Statistics are not just plain numbers. These are vivid and colorful stories written and described not in words but in numbers to provide the user with a clearer and measurable assumptions and conclusions.

And for this purpose, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) launches its compendium of S&T Statistics compiling data from 2015 to 2018 on 19 November 2021 through a virtual press conference.

The compendium highlights the 2018 national data on the Research and Development (R&D) sector complete with a collection of R&D data in the private industry through the annual survey on Philippine Business and Industry (ASPBI) called Census of Philippine Business and Industry (CPBI) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Among the key results from the national R&D survey featured in the DOST compendium is the record-breaking increase in the human and financial resources supporting R&D from 2015 to 2018. Based from the study, the number of personnel engaged in R&D have tripled to 75,037 in 2018 from the 25,021 personnel in 2015. Likewise, R&D Expenditures (RDE) grew from P21.8B in 2018, a value close to three times (269%) of that in 2015.

Meanwhile, in terms of human resources, the survey found that there were 708 R&D Personnel (RDP) per million population in the Philippines in 2018, a value that is close to three times (285%) of that in 2015. 

The RDP per million population describes the growth of personnel engaged in R&D despite the growth of our population. 

In terms of financial resources, the total RDE of the Philippines (also known as its Gross Expenditures on R&D or GERD) to that of its GDP doubled from 0.16 percent in 2015 to 0.32 percent in 2018. This ratio describes the growth of the country’s GERD vis-à-vis its corresponding gross domestic product.

Significantly, the number of researchers in the country have also doubled from 20,239 in 2015 to 37,701 in 2018. This staggering increase in the number of researchers is a vital component to help further drive the R&D sector in the country. 

Moreover, these R&D indicators are a globally-recognized metrices of science, technology, and innovation (STI) in a country. Within the ASEAN region, Singapore has the latest published R&D report with its 2019 R&D data. Likewise, it is also the highest in terms of ratio of GERD to GDP at 1.89% and researchers per million population at 11,456. 

Following Singapore is Malaysia with a 2018 R&D data of 1.44% GERD to GDP ratio and 2,857 researchers per million population. The Philippines, on the other hand, is catching up with its investments in R&D, with a GERD to GDP ratio of 0.32% and 356 researchers per million population in 2018.

From 2002 until 2015, DOST has been conducting national R&D surveys in the government, Higher Education Institutions, and private non-profit organizations.

In 2018, DOST then commissioned the Institute of Statistics of the University of the Philippines Los Baños to lead its national R&D survey, titled “Improving the Design, Conduct and Analysis of the Survey on R&D Expenditures and Personnel”. 

These and other data sets are included in the DOST compendium of S&T statistics, which will be available to the public and private sectors as vital reference tool especially in crafting policies and drawing R&D strategic blueprints to drive inclusive economic growth in the years ahead.

The virtual launch will be open to media partners, private, and public stakeholders on 19 November 2021 from 1-3PM via the DOST-Philippine’s official Facebook page. (By Jasmin Joyce P. Sevilla, DOST-STII)

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