Interest in science earns support from Congress, Senate

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By Alexander Villafania

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA – Interventions by science and technology agencies, particularly the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), in numerous occasions in 2011 are encouraging the creation and passage of more science-related proposals in Congress and Senate.

This is according to AGHAM party list representative Angelo Palmones. In an interview, Palmones said several bills have been proposed last year and are on their way to being passed in the House of Representatives.

Among these are House Bill 4010 or “Anti-Pilferage of Risk Reduction and Preparedness Equipment” and HB 3676 or the “Expanding of S&T Scholarships.”

Palmones cited the success of the upgrading of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and the Philippine Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), as well as interventions of the DoST in the disastrous water hyacinth bloom in Cagayan.

These effort have raised interest among legislators in developing further the country’s S&T community.

“Malacañang also saw the importance of building and strengthening the scientific communityand to make sure all those involved in science can contribute to more programs that help the public,” Palmones said.

“But a lot of work has to be done especially in the side of research and development primarily because there is a lack of fund that would push more research. We really have to convince congress to allocate more funding in R&D,” he added.

In particular, Palmones said that more research in agriculture, food security, energy, and climate change mitigation should be done and that the DoST should expand its “Balik Scientist” program to entice more Filipino experts abroad to come back and share their knowledge in the Philippines.

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