Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand ”Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. today vowed support to the biotechnology project established by his father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in Laguna.
Taking his Unity Caravan to Laguna, Marcos made his first stop the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH) in UPLB, an institute initially financed by the Ferdinand E. Marcos Foundation. He noted that the government’s support to the institute has not been “ideal.”
“The support of the government has been less than ideal,” he said.
Records show that Biotech only receives an average annual budget of around P25 million.
Marcos said he will push for the increase in its annual budget noting the important role of research and development in a country’s development.
BIOTECH was established on December 10 1979 and inaugurated on September 11, 1982 as a research and development institution, among other scientific studies.
By virtue of Presidential Decree 526, it became one of the four units comprising the network Nation Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.
Its mandate is to develop cost-effective and environment-friendly technologies for the production of goods and services that are comparable or better alternatives to conventional products for their use in agriculture, forestry, environment, energy, and industry.
“I’m very proud that this is established under the Marcos Foundation. I’m very proud that my family has its name on the beginnings of BIOTECH because we had recognized even then how important the technology is, how important the work that you do here is,” he said.
He said BIOTECH can help tremendously the agricultural sector in terms of research and development.
“I think the work that is being done here is remarkable. We cannot overestimate the importance of research and development into these new technologies,” he said.
He added, “(w)e hope to bring back, to focus and to highlight… the very idea how important research and development is now to not only the agricultural sector but as well as, as we are now reminded, to the energy sector and even now in medical science.”