The chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means has congratulated the Department of Science and Technology on winning the United Nations Public Service Awards, an award granted to programs and policies that enhance the effectiveness of public institutions in reaching the sustainable development goals (SDG) of the international body.
The DOST is one of just ten awardees from among 350 applications from 58 countries. Salceda was earlier credited by the DOST with its first HEROES Award for initiating the program.
Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, the panel’s chairman, said: “I am very proud of the DOST family, who faithfully implemented the vision of the Science for Change Program or S4CP since we first conceptualized it together in one meeting in July 2016.”
“To support the Duterte administration’s ten-point socioeconomic agenda, I convened key members of the science community in a breakfast meeting at the start of the administration. I am very proud that we have gotten this far on this effort.”
Salceda is also the principal author and sponsor of the counterpart bill in the House, as HB 1025, which he filed in July 2, 2019.
Salceda’s design of the science governance framework includes Health Self Sufficiency, such as Drug discovery and development; Diagnostics development; and Biomedical engineering.
It also includes Renewable Energy, Nuclear Science for Energy, Health, Agriculture and Industry, Climate and Environment Sciences, Disaster risk reduction; Food and Nutrition; Agricultural Productivity; Biotechnology for Industry, Agriculture, Health and Environment; Technology Business Incubation; Foreign scholarships for Science and Technology Information Institute (STII); and Promotion of Culture of Science.
New programs of the DOST included in the framework are Human Security R&D; Strengthening of R&D and S&T Services in the Regions through Infrastructure (R&D Centers), facilities, HRD and R&D funding; Space Technology and ICT Development; S&T for Creative Industries, Tourism Industry and Services Industry; and Artificial Intelligence: From HRD to R&D to Industry.
“The DOST grasped the idea very strongly and they ran with it. As a result, the DOST has been a very strong partner of the rest of government in a whole host of areas, including fighting COVID-19. For the UN to recognize the framework this strongly makes me very proud of the work we did with DOST.”
Salceda was also the champion for the framework’s funding component, which the Economic Development Cluster of the Duterte Cabinet also supported after Salceda’s speech to the body.
Salceda said he hopes to convene the science community again to revisit S4CP and to align it further with the DOST’s “grand ambitions” under its Pagtanaw 2050 vision document.
“The new President is a science wonk, and he has said as much. So, I think having S4CP Act passed this year, so we can commit the country to 1% of GDP in R&D spending over a five-year period is very viable.”
“So, I will reconvene the science community again, and we’ll work on a stronger S4CP framework. And then we will present our proposal to PBBM and Congress.”
“If the UN sees the potential in S4CP now that it isn’t even fully funded yet, imagine what happens once we have the program institutionalized. I’m very excited to work with the science sector and the Marcos administration on this.”