DOST urges US-based Filipino scientists to strengthen PH's STI capabilities

Filipino scientists in the United States (US) are being tapped by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Balik Scientist Program (BSP) as part of its continuous efforts to strengthen Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) capabilities in the country.

Balik Scientist Dr. Doralyn Dalisay. (DOST-PCHRD/MANILA BULLETIN file photo)

In a statement on Monday, Jan. 16, DOST said that this can be possible through knowledge transfer. The agency also mentioned that it provided a recent orientation amongst Filipino Scientists in the USA through the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) and Philippine Business Mission.

The BSP strategically holds promotion and orientation to spark interest and patriotism among our Filipino Scientists. As part of this mission in the US, three scientists immediately signified a commitment to participate in the program this 2023. These scientists’ expertise falls under the industry and health sectors.

The BSP continuously encourages Filipino Scientists abroad through several strategies and promotions to generate awareness of the compelling impacts they could bring along with them to the Philippines. Balik Scientists are engaged to conduct capacity building, knowledge transfer, assessment activities, R&D activities, production of policies and publications, curriculum development, and building linkages that create impacts.

DOST explained that two Balik Scientists shall be focusing on the industry sector. One, a creative director and expert on packaging and design shall help improve and bring new ideas and technologies that the country can adopt in terms of packaging and design of Philippine products for which to be at par with the packaging and design of global standards.

The other, a biochemist and molecular and computational biologist, shall focus on turning Philippine plastic waste back to its raw form and be able to create new and sustainable products. Both Filipino Scientists plan to engage themselves as Balik Scientists with the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) of DOST where research and development have been implementing such initiatives.

The third Filipino Scientist shall be engaged as a Balik Scientist in the health sector. He is an expert in mass spectrometric techniques and applies them to environmental biomonitoring, clinical toxicology, and therapeutic drug monitoring. His works pioneer the application of high-resolution mass spectrometry to the suspect screening of environmental chemicals present in biological samples which can be extracted not just from blood nor urine but from human hair. He plans to engage with the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) in close coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

“The Philippines has a reservoir of talents among our young and local researchers that promises to make the Philippines spectacular,” says DOST Undersecretary Leah J. Buendia.

“We can strengthen the Philippine science community and STI ecosystem by having you and the rest of our Filipino scientists. We hope that you will consider the Balik Scientist Program to share your ingenuity in giving back to the Filipino people,” she added.

The BSP was established in 1975 to counteract the nationwide concern on “brain drain” or the emigration of highly trained professionals from our country, in search of a better standard of living and quality of life, higher salaries, access to advanced technology, and more stable political conditions in different places worldwide.