DOST: PH’s research funds ‘pale’ in comparison to ASEAN neighbors

Published April 22, 2021, 8:43 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) described Thursday, April 22, as “pale” the country’s research and development (R&D)  funds compared to its Southeast Asian neighbours.

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña laments that the agency’s R&D funds only comprise 0.16 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) compared to Vietnam which is at 0.44 percent and Singapore which is at two percent of GDP on R&D.

“Science, technology and innovation (STI) are essential to economic development and social progress. Yet, the funds we get for research and development, despite its increasing amount every year, runs pale compared to our ASEAN neighbors,” he said in a message during the three-day Philippine Research, Development, and Innovation Conference (PRDIC) on Thursday. 

He expressed hope that through the conference initiated by DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD) , “we can rally our people to supporting research and development as we showcase how we make science work for the people.”

The PCIEERD noted that the PDRIC is the first massive public presentation of research, development and innovation projects in the industry, energy, and emerging technologies sectors. 

The DOST-PCIEERD unveiled the 100 completed research, development and innovation projects amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

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“As we celebrate the success of our completed research projects in 2020, we hope that our audience today will fully support the outputs of these projects which is the product of the blood, sweat, tears, and ingenuity of our Filipino researchers.” de la Peña said.

“We look forward to greater achievements of our researchers and hope that they come up with more pioneering innovations in the industry, energy, and emerging technology sectors,” he  added.

He said the DOST is committed to support research and development and make it understandable and accessible to a greater number of Filipinos.  

“We will remain committed in supporting the different research and development activities in the country and ensure that it reaches its intended beneficiaries through technology commercialization and information dissemination,” the DOST chief said. 

In her opening remarks, Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara  also expressed the agency’s all-out support to the PRDIC.

“As the primary government agency responsible for the coordination of science and technology-related projects in the country, DOST fully supports the 2021 PRDIC and look forward to its future iterations as an approach of reaching our key stakeholders and the general public and letting them know how we make change happen in the Philippines through research and development,” she said.

“We encourage everyone to continue collaborating with us in crafting and implementing research projects and programs that will spell a difference in the lives of Filipinos,” she added.