Press Release
March 21, 2013


Two major sectoral groups have recognized Senator Edgardo J. Angara for his unparalleled contributions toward promoting science and technology as a major component of the country's national agenda.

In separate occasions, the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (CanCham) accorded Angara with the highest individual honor.

The NCRP gave Angara the Special Recognition Award for his invaluable contributions to the development of science and technology in the country. Meanwhile, the CanCham named him the International ICT Awards ICT Individual Contributor of The Year for supporting the promotion of the country's business process outsourcing sector.

"I am grateful to the NCRP and CanCham not only for these recognitions, but for being true partners and collaborators. Their dedication and commitment have fueled our vision to make the S&T sector a genuine game-changer for the economy.

"But there's much more to be done. While we have built a strong foundation for S&T development, we call on government to sustain its financial and political support for the programs we have initiated. S&T is the wave of the future. It is the force that will drive innovation and competitiveness across the globe. We can no longer afford to be laggards in this area," said Angara.

Angara created the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), which serves as the primary proponent of science, technology and research and development in the country.

In his capacity as Chair of both COMSTE and the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, he authored and pushed for the passage of the Biofuels Act, the Technology Transfer, and the Renewable Energy Law, touted as one of the finest models of clean energy legislation in Asia.

In support of the IT-BPO sector, he became the main proponent of the Data Privacy Law and the Cybercrime Prevention Law.

"The IT-BPO sector, our biggest job generator today, has been calling for the passage of these measures for years as these are critical in their operations. Both these laws will boost confidence in our IT-BPO industry and in our government's capability to protect users and their data across technology platforms.

"Such policy in place equips government with the framework for protecting the security, integrity and confidentiality of all the personal information collected by business and government agencies, and ensuring that cyberspace is safe for Filipinos," he explained.

Aside from this, Angara also instituted the Innovation Clusters Program which tasks private and state universities to undertake relevant R&D in areas of national priority.

In 2012, Angara created five clusters--on algae for food security, disaster science, ICT for cloud computing, responsible mining technologies, and precision farming for smart agriculture--for which around P300 million under the national budget were allocated.

Through his continuing efforts, another P520 million under the 2013 national budget were allotted for the funding of the five existing clusters, as well as for new clusters on renewable energy for off-grid applications, food safety and traceability, marine and forest research centers, as well as funding for six regional laboratories for long term biodiversity studies.

Angara also authored the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act, which has made the Philippines compliant with the standards on biological diversity management and protection set under various international conventions, such as the World Heritage Convention and the ASEAN Agreement on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

He has also intitiated a new system of S&T Scholarships with Teaching Incentives, through which it is hoped that 10,000 new S&T, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates will teach science and match courses in our high school all over the country as their return-of-service.

This complements the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) program he helped create. This consortium among eight-member universities, namely UP Diliman; UP Los Banos; De La Salle University; Mapua Institute of Technology; Ateneo de Manila University; Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology; University of San Carlos; and Central Luzon State University, is focused on replenishing the country's pool of scientists, engineers, and researchers.

From 2007 to 2011, about 89 percent of the available Master of Science programs scholarships and 83 percent of those for PhD programs have been taken up.

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