Press Release
September 5, 2012


Senator Edgardo J. Angara emphasized that the research and development (R&D) activities of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) should prioritize and target prime commodities like rice, corn, coconut and fisheries.

During the recent budget hearing of the DOST, Angara noted that food is an emerging crisis on account of high prices, low investment in R&D, and devastation brought about by natural calamities.

"It is imperative that we concentrate on the essential food products--the ones which affect the most number of people," said Angara, vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance.

"Targeting is very important and not carpet bombing. The DOST cannot afford to cover all our commodities and must begin to act very selectively."

A little over P10 billion is being proposed as the 2013 budget of the DOST, with around 15 percent, amounting to roughly P1.5 billion, allocated to R&D institutes.

Angara, who is also Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), then called on the DOST to foster a more inter-disciplinary and collaborative environment.

"Other colleges, universities and research institutes can do the actual research, with the DOST taking a lead in terms of networking and coordination," said the veteran lawmaker. "But this also means the agency has to look at the key problems from a bigger perspective and become an enabler."

He then called for the creation of more shared service centers available to private industry, such as a Food Safety Laboratory which can test and certify products for export saying that many are being rejected in the European Union (EU) on account of safety concerns.

"These are problems that must be viewed as an entire chain�from production to processing, from packaging to food safety assurance and everything else in-between," stressed Angara. "In this regard, the DOST can actively network with other programs and with other agencies."

Angara is the main proponent of SBN 2805 or the Food Safety Act, which establishes a policy framework for overseeing food safety.

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