DoST tells scientists: Return home

The “Balik Scientist” program of the Department of Science and Technology will be one of the priority programs under the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to reverse the effect of brain drain, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

At a Palace press briefing, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz Angeles said this was among the priority programs that DoST identified during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning.

DoST’s Balik Scientist Program encourages Filipino scientists, technologists, and experts to return to the country and share their expertise in order to promote scientific, agro-industrial and economic development.

It also aims to strengthen the scientific and technological human resources in the Philippines.

Some balik-scientists are among the people behind the creation of the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines, which is among the President’s priority measures.

For Marcos, the passage of a measure creating the VIP would “consolidate disparate research, knowledge, and data” and would help the government respond better to future pandemics.

Aside from DoST, Angeles said Marcos also convened key officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

“DoST would prioritize the creation of technology-based enterprise and jobs for regional development,” Angeles said.

She added that food security and resilience, health security, water security, environmental protection, and energy are DoST’s priorities under the new administration.

On the other hand, DENR will prioritize the enhancement of the natural capital accounting system including the valuation of ecosystem services, budget realignment, and strategic collaboration with other national government agencies, local government units, private sector, academe and other stakeholders.

The department is also aiming to bolster science and technology in environmental and natural resources management, improve sensors, sensor networks, and analytics, and promote green and blue jobs in environmental and natural resources management.

Angeles said the President asked DENR to include water security in the priority programs.

In a separate statement, the Office of the President said the chief executive wants DENR and DoST to prioritize programs that are centered on job creation, environmental protection, climate change mitigation, and freshwater rehabilitation.

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