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UPD scientist receives 2013 PCAARRD Pantas Award


(November 12, OVCRD) — Dr. Marco Nemesio “Coke” E. Montaño of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute
(UP-MSI) has been conferred the prestigious Pantas Award for Most Outstanding
Researcher/Scientist by the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Council for Agriculture,
Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD). “Pantas” is a Tagalog
word that means wise, scholarly or erudite, and the Pantas Award is given to scientists/researchers
who have made exemplary contributions to the development of the country’s agricultural, aquatic
and natural resources.

Dr. Montaño, a professor at the UP-MSI, was recognized for his extensive work on seaweed and sea grass utilization, which has benefited not only the scientific community but also the seaweed industry. The DOST-PCAARRD cited him for his research-based initiatives that have been instrumental in “promoting the growth and competitiveness of the Philippine seaweed industry, and provided the scientific basis for championing the Philippines seaweeds in the global market especially against attempts to discredit the product.” Dr. Montaño was also cited for his deep commitment to mentoring, and his enthusiasm in sharing his technical expertise on seaweeds with various stakeholders, among which is the Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines (SIAP).

Montaño (right) receiving the PCAARRD Pantas Award

Dr. Montaño, whose other research interests include marine natural products and marine pollution chemistry, has published over 50 peerreviewed journal articles, with topics ranging from seaweeds and sea grass utilization to marine environmental toxicity testing. He played a key role in the formulation of the standard specifications of carrageenan and raw dried seaweed. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including last year’s (2012) Outstanding Professional of the Year Award by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).

Dr. Montaño received his award during the PCAARRD Exhibits and Awarding Ceremonies held last 8 November 2013 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. Aside from a trophy and a cash prize of PhP300,000, Dr. Montaño received a PhP2-million research grant from PCAARRD.— Agnes May B. Bantigue, images courtesy of Coke Montaño