Numerous issues have been raised in the on-going election campaign. Unfortunately, one of the most strategic issues facing the Philippines has not yet been addressed: the key role of science and technology in the Philippine development plan.
It is now clearly accepted that science, technology and innovation (STI) are a key elements in the advancement of a country. Indeed, there is no country that has progressed without including STI as a central part of their development plan. All progressive countries in the world have put STI as a centerpiece of their strategy. The Philippines has failed to do this. This national election must address this question and the new administration must correct this failure.
The Philippines faces multiple global and local challenges which require science, technology and innovation. These include:
- the intensifying competition from globalization and regional integration;
- natural disasters, environmental degradation and climate change;
- and persistent poverty and increasing inequality.
Without STI: we will not be competitive; we will continue to suffer great damage from natural disasters, environmental degradation and climate change; and we will continue to be poor.
How the Philippines responds to these challenges will determine whether the country will experience rapid, inclusive and sustained growth and development or revert to the status of the economic laggard of the region which includes high-performing countries, such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and China. (China, our giant neighbor, recently announced that it will increase its investment in science and technology over the next 5 years and cut red tape which hampers science and innovation).
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), held the second “Dialogue between the National Scientists and the National Artist: Integrating the Arts and Sciences for Sustainable Development” on March 10, 2016 at the Ilustrado Restaurant, Intramuros, Manila, with DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development, Hon. Amelia P. Guevara as guest of honor.
The dialogue was attended by some of our country's greatest scientists and artists National Scientist (NS) Ernesto O. Domingo, NS Angel C. Alcala, DOST USec for R&D Hon. Amelia P. Guevara, NCCA Chairman Professor Felipe M. de Leon, Jr., NAST PHL Vice President Academician Fabian M. Dayrit, NS Teodulo M. Topacio, Jr., NS Edgardo D. Gomez, NS Raul V. Fabella, National Artist (NA) Virgilio S. Almario, NS Lourdes J. Cruz, NS Ricardo M. Lantican, NS Mercedes B. Concepcion, and NA Francisco Sionil Jose.
The activity was the second in the series of dialogues organized as part of the 40th Anniversary celebration of NAST PHL, which will culminate in December 2016.
NAST PHL holds Science and Technology Policy Forum on “Linking Poverty Reduction and Agricultural Development"
A Science and Technology Policy Forum on Linking Poverty Reduction and Agricultural Development was sponsored by the Agricultural Sciences Division (ASD) of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), held at The Manila Hotel last February 17, 2016. The discussion focused on two models of agricultural development: the Saemaul Undong (SU) Movement and the Nakar Initiative.
The SU Movement successfully solved the endemic rural poverty in Korea during the early 1970s. The Korean government facilitated three policy stages to achieve its desired agricultural development. In a span of less than adecade, Korea increased its rice yields and ultimately raised the household income through: (1) community participation; (2) civic capacities; and (3) resource availability. SU Movement made use of a “creative destruction” approach, by which Korea promoted ideological reform and non-discriminatory leadership to come up with new norms more appropriate for the development age. Nakar Initiative, also known as Nakar Initiative-Experimental Living Community of Tomorrow (ELCOT), is an on-going agricultural assistance for the local farmers of General Nakar, Quezon.