PH should produce more scientists

12 March 2016

The Philippines should produce more scientists to help the country achieve development and cope with the new challenges of an ever-changing world.

This was aired by Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos Jr. who said it is lamentable that the Philippines has only around 80 scientists per million of the population when other countries have some 4,000 per million.

“Science and technology should play a major role in our national policy because it is one of the basic factors that fuels a country’s development, it sets the pace of the economic growth of a country and we Filipinos can only achieve this if we have enough scientists studying and looking for innovations how to help achieve our goals,” Marcos said.

The senator said the country should improve the educational system by creating science schools in major provinces and cities in the country.

The Philippines has 15 science high schools that are all located in Metro Manila.

“We need to build more science schools especially in the provinces to give those who are equally qualified and interested in the field of science and technology develop their skills and interests,” he pointed out.

Marcos further stated that science and technology teacher and professors should be supported to enable them to have further studies abroad to hone their knowledge. He noted that while the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has a program for students to pursue post graduate studies in science and technology, more should be done in terms of the budget and coverage.

“From what I know, the DOST has an approved scholarship budget for around 2,000 students to pursue their masters and doctorate degrees in science and technology but that figure pales in comparison to the hundreds of thousands being produced by other countries in the Asian region,” he said.

Marcos said research and development activities should be focused on poverty reduction, agriculture development, climate change and in the field of medicine.

“It is lamentable that science and technology have not been a priority for many years and this should change if we want to turn things around for our country. It is the backbone of economic growth and our scientists should be allowed to play a bigger role in this initiative,” he said.