The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has hailed the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its attached agencies for achieving all performance indicators in 2020, particularly its “active” involvement in the country’s fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
DBM Undersecretary Tina Rose Marie L. Canda said the DBM recognized DOST’s efforts to help boost the country’s COVID-19 response through its science, technology and innovation interventions.
“The government appreciates the efforts of DOST in delivering its commitments in terms of the performance indicators, particularly for being an active agency in curbing the effects of the virus through its scientific intervention in medicine as well as its promotion of a better-designed, well-prepared programs and projects for the agency,” she said in a DBM summary report sent to the DOST.
DBM specifically commended the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) for achieving all its performance indicators committed for 2020. The Council recorded an accomplishment rate of 100 percent to 377 percent, and for attaining an almost 100 percent budget utilization rate for Fiscal Year 2020.
In a statement, the PCHRD said in 2020, it provided funding support to 36 COVID-19 research and development (R&D) projects. It likewise sustained its support to 138 ongoing research projects under its nine R&D priority areas, of which 22 have completed implementation in 2020.
“The Council also welcomed a total of 332 R&D research proposals, where 46 new projects were approved for funding and implementation,” it said.
In 2020, the Council supported 53 Doctorate of Medicine and of Philosophy (MD-PhD) in Molecular Medicine scholars and welcomed 12 new Balik Scientists.
The PCHRD approved 22 projects in addition to the 37 ongoing projects being supported under its Regional Research Fund Program as part of its capacity building initiatives.
“Our ultimate goal as the country’s lead coordinating body for health research has always been the same for the last three decades: to make life better for the Filipinos through health research-based solutions and innovations. We thank the DBM for recognizing our efforts to address the needs of our country’s health system amid major crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic,” PCHRD Executive Director Jaime C. Montoya said.
“We share this recognition with our Filipino researchers, partners, and stakeholders who strive to create research-based solutions to our pressing health needs,” he added.
In its report, the DBM cited that a total of 1,267 projects got DOST’s support in 2020, out of the agency’s 954 targeted projects.
The report noted that all agencies under DOST surpassed their targets including PCHRD with 207 projects implemented under the Grants-In-Aid (GIA) program.
Based on the DBM report, all DOST agencies logged “very impressive” obligation rates under their operations.
“I believe that we have accomplished much more than what the financial and physical performance indicators present. We have put in place pioneering and strategic programs that respond to national problems particularly the COVID-19 pandemic,” DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said.
“Our interventions have long and enduring positive impacts on the economic development, poverty reduction, and social transformation as affirmed by our various clients and stakeholders.”