BICUTAN TAGUIG CITY - The Scientific Career System (SCS) conferred the Scientist I rank to Dr. Ma. Cecilia G. Antolin, Senior Science Research Specialist at the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) effective January 18, 2023, and upgraded Dr. Danilda Hufana-Duran, Senior Agriculturist at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), to Scientist II rank effective January 27, 2023.

Dr. Ma. Cecilia G. Antolin is heavily involved in the pilot testing of PhilMech-generated technologies as well as the establishment of baseline data related to postproduction systems and crop losses. She oversaw the pilot testing of PhilMech-developed soybean postharvest and processing systems aimed at small-scale soybean farmers and processors. Private-sector and farmer-organization adopters of this technology are now successful entrepreneurs selling soybean by-products such as soymilk, taho, and tokwa. Meanwhile, the pilot test of the PhilMech-developed mechanical row onion seeder resulted in lower labor requirements, uniform distance, and high seed density, all of which benefit onion farmers.

Dr. Antolin demonstrated the gender-friendly PhilMech multi-row onion mechanical seeder.

Dr. Danilda Hufana-Duran is known for her significant contribution to the development and application of reproductive biotechnologies such as in vitro embryo production, cryopreservation, embryo transfer, estrus synchronization, and artificial insemination to produce superior water buffaloes. She addressed the development and innovations in the separation of motile sperm cells from dead populations by density gradient sperm separation to address issues of genetically superior bulls with low post-thaw motilities. She proposed, implemented, and completed a project in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the prediction of water buffalo bull fertility by Fourier Harmonic Analysis, providing a tool for the identification of high-fertility bulls for use as donors of semen for nationwide artificial insemination, and now exploring the needed interventions to address the inactive or non-performing bull problems.

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Dr. Duran prepared tools for the in vitro embryo production.

With this development, the roster of scientists conferred under the System brings the total number to 202 since the System was institutionalized in 1983 by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

The SCS is a system of recruitment, career progression, and recognition that rewards scientists rank in the government service to develop a pool of highly qualified and productive scientific personnel. The system is co-implemented by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), with the CSC Chairman and DOST Secretary serving as Co-chairs of the Scientific Career Council. The SCS program is now administered by the NAST PHL.