Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday vowed to pursue additional funds for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to give its research and development (R&D) programs the much-needed boost especially during this time of the pandemic.
Lacson noted that the Philippines has failed to tap the potential of its own scientists and researchers and instead relied on procurement of new inventions of science experts outside of the country.
“Napansin ko (I notice that) year in, year out ang budget na binibigay natin sa R&D, hindi lang sa DOST, across the board, lahat ng agencies, nagko-constitute ito ng 0.4 percent lang ng national budget (the budget we provide for R&D, not only for the DOST but across the board, all agencies only constitute 0.4 percent of the national budget),” Lacson pointed out in an interview over CNN Philippines.
“Ang problema nating mga Pilipino, ang research and development natin, mag-Google, maghanap ng mabibili, instead na i-harness ang ating homegrown talents, mga scientists, researchers, at pondohan natin suportahan natin ng budget, hindi natin ginagawa (Our problem as Filipinos, our R&D is to just Google, check what we can buy, instead of harnessing our own homegrown talents, scientists, researchers and we don’t support them with additional funds for their budget),” he lamented.
Lacson said it is time that the Philippines stops shopping and starts producing its own products and exporting it.
“Kailangan natin ng vaccines at mga gamit para sa pandemic, bili tayo nang bili. Syempre kung bibili tayo mas mahal (We need vaccines to use for the pandemic, we just buy and buy. Of course, if we just buy, it’s going to be more expensive),” he said.
“It’s time we stopped shopping, tayo sana magbenta (we should be the one selling). And hindi tayo nagkukulang sa (We don’t lack) scientists and researchers, ang dami nating (we have so much) talents,” Lacson further pointed out.
Lacson said he has promised the DOST he will find a way to augment the agency’s budget.
“Suportahan na lang sana natin para (I hope we can just support them so that) we would someday become an exporting country of new inventions.. That’s why I promised DOST ia-augment natin ang budget nila (we will augment their budget),” he said.