Press Release
January 19, 2008


Speaking at the 6th Jaime V. Ongpin Lecture Series at the Ateneo de Manila Professional Schools, Senator Edgardo Angara today outlined the government's role in promoting science, technology and innovation (STI), asserting that it should first cultivate an enabling environment that will nurture STI in the country.

"Government should lead the country towards a more developed and productive STI," said Senator Angara, chair of the Congressional Committee on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

Senator Angara pointed out that countries around the world have advanced their efforts in science and technology because they have adapted advanced technologies and later on learned to produce products and services in which they have a comparative advantage.

"In countries such as South Korea , Brazil , India, Thailand, and China, for instance, governments have a crucial role in initiating the country's efforts towards STI. All these countries implemented a pivotal S&T policy, complemented by massive public and private investments in infrastructure as well as good governance," said Angara.

"Governments around the world are investing heavily in basic public goods and services, road and ports, energy and communications, clean water, health and education services that raise the productive potential of firms and people. These investments are the foundation for developing human resources strong in science and technology, " he said.

"Aside from investing in infrastructure, our government and the private sector should invest in R&D and ensure that ideas are transformed into products and services that have market potential," he said.

"To do this, higher education institutions should be supported, funded and nurtured," Angara , Chairman of the 1990 Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM) that created DepEd, TESDA and CHED, said.

"At the same time, there should be an even playing field for investment and competition, and reward for risk takers and entrepreneurs," he said.

"China and India , for instance, invested heavily in S&T at the same time it opened up its economy and promoted investments," Angara said.

Angara authored the resolution creating COMSTE that will review the status of S&T in the Philippines , and enact appropriate legislation to promote them.

"Through COMSTE, we hope to create the enabling environment that will encourage R&D, promote industry-academe linkages, and stimulate more STI investments in the Philippines," said Angara.

Angara is a former President of the University of the Philippines (UP) and, as a Senator, authored many of the country's education reform laws including the Free High School Act and Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE).

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