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DOST chief hopes for more jobs for scientists

Thursday, July 11, 2019 12:42 AM    Views : 98by:Ma. Cristina Arayata
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MANILA-- Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Pena wishes for more local employment opportunities for the scientists and researchers.

Outstanding Young Scientists, Inc. (OYSI) president Merlyn Mendioro said the Philippines only have 189 scientists per million, whereas the ideal ratio is 380 per million population.

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday, dela Pena said if one would base it on statistics, the Philippines would seem like a loser because it has a huge population, compared to Singapore, for instance.

"The question is, are there job opportunities here? We keep on producing MS (Master of Science) and PhD graduates, but the opportunities are not enough. How many plantilla positions in the government need MS and PhDs?" he said.

The DOST added the economic environment as another factor. "Our country is a place to invest. For example, there are retail companies. How many of them would need MS and PhDs?" He explained.

The DOST's human resource development is okay. The problem, really, is more on the opportunities, dela Pena reiterated.

"We can produce the MS and PhDs. We must work on the employment opportunities," he noted.

Aside from strengthening the DOST's scholarship program, dela Pena said the agency is urging more people to take the Science courses or become a researcher by going to the regions.

The DOST is taking advantage of the opportunities in the regions, by trying to address their specific needs through research, seeking the proposals of people who would like to contribute their research and expertise that would specifically address the needs in their regions.

The strategy is part of the DOST's Science for Change Program (S4CP).

Dela Pena added that the DOST develops entrepreneurs through helping them undergo business incubation program with companies.

The DOST is also a partner of the Commission on Higher Education, enabling the department to have a better overview of the needs in universities.

"We also provide our researchers the ease of doing business. We ensure it would not take 'forever' before their research proposals return to them. Now, it only takes 40 working days for research proposals to return to them," he added.

Dela Pena clarified that there are times there are delay in projects because of procurement process in the Department of Budget and Management.

"Sometimes, too, the auditors at COA (Commission on Audit) have different interpretations of policies. The DOST have nothing to do with that," he added.(PNA)

Source:https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1074458

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