Press Release
June 6, 2013

Science, math studes to get more incentives with bill approval

The Senate today approved on third and final reading a bill which seeks to provide additional incentives to science and math scholars as well as to identify additional sources of funding for its program.

Senator Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Committee on Education, Art and Culture and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 3400, said the proposed measure seeks to build a pool of highly qualified science and math teachers in the country.

"The ratio of scientists and technologists is only 157 per million population. This should be at least 15,700 on a basis of a 100 million population. But there is a more critical and urgent need today to provide science and math teachers to our high schools whether public or private," Angara said.

Angara likened the proposed measure to a "crash course program," with the intention of training 10,000 science and math teachers over a 10-year period.

"The two-year scholarship program covers not only tuition but it also covers living costs of these scholars. Upon completing their science or math programs, these scholars are bound to teach in high schools, both public or private throughout the country," he explained.

The program will provide scholarships to eligible science and math students on their third year and fourth year, Angara said.

He said that once the proposed legislation is enacted into law, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp and the Philippine Charity Sweepstake will contribute P200 million annually to the project for the next 10 years.

Without the pool of scientists and technologists, Angara warned, the Philippines will perpetually lag behind in development, creativity as well as innovation.

"Without the pool of science and math teachers, the Philippines will never be able to catch up with its neighbors," he said. (PILAR S. MACROHON, PRIB)

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