Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Boholâ€™s 2ndÂ District mulls giving attractive incentives to scientists, science researchers and technical minds to sway them into staying in the country.
Aumentado, who chairs the Committee on Science and Technology (S&T) of the 17thÂ Congress, mulls a bigger allocation for this field, noting that in the 2017 proposed budget, only the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) got a big increase.
He will push for a bigger allocation for S&T research when he goes to Congress this week, Aumentado vowed.
He expressed hope that with the incentives, Filipino scientists will do research for the Philippines instead of for other countries.
A bigger budget will also allow for more human resources for DOST. The Bohol office, he noted, has only two regular employees, assisted by casual employees.
Harnessing modern technology is the countryâ€™s only chance at global competitiveness, he said.
â€œWe should take advantage of our scientistsâ€™ bright ideas, innovations and new products. Better incentives will hopefully bring them back to the Philippines,â€ the solon said of scientists now doing research and inventions in other countries.
The Philippines needs scientists and researchers especially in the fields of agriculture and education â€“ adjusted and geared to match the requirements of the new millennium, he explained.
For instance, he said, agriculture processes must be enhanced thru research.
â€œWe cannot just plant anything anywhere. Ideally, the soil must first be studied to determine which plants are best suited for its type, what fertilizers and when these should be applied for optimum yield,â€ he pointed out.
He said S&T must be harnessed to the fullest in order to come up with innovative products and procedures to make the country at par with the rest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
â€œIt is but a matter of tapping these scientists so that they will become actively involved in innovating,â€ he said.
Science has always been the anchor of many developed nations. If this country continues its nostalgia with the old ways, it will be left behind in global competitiveness.â€
â€œWorse,â€ Aumentado continued, â€œunless we innovate, we can be overtaken by even the poorest countries.â€ (June S. Blanco)