The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Philippines is now hiring more researchers, scientists, and engineers to assist the government and industry in making and implementing more science-based decisions and policies.
COVID-19 established the need for Science and Technology (S&T) Fellows, but the Philippines had been using science, technology, and innovation as decision-making inputs prior to the global health epidemic, according to Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, Undersecretary, DOST.
Recognising the potential threats humanity may face in the next years, the DOST deemed it vital to implement strategic measures that would ensure a stable and sustainable supply of Filipino researchers, scientists, and engineers. Guevara indicated that the DOST research and development (R&D) section will be manned by master’s and doctoral degree holders on a five-year contract in the context of the DOST S&T Fellows programme.
It has been over a year since the concept of increasing DOST agencies’ workforces with MS and PhD graduates from various S&T specialisations became a reality. To commemorate this momentous occasion, DOST hosted its first S&T Fellows Convention. DOST cited that it is in the hearts of Filipino scientists to share their knowledge and experience with the country, regardless of the money offered.
In the meantime, this initiative is not new in nations that strive to be leaders in technological growth and advancement overall. Around 51,000 students are receiving financial assistance from the DOST through the Science Education Institute (SEI), which administers all scholarship programmes at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In the meantime, the department of science has 4,308 students enrolled in graduate programmes and 1,550 students working on their PhD.
In its hunt for outstanding individuals with backgrounds in science and technology from all over the world, the DOST is seeking to find academics like these. There is now a total of 32 S&T Fellows whose services are being utilised by various departments and agencies within the DOST. In general, the S&T fellows programme offers researchers, scientists, and engineers the chance to participate in important work within the country while also receiving income that is on par with other similar programmes.
There is more to the work that the S&T Fellows conduct than simply the results and outcomes of research and development. They put in a lot of hours working in laboratories, coming up with ideas for road plans, analysing materials, and conducting experiments; the results of their effort will be beneficial to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Filipinos. Furthermore, the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines (NAST PHL) recently heldthe Grand Launching of PAGTANAW 2050.
DOST is optimistic about the institutionalisation of PAGTANAW 2050, as it is a long-term policy instrument that requires regular review and updating to remain relevant to the times. Aside from its review, there is also a need to continuously fund the initiative, which extends beyond term limits and administrative appointments.
The initiative is a significant step toward designing and implementing integrated yet time-specific strategies for a prosperous, inclusive, and agile Philippine future in which the shared vision of the Philippines as a Prosperous, Archipelagic, and Maritime Nation can only be realised by diplomatically asserting rights over marine resources.
The foresight will provide clearer direction on developing enabling mechanisms to further accelerate scientific growth and innovation that will serve the nation’s interests and benefit the Filipino people.