, an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). It recognizes non-faculty research personnel from state universities and colleges as part of its program’s initiatives “to help harness the research capabilities of and at the same time, establish a system of reward and recognition to researchers in academic institutions.”

De Ungria was given the rank of Scientist II for Forensic Genetics and Human Population Genetics. She is currently the head of the Natural Sciences Research Institute DNA Analysis Laboratory (NSRI-DAL).  According to the SCS, she contributed significantly in developing and validating DNA techniques and establishing Philippine population databases for forensic and health applications in the country. She also assisted courts on actual cases as expert witness and the Philippine Supreme Court in the drafting of the Rule on DNA Evidence that was eventually promulgated in 2007. Moreover, she advocated for the use of DNA to fight crime and uphold human rights through her publications, lectures and public engagements with government agencies, NGOs and media.

Santiago was given the rank of Scientist I for Environmental and Analytical Chemistry and Environmental Toxicology. As head of the NSRI Research and Analytical Services Laboratory, she contributed data from the Philippine environment on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to the Stockholm Convention’s Global Monitoring Program. She also helped various private and government laboratories prepare for the technical requirements of accreditation to ISO-17025. Furthermore, she developed analytical services that are needed by exporters and regulatory agencies to comply with the stringent testing requirements of importing countries for food safety.

Calacal was conferred the rank of Scientist I for Forensic DNA Technology and Population Genetics. She is a University Researcher II at the NSRI-DAL. According to the SCS, she engaged in rigorous academic research specializing in the use of DNA technology for forensic applications and human population genetic studies.  She handled and analyzed forensic case samples of varying conditions, the result of which were used as evidence in courts of law. Moreover, she undertook initiatives in promoting the application of forensic DNA technology in aid of justice.

The SCS  is “a system of recruitment, career progression, recognition and reward of scientists in the public service, as a means of developing a pool of highly qualified and productive scientific personnel,” according to the NAST website. It is co-implemented by the DOST and the Civil Service Commission. Serving as co-chairs of the Scientific Career Council are the DOST Secretary and the CSC Chair.

It was established within the Civil Service pursuant to Executive Order (EO) No. 784 on March 17, 1982. On July 19, 1983, SCS was formally organized with the issuance of EO No. 901.  It was further reinforced by Section 4 of RA 8439 or the Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and other Science and Technology Personnel in the government. —H.C.P. with reports from The Scientific Career System; Photos by J.V.