Press Release
March 10, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), today said the country's lack of technological capacity is one major reason why we are slipping so rapidly in the competitiveness index.

Speaking at the Workshop for Enhancing Institutional Framework for Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in Infrastructure Development sponsored by the SGV& Co. and Ernst and Young, Angara stressed the need for the public and private sector to invest heavily in Research and Development (R&D).

"In order to build a critical mass of scientists, researchers and engineers, we have to modernize and upgrade our facilities and research laboratories and mobilize support for our creative people," Angara said.

He added, "We are a nation of creative people, however, due to lack of support for innovation, they end up working in other countries. The next six years could become the turning point for the Philippines because we are going to enter a new field of competition in an innovation-led economy."

Angara also underscored the significant role of universities in achieving development, "Universities create new knowledge and study their application, nurture and train people to become experts, especially in the wealth-generating field of science, technology and innovation."

He cited the experience of South Korea and China who invested heavily in R&D channeled through universities. "The Philippine government for its part has put up the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) Consortium and the Diliman Science Complex and Technology Incubation Park."

COMSTE is composed of 6 Panels for the different S&T and engineering research industries targeted for strategic economic development namely: Agriculture and Food, Electronic & Semiconductors, Energy and Environment, Information & Communications Technology, Health Sciences, and Science, Math and Engineering Education.

Out of 134 countries included in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2009-2010, the Philippines ranked 87th, a substantial slide from its 71st ranking out of 134 economies in the 2008-2009 Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). In the 2007-2008 GCI, the Philippines was also ranked 71st out of 131 countries.

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