By ABS-CBN News
MANILA — Former senator and 2022 presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday pushed for the Philippine research and development sector to get more funds.
The son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos cited as an example the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), the low budget for which he said led to "missed opportunities."
He said the University of the Philippines' National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) should also be strengthened, as the country should be able to produce its own vaccines.
"Alam na natin kung saan tayo nagkulang. I-build up natin yung mga facilities ng ating mga research," he said in a statement. "Napakaimportante, kasi naman ‘di natin iniisip dahil wala naman noong COVID, wala namang pandemya. Ngayong may pandemya, pinaa-alala sa atin na kailangang gawin ang lahat ng ito."
(We know where we fell short. Let us build up facilities for research. This is very important because we have not thought of it when there was no COVID, no pandemic yet; now that there is pandemic, we are reminded of all that needs to be done.)
Over the weekend, Sen. Panfilo Lacson vowed a "historic increase of budget infusion" for research and development efforts if elected president next year.
The lack of funds for R&D has limited the research proposals the government could fund. Last year, the DOST said it could only support 88 projects out of the 888 proposals it received for 2021.