Press Release
November 28, 2008

Announces R&D conference slated on December 15

Senator Edgardo J. Angara today said that

"We must remember always take into consideration that we are in the worst global economic crisis that we have ever experienced. After the food and fuel crisis, this financial crisis shows no sign of letting up despite the large bailout and stimulus measures recently passed by the US and China," said Angara who was retained as Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

He added, "Given this, I challenge Filipinnovation to take the lead in the development of new industries, attract new investors, and of course, create jobs. However, for Filipinnovation to result in industry and job creation we have to link science math and engineering education to the needs of our various sectors."

Angara announced the recently concluded National Innovation Summit that Citigroup has announced a layoff of 50,000 workers while Silicon Valley companies like Intel and Sun have issued earnings downgrades and layoffs. Retail sales are also weak, as people worry more about their homes rather than the latest computer or cellphone.

Retail stores like Circuit City have already declared bankruptcy, and Macy's and other stores are slashing prices, but people are still not spending.

He added that next year our economy may be hit by the full impact of this global recession. These weaker earnings have translated into cancelled orders for our electronics factories that directly employ over 300,000 people. The large number of unemployed people in the U.S. will further increase pressure on Barack Obama and the Democrats to keep their campaign promise of discouraging outsourcing. Whether they will be successful remains to be seen.

Nevertheless, he said, two pillars of our S&T related industry the electronics/semiconductor and the IT outsourcing industries are sure to be impacted by this crisis in some way.

Angara also announced that the Joint Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) will also hold an R&D Conference this December 15 to consolidate the scattered R&D budgets of different government agencies.

"For so long, we have done R&D by trying to please everyone asking for money and allowing them to do whatever they want. I am telling you that in this time of economic turmoil we need to consolidate and coordinate our efforts to achieve something big," Angara said.

He ended, "You know my deep support for R&D and innovation in this country. But in light of this worldwide financial crisis, the focus is not R&D. R&D is simply the enabler and not the end goal. R&D has to redound to the strengthening or creation of industries and the creation and preservation of jobs. It is not about doing what we want. It is about the national interest."

COMSTE -- jointly chaired by Angara and Cavite Representative Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya - is expected to introduce or amend legislation 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).

News Latest News Feed