Press Release
October 6, 2008

After COMSTE reported its vision to where RP should head in S&T,

Senator Edgardo J. Angara today stressed the need to invest in key areas in Science and Technology (S&T), saying it will help the country achieve global competitiveness.

Speaking before the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology, and Engineering (COMSTE) en banc meeting at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Angara said that the recommendations made by the six expert panels must be put into action and be granted the necessary funding under the 2009 General Appropriations Act after it carefully assessed the country's direction towards achieving a competitive S&T.

"What distinguishes this committee from all others is that it is hands-on. Apart from becoming theoretical and juridical, the committee is largely composed of practitioners who not only share their talents to others but constantly consult with fellow practitioners. Through their constant exchange of ideas, we are introduced into innovative products and services, and adopt strategies that will gear our country in an increasingly competitive world," said Angara, who also chairs Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

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."

The six expert panels of the COMSTE made the following recommendations:

For the food and agriculture panel, food safety, competitiveness and security through R&D efforts should be emphasized. It recommended that through R&D, our productivity and competitiveness via public-private partnerships will improve. Meanwhile, the energy panel seeks to establish an Institute for Energy Planning and Policy Studies to make sense of all these new developments in energy and how current laws and regulations need to adapt.

The health panel, on the other hand, recommended that the Bureau of Food and Drugs be strengthened in line with the Melamine scare. Furthermore, the semiconductors and information and communication technology panels recommended that the country should have strong intellectual property laws protect 'technopreneurs'.

Lastly, the education panel has recommended that S&T scholarship programs have to be institutionalized through legislation.

After the COMSTE report, Angara stressed that there is only one way for the country to achieve global competitiveness and that is by making it a national agenda.

'Now that we have done assessments and available resources as well as the S&T scenario, action planning and implementation has to be made. Competitiveness must be a priority and a national agenda," Angara said.

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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