Press Release
March 1, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara called on students and professionals in the various scientific and engineering disciplines to remain in the country and contribute toward national prosperity.

Speaking at the 1st National Conference of scholars of the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resources Development (ASTHRD) program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Angara said the Philippines only 165 has S&T professionals--such as scientists and researchers-- for every million Filipinos.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) prescribes a ratio of 380 S&T professionals for every million population to help spur economic development.

The Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) said the Philippines lost around 25,000 S&T professionals to employment in other countries in 2009 alone.

"I can see no other way of creating wealth in this country except through science and technology," stressed Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology. "That's why the DOST will become a very important department for us, spearheading and leading our evolution into a technology-driven society."

The veteran lawmaker explained that the country has lagged in terms of global competitiveness primarily because of its capacity to absorb, adapt and innovate on most advanced technologies available today.

He continued, "This is demonstrated by the showing of our students in terms of science and mathematics, whether in elementary, in high school or in international competitions."

According to the Department of Education (DepED), 2nd year high school students who took the National Achievement Test (NAT) for SY 2009-2010 marked achievement rates of only 40 percent in Mathematics and 44 percent in Science.

Angara, who is also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), added, "If we are to rectify any of these, we've got to act fast. We've got to build our manpower in an accelerated manner. Obsolescence of technology is also fast. With these in mind all the more do I laud the DOST for its programs in building up a critical mass of world-class scientists and technologists."

Angara emphasized, "What's the use of having an island of excellence in an ocean of mediocrity? We've all got to aim for excellence. No one will do that for us."

To conclude, he told the scholars, "I congratulate you all, and I hope that you don't change careers. Continue with what you are doing now, because we need every one of you in our efforts to modernize our country and leapfrog our development in the 21st century."

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