To give a fitting recognition to the steadfast support of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the science and technology sector, the Philippine scientific community held“Alay Pasasalamat” 25 June 2010 at the Heroes Hall, Malacañan.
The “Alay Pasasalamat,” organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology, is a tribute to the President by the Filipino scientists, science scholars, members of the science community and the academe, technology adoptors, and officials and staff of the Department of Science and Technology. Highlights of the event include an audio-visual presentation on the accomplishments of the science community that stemmed from the support of the President during her nine-year tenure, and testimonials from beneficiaries.
Pres. GMA with STII-DOST OIC Ma. ISabel C. Dario, two young DOST scholars, and NAST-DOST President Emil Q. Javier.
In the area of policy advocacy, President Arroyo signed into law on 23 March 2010 Republic Act 10055 otherwise known as the Technology Transfer Act of 2009. It has become a major achievement because of the law’s spirit of harmonizing all technology transfer activities in the country and expediting the commercialization of government-funded research.
In her State of the Nation Address in 2001, President Arroyo emphasized the role of technology in future economic development. The rallying call to awaken the innovative spirit of Filipinos was sounded during the country’s first ever National Innovation Summit in 2007 wherein the National Innovation Strategy called Filipinnovation was presented to the President.
President Arroyo took off from the groundwork of S&T policies put in place, resulting in the accomplishment of five broad tiers of S&T programs. These programs include research and development programs, S&T human resource development programs, scientific and technological services, S&T promotion and information services, and scientific linkages and international cooperation.
With regard to S&T education, the challenge is to provide the environment for the youth to learn and hone their skills to become achievers. Their future innovations are expected to generate more jobs, and turn out new products and services. In this light, four new Philippine Science High School campuses were established during her term.
Meanwhile, the S&T Undergraduate Scholarship Program was able to reach out to deserving students who desired to pursue S&T baccalaureate degrees in selected higher education institutions in the country. A total of 34,820 scholars benefited under the program from 2000 to 2009.
President Arroyo also provided extensive support for graduate S&T scholarship programs. Through the infusion of more funds, the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program and the Engineering Research and Development Technology Program resulted in a five-fold increase in the number of graduate scholarship opportunities. Currently, there are 1,476 MS and 443 PhD scholars under said programs.
In addition, the Arroyo Administration allocated the much needed funds for the improvement of research facilities, and increased the funding for the R&D activities of academic scientists and engineers. (S&T Media Service)