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DoST eyes local S&T experts’ involvement in policymaking

Science and Technology (S&T) Secretary Fortunato de la Pena welcomes S&T fellows at the convention. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“AT the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic two years ago, we quickly realized that having enough local experts in various fields related to science, technology, and innovation or STI is a big help to address pressing problems and issues,” began Science and Technology (S&T) Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara.

After the challenge of President Duterte to double human resources amid the country’s fight against the pandemic, the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) has been hiring more researchers, scientists, and engineers to help government and industry craft, create and implement more science-based decisions and policies.

“Covid-19 showed to us that we really need S&T fellows, but even before the advent of the global health pandemic, the leaders of our nation are already using STI (science, technology, and innovation) as inputs to decision-making,” she continued. In the same context when the DoST S&T Fellows program was proposed and came into fruition, it aimed to populate the research and development (R&D) group of DoST with master’s and Ph.D. degree holders with limited tenure of five years.

DoST Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena welcomed the S&T fellows and said, “A year since the idea of supplementing the workforce of DoST agencies with MS and Ph.D. graduates from different S&T specializations came into fruition, we are here to celebrate this milestone, our first S&T Fellows Convention.”

Through its Science Education Institute, the DoST is currently supporting around 51, 000 scholars from across all scholarship programs, undergraduate and graduate levels. Meanwhile, the science department has 4,308 scholars for graduate studies while 1,550 for the Ph.D. level. There are a total of 32 S&T Fellows whose services are engaged by the different DoST agencies.

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