DOST aims to protect rights of persons affected by mental illnesses with help from experts

Published September 25, 2021, 4:34 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is seeking to protect the rights and freedoms of persons affected by mental illnesses through the help of various sectors, including experts on neuroscience.

Department of Science and Technology

“By strengthening partnerships and collaborations among the healthcare sector, the government, the academe, the non-government organizations, and the citizenry, we are hoping to protect the rights and freedoms of persons affected by mental illnesses,” said DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña in a statement.

“With your help, our dear neuroscientists, educating the populace as well as boosting our capabilities to aid our people’s mental health will not only be wishful thinking,” he added.

The DOST’s Balik Scientist Program (BSP), Society for Pinoy Neuroscience Enthusiasts (SPiNE), and the GradMAP Philippines held a webinar on Saturday, Sept. 25, to bridge experts abroad with the opportunities available in the country.

Paul Ernest De Leon of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development said potential Balik Scientists could provide their expertise in various neuroscience programs of the agency.

He said that experts could help in areas such Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Health, Omics Technology for Health, Biomedical Engineering and Health Technologies, and Diagnostics and Mental Health.

Dr. Jonel P. Saludes, a Balik Scientist, said that giving back and serving the country does not come with the conveniences they have abroad.

However, it is a Balik Scientist’s task to use the competency gained abroad in building local transformation, he added.

Meanwhile, six-time Balik Scientist Awardee Dr. Romulo De Castro Jr. sought future collaborators in his ongoing research projects in biobanking, telehealth, and artificial intelligence.

DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina L. Guevara urged health experts to be part of the Balik Scientist Program.

“We hope we were able to inspire you, and just like Dr. Saludes and Dr. de Castro, you would consider coming home and becoming a Balik Scientist to be a part of our country’s Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) ecosystem,” she said.

“We believe that in your hearts lie that innate sense of love of country, compelling you to share your ingenuity and give back to the Filipino people,” she added.