Press Release
November 15, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the government needs to make a push towards funding programs that would create more Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) holders in science and engineering in order to help make the Philippines more globally competitive.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), said that a report by the commission listed the lack of high level S&T and engineering degree holders as one of the foremost reasons why the country is lagging behind in terms of S&T development.

The COMSTE Science, Math, and Engineering Education Panel reported that the numbers show that the PhDs in the country, in comparison to other countries is alarming.

The report shows that Japan has 1 PhD holder per 11,621 people, in the USA there is 1 per 6,533, and Germany has 1 per 3,316. According to data from CHED, there are 941 students taking up their MS degrees and 164 taking up their PhDs in the country which would peg the ratio for the Philippines at 1 per every 54,060.

The same report endorses that government use the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) and the National Science Complex as vehicles to generate the programs and generate more MS and PhD graduates.

The ERDT is a consortium of eight-member universities:

  •  University of the Philippines - Diliman

  •  University of the Philippines - Los Banos

  •  De La Salle University

  •  Mapua Institute of Technology

  •  Ateneo de Manila University

  •  Mindanao State University Iligan

  •  University of San Carlos

  •  Central Luzon State University

The consortium currently has 152 Master of Science scholars, 34 Ph.D. scholars, and has plans to increase the numbers to 171 Master of Science scholars, and have 10 Ph.D. scholars, and five post-doctoral scholars.

The ERDT consortium also targets faculty development, infrastructure development, and research and development (R&D) in four areas: ICT, Semiconductor and Electronics, Energy, Environment and Infrastructure.

Angara is still reviewing a draft of a bill entitled "An Act Advancing and sustaining science, Engineering, and Technology research and education, creating the asset scholarship center, providing for its financing, and mandating it to institutionalize reforms in the procurement and fund disbursement systems in science, engineering and technology scholarship programs, and for other purposes," otherwise known as the ASSET Act of 2010.

The legislation was drafted by the UP Law Center, which has been working closely with COMSTE since January 2009, to address "the lack of opportunities to excel in science or math."

COMSTE has also submitted to a proposal to create new science, technology and engineering (STE) scholarships with science and math teacher incentives. This proposal would address the lack of competent STE teachers and professionals by putting a premium on quality and addressing salary concerns

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