Press Release
August 3, 2010


Addressing the exodus of Filipino scholars and professionals to other countries, Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged foreign scholarship recipients to return to the Philippines and share their expertise with the domestic academe and workforce.

"But for this to happen we must offer them a promising career, attractive rewards, and opportunities for growth. Our universities and industries must be quick to absorb them, otherwise they will seek better opportunities abroad and we will lose out on our intellectual capital," said Angara.

Relating the issue to an earlier concern that the Philippines lacks capacities and facilities in research-development and higher learning. Angara said that this can be addressed by bringing in more experts, such as foreign-educated and -trained Filipinos, to lead the enhancement of the country's scientific capability.

The new Senate Committee on Education Chair of the 15th Congress called on universities, the DepEd, CHED and DOST to increase partnerships for foreign exchange scholarship programs.

"We ought to extend as much assistance to the concerned education-related agencies. Let's make our students feel they have the support and commitment of the government. Upon completion of their studies, we must provide them venues where they can put their expertise to good use, making sure that we adequately compensate their educational qualifications and international experience," said Angara former President of the University of the Philippines.

Angara is also pushing for the Technology Transfer bill which grants Filipino researchers autonomy, as it vests the ownership of intellectual property rights to research institutions that conducted research funded in part or in full by government, and authorizes them to use income from their research to conduct more R&D of its choice. Aside from this, Angara proposed a seed fund for cutting-edge research, a leapfrog strategy dubbed as "Fast-Track to Innovation." The plan is to fund a local research team to pursue cutting edge R&D endeavors with willing Filipino scientists based abroad as the principal investigators of the projects.

He is also pushing for an advanced studies development program for qualified employees of the government and the private sector that will send them to Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan and Korea for necessary training. This, he hopes, will create a critical mass of elite professionals that will lead the country in harnessing science, technology and related disciplines.

"In a knowledge-based world economy, having an army of educated, skilled workers is crucial. That's why we're aiming at it both ways: first, by linking our local experts with Filipino experts based abroad, and second by sending some of our professionals to train outside the country. Our hope is that the knowledge gained from their studies abroad will amount to gains here in our country," he said.

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