THE Philippines will need to increase its spending in science and technology and innovation (STI) because these are important to the development of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
While much has been done by the previous administration in strengthening MSMEs, which comprise 99.6 percent of the country’s total number of establishments, “we still have a long way to go,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement.
“But through science and technology, and innovation (STI), we can equip MSMEs with the technology that can create globally competitive products to meet the demands of the local and international market quality standards,” said Pernia, who is also the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general.
Pernia also believes that STI can help raise productivity of the manufacturing and industrial sectors, foster the creation of high-value products, and improve the quality of their products.
Meanwhile, the NEDA chief also cited the potential of agriculture as one of the country’s major growth drivers.
“This is one of the emphases of this new administration and with science and technology [S&T], it should create more jobs, especially for our less skilled members of the workforce. With the help of S&T and R&D [research and development], agriculture can be a lucrative industry that can foster food security in our country,” Pernia said.
“Farmers with access to different varieties of seedlings and soil typing will no longer fear for their crops in the face of adverse weather conditions. Fishermen with knowledge of sustainable fishery need not fear about their catch during the dry season when fish tend to go deeper into the ocean,” he added.
Pernia said the NEDA is in full support of the National Academy of Science and Technology’s (NAST) resolutions that detail the ways in which the country can harness S&T and R&D for economic growth.
Promoting science and technology and the creative arts to enhance innovation and creative capacity toward self-sustaining and inclusive development has been included in the 10-point economic agenda of the Duterte administration, the NEDA chief said.