DOST optimistic technology will improve in PH regions

Jasmin Romero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2022 10:18 PM

DOST

MANILA—The Department of Science and Technology is optimistic that technology and innovation in various areas of the country will improve after the Provincial Science and Technology Office Act lapsed into law last month.

“The whole family of DOST would be very happy for the passage of the PSTO Act, simply because we have been really pushing for this,” DOST Usec. and Phivolcs OIC Renato Solidum told ABS-CBN News on Monday.

The law aims to “fast-track the transfer of technologies and services to the rural areas” to boost the development of “technology-based livelihood enterprises in the countryside”.

Part of it is converting DOST’s Provincial Science and Technology Centers to Provincial Science and Technology Offices which would “identify the needs and opportunities in Science and Technology (S&T) in provinces; and develop institutional linkages with provincial offices of other departments, local government units (LGUs).”

Another is existing senior science research specialists will be promoted to the position of chief science research specialist where their salaries will be upgraded 5 notches higher, from salary grade (SG)19 to SG 24.

“They are our frontliners, they are doing almost everything that we at the national government would be doing, of course not to the scale.. but they are actually doing all the things that different organizations within DOST would be aiming for. And it is high time that they are recognized, and of course, compensated accordingly,” Solidum said.

The DOST official believes the law can also pave the way to increase staffing.

“Essentially we wanted to do more, and to do more we wanted more people and for our colleagues to be financially compensated as well. It would be unfair to do many things and you have the public to take care of so we can actually develop better programs, this will catalyze the use of science and technology innovation in making sure... would be able to help the regional development,” he added.

The law can help boost the momentum on spotting solutions for various problems in the economy, climate change, disaster risk reduction, food security, and malnutrition at the local level.

But as to when the changes will take place, Solidum said it still needs to be discussed within the DOST.

“The law states that the funding for this year, kung kaya will be taken out from the budget of the DOST, we have to make sure that this will be part of next year’s budget. Kung kukunin sa budget ng DOST, medyo mahihirapan 'yun, it is not enough... kailangan upuan pa ito, Solidum said.

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