By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has signed a law seeking to expand the benefits of science and technology practitioners in the country.
Republic Act No.11312 amends Republic Act No. 8439 or the magna carta for scientists, engineers, researchers and other S&T personnel in government to raise state support for them.
The new law removes the cap on honoraria received by science and technology personnel in government from externally funded grants.
“S&T personnel who rendered services beyond the established regular workload of scientists, technologists, researchers and technicians whose broad and superior knowledge, expertise or professional standing in a specific field contributes to productivity and innovativeness shall be entitled to receive honorarium subject to rules to be set by the Department,” the law read.
“The government shall not impose a limit on the amount of additional honoraria sourced from externally funded grants that may be received by S & T personnel,” he added.
The law also allows S&T personnel not employed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) avail of benefits offered by RA 8349 upon the certification of the head of their agency that they are involved in research and development or other scientific and technological activities.
Another provision of RA 11312 is allowing the hiring of retired scientists and technical personnel.
A retired employee who possesses technical qualifications and capability to undertake scientific research activities may be rehired on contractual basis.
The services of a scientist due for compulsory retirement may be extended for five years provided the research project is within the priority research and development programs of the DOST and the concerned person is still mentally and physically fit to complete the project.
“Services rendered during the period of extension shall be credited as part of government service, and such extension shall entitle the employee to leave credits and other benefits,” the law read.
The law was signed by the President last April 17 but was released by the Palace only on Tuesday.