‘Science is for the People’: DOST chief seeks reward for developers of PH-made ventilators

Published April 24, 2021, 5:43 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Filipino ingenuity should not go unnoticed.

This was stressed by Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña as he proposed to President Duterte that the “top three” developers of the country’s first ventilators be rewarded.

“Ewan ko kung maaprubahan ng Pangulo iyong suggestion ko na iyon (I don’t know if the President will approve my suggestion). But I really would like to recognize the efforts done by our private universities, by our universities at saka iyong mga start-up companies na nag-qualify doon sa aming criteria (and even our start up companies that qualified our criteria) to do the researches on ventilators,” he said during the “Cabinet Report” radio program, hosted by Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on April 23, Friday.


The DOST chief was apparently referring to the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP), Don Bosco Technical College, and startup company Neuronmek.

He said he submitted a report to the Chief Executive to update him on the developments on the locally developed ventilators.

“Siguro naman ay matutuloy na mabigyan ng reward (i just hope they will be given a reward),” de la Peña said.

“Pero ang kondisyon kasi namin ang bibigyan ng reward ay iyong makakapag-commercialize, kasi kung prototype lang, hindi pa puwede iyon, kailangang magdaan sa clinical trials at magdaan sa production (But, our condition is those who will be given the reward are those who are able to commercialize because if it is only prototype, it is not applicable, it will have to undergo clinical trials and production)” he added.

During President Duterte’s regular public briefing on April 19, de la Peña disclosed that of the four groups that pursued the development of the life-saving machine, it was a team from the Technological Institute of the Philippines or TIP that first developed the ventilator and got third party certification from the third company Medical Equipment Healthcare Group, Inc. (MedEquip).


In July last year, Malacañang announced that President Duterte will extend a P20-million reward to any Filipino who can design and develop a durable respirator to help coronavirus disease patients amid the shortage of respirators in the market.