Tuesday, July 8, 2008

KGMA News 7/8/08




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On Jul 8, 2008, at 2:11 AM, kgma_news wrote:
Tech-backed program to boost RP's bid for first world class status
The government has launched an ambitious technology-backed
modernization program to boost the Philippines' bid to join the ranks
of First World countries in 20 years, President Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo said today.

In her speech keynoting the 50th Anniversary of the Department of
Science and Technology (DOST) at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay
City this morning, the President said part of this modernization
program is anchored on the promotion of engineering research and
development (R&D) activities in the country.

"To pursue our vision for the Philippines to join the First World in
20 years, we have proclaimed technology as the foundation of future
economic development," she said.

The President has spearheaded the move for the advancement of science
and technology (S&T), especially in schools, to play a key role in the
country's development by developing innovations to spur progress and
open new opportunities to improve the Filipinos' quality of life.

She added that the road map towards the country's attainment of First
World status is defined in the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan
(MTPDP) that features a "strategy to further S&T and mobilize our
advances through a four-pronged approach: first, enhancing the
competitiveness of our human capital; second, developing a critical
mass of scientists and R & D personnel; third, speeding up knowledge
creation and dissemination to push productivity; and fourth, improving
the mechanisms and programs that promote technology-based

In promoting engineering R&D, the President said the government is
investing P3 billion to entice students and professionals alike to
pursue advanced studies in engineering and technology.

"Our government is investing a special P3-billion fund in research and
development technology between 2007 and 2010, including the Science
and Technology Complex at the University of the Philippines. This is
to promote engineering R&D activities in the country at a significant
scale in order to modernize every aspect of the economic underpinnings
of the Philippines to propel economic growth," the President said.

"Modernization will need, indeed, as we said in our Medium Term plan,
a critical mass of R&D-capable manpower to bring our country to the
First World in 20 years. Since last year, a science and technology
consortium of universities headed by U.P. has been offering
scholarships under our R&D development program for masters and
doctoral degrees in science and engineering," she added.

The President pointed out that under the general appropriations for
2008, the DOST received the heftiest budgetary increase among
government agencies at 51 percent precisely to bolster its R&D
programs on "food and agriculture, energy, public health, information
and communication technology, and the environment, including disaster

"National knowhow shall advance the three priority E's of our county —
economy, education, and environment," she said.

The President stressed, however, that even as "we pursue the vision of
reaching First World in 20 years, we remain focused on solving
everyday problems. We are focusing on fighting for the average
Filipino. Therefore we are focused on putting food on the table."

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