Press Release
September 26, 2008


Sen. Edgardo J. Angara today stressed the need to invest in Science and Technology especially on Research and Development (R&D), saying it can help boost the country's effort towards achieving global competitiveness.

"Efforts towards making the country globally-competitive should be coupled with investments on Science and Technology, especially on the field of Research and Development. Philippine competitiveness has steadily and consistently slipped as a result of our measly investment on education, health, research and development and basic infrastructure. We need to step up public spending in these areas, especially in R&D, as it has the highest economic pay off of all economic activities." said Angara, who chairs the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology, and Engineering (COMSTE)

He added, "All around the world, countries are racing towards innovation. Developed and developing countries alike are gearing up to introduce innovative products and services, and adopt strategies that will gear them for an increasingly competitive world."

As an initial step, Angara said that universities must be able to establish strong linkages both here and abroad in order to widen knowledge on technology and to engage heavily into R&D.

He also stressed the role of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in research by advocating for more budgets in the last General Appropriations Act (GAA). In the 2008 GAA, ten SUCs were given extra P5 million for research capability building through Angara's effort.

"We must continue investing on our human capital. We have talent but we don't invest," said Angara, who is advocating for more research funding and scholarship grants.

He added, "Building a strong S&T foundation for the country is necessary if we want to push forward and become competitive on the global stage."

COMSTE -- jointly chaired by Senator Edgardo J. Angara and Cavite Representative Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya - is expected to introduce legislations that will make the Philippines more globally competitive, particularly in Science and Technology.

It is composed of six (6) expert panels from different sectors in Science and Technology namely Gregory Tangonan, PhD (semicon/electronics), Joaquin Quintos (ICT/ICT services), William Padolina, PhD (food and agriculture), Reynaldo Vea, PhD (basic science, math and engineering education), Ramon Arcadio, MD (health), and Francisco Viray, PhD (energy and environment).

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