SCIENCE Secretary Mario Montejo said the number of slots for undergraduate scholarship has more than tripled in five years, jumping from 1,250 in 2010 to 5,595 in 2015.
“We’re also now preparing the groundwork for recruiting new partner universities and introducing innovations into the program for us to expand by 100 percent in 2017, on our way to meet the required critical number of scientists,” Montejo said in his keynote speech at “In Touch with Excellence,” part of the recent National Science and Technology Week.
According to him, the DOST has also produced an average of 350 Master’s and 35 PhD graduates in priority science and engineering courses annually.
“Since 2010, we have been strengthening and enhancing our S&T ecosystem, an ecosystem that empowers our scientists and engineers to come up with innovative ideas to improve productivity, enhance delivery of government services and address the most pressing concerns of [everyday Filipino woman]Aling Maria and [everyday Filipino man]Mang Juan,” he said.
The Science secretary added that the most critical component of this ecosystem is its human resources, and their number is critical for the Philippines to become a “Science Nation” able to sustain its development.
“You are blessed with intelligence,” Montejo said, addressing the scholars in the audience. “It’s only proper to use this God-given intelligence to explore and understand nature. Whatever God created in nature is for our benefit. Let us use this for our country’s own good.”
Meanwhile, Ernest Nathan Nogales, a scholar who graduated summa cum laude from the state-run University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City with a degree in chemical engineering and one of the honorees, rallied his fellow DOST scholars to “think about serving the people, not out of duty but out of love. I assure you there is lasting happiness there.”
In his speech, Nogales reminded them that some areas in the country remain marginalized—with no electricity, among others.
On the other hand, DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technological Services Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara called on the scholars to venture in entrepreneurship while completing their dissertation or thesis.