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Department of Science and Technology Assistant Secretary Carol M. Yorobe (right) listens to the presentation of Dr. Ta Ba Hung (middle), director of Vietnam’s National Center of Science and Technology Information on an international technology fair called Techmart Vietnam ASEAN+3 to be held in Hanoi on September 17-20. DOST holds a similar event called Technology Fair annually where domestic technology products, services, and inventions are put on exhibit along with parallel activities on business matching between technology generators, investors, and adoptors. Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology through Dr. Hung and his deputy, Khong Duy Quy (left) invites participants and technology vendors from the Philippines during their visit-presentation at the DOST main office in Bicutan science complex today July 31. [Joy M. Lazcano, S&T Media Service]
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In her first state-of-the-nation address in 2001, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo held that “Technology is the foundation of future economic development.”
The Arroyo government’s support to science and technology had since expanded in terms of funding and institutional enhancements covering high impact projects, adoption of enabling laws, directives, and policies.
Education reform that would strengthen science and math in basic education was implemented. Policies were reviewed to plug assorted coordination gaps among public and private institutions, and move public and private S&T budget spending closer to the UNESCO-prescribed one percent of the nation’s GDP.
Science and Engineering Education
Science and engineering education is high on the list of the government’s agenda. In 2007, President Arroyo authorized the Department of Budget and Management to release P200 million to expand graduate and post-graduate scholarships in science and engineering. This is in addition to the P500 million supplemental budget allocated in 2006 to build a national science complex at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.
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Dr. Baldomero Olivera, Harvard University’s “Scientist of the Year” in 2007, will keynote the National Science and Technology Week opening program on July 20 at the Manila Hotel.
The award-winning Filipino scientist is renowned for major research breakthroughs on cone snails--carnivorous, predatory marine snails common in the Philippines--which have significant applications in neuropharmacology, particularly in the development of painkillers.
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The Department of Science and Technology will lead the celebration of the 2009 National Science and Technology Week that starts July 20. Various activities that showcase recent developments and achievements in domestic science and technology along with technology fairs and scientific fora are lined up for this year’s celebration.
The annual event also aims to raise public understanding of science and technology as well as DOST’s role and contributions to national development.
This year’s NSTW keeps in step with current global challenges through the theme “Responding to Global Challenges through Science and Technology.”
Various symposia related to climate change and business fora will be held to try to provide a venue for discussions on prevailing world climate change scenarios, and encourage Filipino technopreneurship.