The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) conferred the Scientist I rank to Dr. Marilla G. Lucero, chief science research specialist at the Department of Health - Research Institute of Tropical Medicine during a ceremony last December 9, 2015 at the Acacia Hotel in Muntinlupa.
The conferment was made under the Scientific Career System (SCS) program.
Dr. Lucero, who specializes in epidemiology and infectious diseases, conducted significant trials on pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) to prevent pneumonia in children. Her research study contributed significantly to the decision to include PCV in the Philippine national immunization program, preventing pneumonia among Filipino children.
Three scientists were also upgraded in rank. Dr. Mudjekeewis D. Santos from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-National Fisheries and Development Institute and Dr. Claro N. Mingala from the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center were promoted from Scientist I to Scientist II while Dr. Dionisio G. Alvindia from Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization was upgraded from Scientist II to Scientist III.
During the ceremony, SCS also recognized two scientists who recently retired from service, namely, Dr. Rolando Cruz from Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and Vivencio C. Gallego of Philippine Coconut Authority-Davao Research Center.
Dr. Cruz developed practical field diagnostic tools for plant nutrient status that led to the development of PalayCheck System, a PhilRice banner program for rice crop management.
Meanwhile, Gallego made various contributions on integrated pest management of coconut leaf beetle as well as coconut leaf miner, which is another type of insect, among others.
In his message, National Academy of Science and Technology President and former DOST Secretary Dr. William G. Padolina said that the country has only 47 active scientists in service, a relatively small number in terms of the size of the country’s population, and compared to the number of workers engaged in research and development.
Padolina likewise highlighted science and technology policy issues and areas which our scientists can help address and underscored the need to reform the procurement system especially for research. “The rhythm of work in research and development is very different from ordinary government operation. There should be some adjustments and we should not adapt the one-size-fits all approach,” he said.
The SCS was institutionalized in 1983 by the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos to establish a reward system for highly productive personnel in government who lack opportunities for promotion because of the limited number of available positions in the plantilla system. Since its institutionalization, a total of 147 career scientists have been conferred under the program.
Scientists conferred under the SCS are entitled to automatic increase in salary grade corresponding to the rank, benefits and entitlements under Republic Act 8439 or the Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and other S&T-related Personnel in the Government. An annual evaluation is conducted to determine performance and productivity of scientists, which serves as the basis for awarding additional incentives and grants.
Dr. Marilla G. Lucero of Department of Health – Research Institute for Tropical Medicine is conferred the rank of Scientist I by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Civil Service Commission through its Scientific Career System. She took her oath under Dr. William G. Padolina, president of DOST’s National Academy of Science and Technology (right) during a ceremony last December 9, 2015 at Acacia Hotel, Alabang, Muntinlupa. Dr. Lucero, who specializes in epidemiology and infectious diseases, conducted significant trials on pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) to prevent pneumonia in children. Her research study contributed significantly to the inclusion of PCV in the Philippine national immunization program, preventing pneumonia among Filipino children.