PBBM, ‘frustrated scientist’

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday admitted that he is a “frustrated scientist” during his speech at the 18th Annual Balik Scientist Program Convention at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

Marcos said his late father discouraged him to pursue a career in science, saying that it is not a route to making money.

“All my scholastic career was spent in science, and it was only towards the end that it was explained to me by my father that ‘mahirap ‘yung science, hindi ka yayaman diyan,’” Marcos said.

“Boy, if you were alive now, I would like to introduce him — I would like to introduce him to Elon Musk. I’d like to introduce him to Bezos. I’d like to introduce to Microsoft, to Apple,” he added.

The President earned a Special Diploma in Social Studies from Oxford University in 1978.

He also assured the scientists that his administration would fully support them, citing their role in the country’s economic recovery and climate crisis.

“You may always be assured that I and my administration will extend all support in making science and innovation an instrument of progress and prosperity for the Filipino,” Marcos said.

“I encourage everyone here present to continue searching for more avenues to work with one another in employing science and innovation for the benefit of our people,” he added.

Marcos stressed the crucial role of the Department of Science and Technology, through the Balik Scientists Program, to address the national perennial issues through research and development initiatives.

“You must continue to strengthen the implementation of the ‘Balik Scientist Program’ and find ways to provide more incentives to encourage more Filipino scientists to come back to the country and share their expertise,” the President said.

He is also optimistic that his government can augment the short, medium, and long-term benefits for the ‘Balik scientists’ and their families provided for under the law, which include allowances, education assistance for minor children, and participation in grants-in-aid projects, among others.

Established in 1975, the BSP aims to encourage Filipino scientists to return home and share their expertise with their local peers.

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