Press Release
July 30, 2007


Senator Edgardo J. Angara once again emphasized the importance of a "culture of science" in HotSeat, a political awareness forum sponsored by the University Of Santo Tomas College Of Student Council.

"We have more politicians in the country, what we need is more scientists and technologists," Angara noted.

He added that at this day and age, "if you are illiterate in science and math, you are as good as illiterate."

Unfortunately in an international study on Mathematics and Science, Philippine high school students ranked 41st and 42nd out of 45 countries. Global competitiveness is consistently waning. From number 49 in 2001 to 66 out of 102 in 2003 to 76 out of 104 in 2004, we are now down to 77 among 117 countries. Twenty-nine notches down in a span of six years.

Angara lamented that when it comes to research and development, we are very much left behind compared to our Asian neighbors. He added that for every one MS graduate in engineering that we produce, Vietnam produces 6, Thailand 25 and Singapore 200.

On the bright side, he noted that we have scientists and mathematicians winning awards around the world. Dubbed as the "creator of wealth in this modern age" these students however lack opportunities and incentives from the government.

In line with this a Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering Research and Development or COMSTE, which Angara authored in the 13th Congress, was created to look into the country's science, engineering and technology research and development sector.

COMSTE will study the root of the country's weakening competitiveness by undertaking a national review and assessment of the country's ST&E research and development.

The forum was followed by a question and answer portion where the students asked about the government support to researchers and scientists as well as opportunities to science major students.

Angara said that in the 2007 budget, the government allocated 3 billion for the Department of Science and Technology.

"This is the single biggest outlay for ST&E and it will be used mainly for faculty development and scholarships," said Angara.

It is with great hope that the country will soon catch up with the scientific revolution and evolution happening around the world.

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