Press Release
July 30, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara underscored the vital role of government in creating a supportive, suitable and welcoming environment for budding Filipino scientists during his speech today at the Novartis Biotechnology Leadership Camp held in Makati.

Also known as the Novartis Biocamp, the event brought together young Filipino intellectuals who represent a talented pool of scholars focused on research related to biology and biotechnology. Two students will then be chosen from this shortlist to represent the country in the International Biocamp this August in Basel, Switzerland.

"The Novartis Biocamp is a much-needed project that enables talented Filipinos to get in touch with their peers from around the world," said Angara, who is Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.

"However, we in government must do much more than what Novartis and other private R&D institutions are doing. The country's political leadership must provide the guidance, support and direction towards the advancement of science, especially of research and development in the Philippines."

Angara recalled that as part of his commitment to the development of the sciences in the country, he spearheaded the creation of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) back in 2007.

"Through COMSTE, we hoped to anticipate some of the leading-edge technologies from all over the world and make them useful to the Filipino people," the veteran lawmaker said, adding that more efforts are needed to attract genuine R&D projects to the Philippines.

"Only through honest to goodness research can we strive to create new things, new services, new ways of looking at things, and ultimately new wealth for our people ," said Angara. "We Filipinos may be inventive, innovative and enterprising but many of us are still poor."

He further stressed that a progressive R&D industry is the key towards eradicating poverty in our country and enabling the government to provide affordable medicine and healthcare, sufficient food supply and universal access to clean, potable water.

"Unfortunately, talent today is highly migratory. Our young scientists will go to wherever it is conducive for them to develop their skills and advance their careers. Our fighting chance is if government ramps up its efforts to create that very environment here at home."

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