7 things DOST wants to hear in Duterte’s final SONA

Published July 25, 2021, 11:46 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

As President Duterte is set to physically deliver his sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa this Monday, July 26, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) shared Sunday, July 25, its list of expectations and wishes.

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña (PCOO/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña expressed hope that President Duterte will mention the following achievements in the field of science of technology:

– The Philippines’ rise in the Global Innovation Index (GII) Rankings from number 100 out of 125 countries in 2014 to number 74 out of 126 in 2017 and 2018 to number 53 out of 129 in 2019 to number 50 out of 131 in 2020.

-The Technology and Innovation Report 2021 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reported that the Philippines is second only to India among overperforming countries in terms of readiness for new frontier technologies in relation to gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Our performance was 57 ranks higher than expected.

-The significant contributions of the country’s scientists in addressing the needs brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in terms of diagnostics, genome sequencing, therapeutics from our natural products, disease modelling and biomedical devices. Our Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP) has been a big help to the Department of Health (DOH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Tsk Force (NTF) Vaccine Cluster.

-The achievements of scientists in terms of very accurate forecast and apps in order to address Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation.

-The establishment of centers for advanced manufacturing technologies, materials testing, new materials, packaging and metrology.

-The rapid advance of the Philippines in the area of space technology development. The latest satellite, Diwata-2 was already developed by our own Filipino talents.

-In terms of legislation, we are happy about the Balik Scientist Act of 2018, and the Philippine Space Agency Act. The Innovative Start up Act and the Philippine Innovation Act are breakthroughs.

De la Peña expressed hope that President Duterte will push for the passage of a bill seeking the establishment of a Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VSTIP) in his final SONA.

“I hope the President will promise to see to it that the Virology S&T Institute of the Philippines Act or the Virology & Vaccine Institute of the Philippines Act will be passed during his administration,” he said.

The DOST said it is eyeing to break ground for the state-of-the-art VIP by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Related story: https://mb.com.ph/2021/07/16/dost-to-break-ground-for-ph-virology-institute-by-fourth-quarter-of-2021/