Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. today said the next administration should beef up the budget allocation for Research and Development (R&D) to help the country cope with new developments and challenges.
Marcos lamented the dismal funding being given to R&D saying it could not compare to the more than five (5) percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) being allotted by other countries in the Asian region.
“While the budget for R&D has increased over the past several years, it still could not equate with the budget being allotted by our Asian neighbors. We need more for us to cope with the new challenges especially in light of climate change,” Marcos pointed out.
Government data show that for 2011-2015, allocation for R&D based on the Government Budget Allocation on Research and Development (GBAORD) has continuously grown from P7.9B in 2011 to P11.7B in 2015, a substantial increase of 49%. However with a budget of P2.6 trillion in 2015, the budget for R&D should be at least P130 billion.
Marcos said the importance of R&D could not be overstated because of the value it gives to help countries and individuals manage new challenges in an ever-changing world.
He said the country’s susceptibility to climate change, particularly the El Nino-related drought and typhoons, should be enough reason why the country should put in more money to R&D because it would help farmers cope with the weather phenomenon.
“R&D could help determine new interventions in agriculture like the development of drought-resistant seedlings, technical know-hows and other emerging technologies,” he said.
He further stated that the country could not afford to put R&D in the back burner because of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nation) integration. “We need to develop new technologies to help our businesses, our farmers, our fishermen, our doctors, our countrymen. We need to cope to stay competitive and to serve our people better,” he said.