By Dhel Nazario
Once projects to combat COVID-19 went underway, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) vowed to double its manpower following the President’s directive.
During a Laging Handa briefing on Thursday, April 30, OST Secretary Fortunato dela pena clarified that doubling manpower does not necessarily equate to increasing the workforce of the whole department.
He earlier mentioned that they will be looking into what service the agency will need for such a response. “Kasi po ang DOST ay isang departamento na may labingwalong ahensya.
Meron kaming weather bureau, meron kaming volcanology (Because DOST is a department with 18 agencies. We have a weather bureau, we have volcanology),” he said.
The science and technology secretary said that they will focus on the agencies that will be developing solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this week, he showed to the president 13 projects that are expected to increase.
A few of those projects have just started and have been funded by the agency and supported by additional personnel.
Dela Pena said that there are a lot of ways to improve their manpower. “Isa po ay itong napakagandang development na nakita po namin. Yung mga DOST scholars both at the BS, MS and PHD level, ay nagvovolunteer sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng Pilipinas sa iba’t-ibang uri ng ahensya sa iba’t-ibang uri ng trabaho. (One of these is the great development that we found out. Our DOST scholars, both at the BS, MS, and PHD level, are volunteering in different parts of the country in various agencies and are handling a variety of jobs),” he said.
There are those who are encoding data and are helping as statistical clerks, and there are those volunteering at various testing centers as well as the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
As of Thursday, there are about 800 DOST scholars. Dela Pena said that they are happy about this since the scholars have displayed a sense of bayanihan.