By: Edgilyn Alcasid
Truly, the days when women were regarded as less capable than men in making a mark in the corporate and professional world are over.
In DOST-NCR, a prime example of this is Engr. Lota M. Paras, a Senior Science Research Specialist who is also the current Cluster Director for the Pasay, Manila, Makati,Quezon City (PAMAMAZON) area.
A Chemical Engineer by profession, Engr. Paras rose through the ranks, all the while exemplifying what a public servant should be, and in the process continues to be an agent of change.
Excelling as Cluster Director
Engr. Paras earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sto. Tomas in 2009. Upon graduation, she worked for a private company before joining DOST-NCR in 2011 as a Science Research Analyst.
Her exemplary performance and work attitude earned management’s trust and she was promoted as Cluster Manager in 2013. At present, the lady engineer plays a paramount role in bringing the agency’s programs and services closer to more Filipinos in the PAMAMAZON area.
As the head of the PAMAMAZON cluster, Engr. Paras primarily oversees the management in the implementation of DOST-NCR’s programs in her handled communities. Until the appointment of an Assistant Cluster Manager in the person of For. Jennifer Palaganas in 2015, she singlehandedly led the implementation of the agency’s programs and services in northern Metro Manila.
With DOST-NCR staff’s adeptness at multi-tasking, it is no surprise that Engr. Paras still manages to consistently deliver outstanding service towards her clients despite wearing various hats.
Among these are her responsibilities as Cluster Director in assisting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through technical consultancies and the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP). From 2013-2016, all of the 40 SETUP proposals she presented were approved. The 100 percent turnout for the approval of these proposals resulted to MSMEs who are now making a bigger name for themselves in their respective industry sectors. The success of these MSMEs can also be attributed to Engr. Paras’ incessant monitoring through on-site visits of PAMAMAZON SETUP MSMEs.
She also heads the management of the DOST-Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Open Technology Business Incubator (TBI) in Quezon City where support to Filipino startups in the Information and Communication Technology sector is provided. The esetablishment is housed in the same building inside UP Diliman as the DOST-NCR’s satellite office for PAMAMAZON.
Intellectual Property Champion
DOST-NCR also takes pride in having Engr. Paras as one of its licensed Patent agents. Along with Engr. Romellen Tresvalles, Engr. Paras passed the very competitive “Patent Agent Qualifying Examination” in 2011. Her knowledge and expertise in the various aspects of Intellectual Property (IP) rights play an important role in DOST-NCR’s effective provision of IP assistance to clients. Through Engr. Paras, IP and patenting assistance were granted to 12 firms while six firms were assisted with patent search from 2013-2015. She also secured the approval of the trademark for DOST-NCR’s tagline, “Spearheading technological innovations in the Metropolis”. As a Patent Agent, she maintains linkage with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the association of patent agents at the DOST system.
In DOST-NCR, Engr. Paras likewise heads the Disposal Committee which oversees the disposal of unserviceable equipment and non-usable materials of the office.
She also serves as the agency’s liaison with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), having been the country’s delegate to JICA’s “Financial and Technical Support for Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion” training which was held in Kobe, Japan on May 18-June, 20, 2015.
Resolute dedication to public service
More than her professional achievements, what endears Engr. Paras to clients and colleagues alike is the value she places on sustaining good relationships with people.
“There really is no ‘I’ in team. I am grateful for the assistance that I receive from my work colleagues because it is through them that I am also able to accomplish the assignments given to me,” she said.
With her strong work ethic and positive attitude towards co-workers, Engr. Paras consistently earns a rating of very satisfactory from her supervisors. In fact, she was recognized by DOST-NCR’s former Regional Director, Dr. Teresita C. Fortuna, as a diligent worker who continues to uphold the time-honored principle of what a public servant should be like. Engr. Paras consistently finishes her duties ahead of the scheduled deadline and this results to significant cost-effective measures for the agency.
With her unwavering dedication and strong work ethics, it was no surprise that Engr. Paras was recognized among DOST’s top Outstanding Provincial Science and Technology Directors in 2015.
Her performance clearly proves that women can succeed in the world of science and technology. In fact, maybe this is just what science needs: a woman’s compassion and intuition to balance the hard facts with the human face of science, technology and innovation