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PIA Press Release

DOST lauds passage of technology transfer law

By Danny O. Calleja

Legazpi City (17 May) -- The whole science community has hailed the enactment of the Philippine Technology Transfer Act of 2009 which would serve as the blueprint for nationally coordinated technology transfer framework of government-funded researches, the regional office for Bicol of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) here said.

Republic Act No. 10055, otherwise known as "An Act Providing the Framework and Support System for the Ownership, Management, Use and Commercialization of Intellectual Property Generated from Research and Development Funded by Government and for Other Purposes," was signed into law by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last March 23.

Quoting a statement of DOST Secretary Estrella Alabastro, DOST Regional Director Tomas Briņas said, "We are optimistic that this new law, a landmark policy on technology transfer, will revolutionize the commercialization of technologies generated by researches funded by taxpayers' money."

Briņas also echoed Albastro's optimism of the new law's merit in promoting technologies to the market as well as preventing brain drain and out-migration of science and technology (S&T) professionals and encouraging students to pursue research and development (R&D) studies.

Albastro also lauded President Arroyo and Congress for taking into account such a much-needed legislation for the science and technology sector, Briņas said.

A key provision in the law provides for incentives to researchers by providing them share in the royalties as well as allowing them put up their own start-up companies, Briņas said.

The law was Alabastro's brainchild, having recognized the need for a national backbone and framework that would push technology generation and application to its maximum potential through efficient and coordinated transfer capability and intellectual property assertions around the country, similar to the Bayh-Dole Act in the United States, he said.

Briņas explained that taking advantage of the new law would hasten the process of technology commercialization and broadens the scope of protection of intellectual property rights in government research and development institutions.

"For the longest time, we rely mostly on breakthroughs from outside, while our local technologies generated through public funds remain untapped or archived in laboratories around the country. Hence, this is a significant break for us to roll this out to the market and be availed by the public," he added.

Once fully in place, the new law is expected to provide the mechanism to allow important technologies to be commercialized and be made available to the public, Briņas explained.

Dr. Patricio Faylon, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) executive director, in a statement, meanwhile, expressed elation with the enactment of R.A. 10055.

He described it as a leap for the inter-agency policy advocacy collaboration and a feat in the Council's policy development and advocacy mandate relating to S&T development.

PCARRD, the central planning council of DOST in the agriculture, forestry and natural resources, has led the department's efforts in the bill's legislative advocacy and public awareness activities since 2006.

Faylon said the enactment of the law came after three years into legislation. It was principally sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Edgardo Angara and co-authored by Senators Manuel Roxas II and Loren Legarda. Senators Pia Cayetano, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson, Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Zubiri served as co-sponsors.

n the House of Representatives, Cavite 1st district Rep. Joseph Abaya was at the forefront of the bill's passage serving as its principal author. Angara and Abaya are chairs of the Committees on Science and Technology at the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively.

Meanwhile, the technical and financial support given by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Philippines, DOST Planning and Evaluation Service, and DOST councils and institutes were instrumental in the legislative advocacy of the law. Currently, DOST and IPO are preparing the basis for the Act's implementing rules and regulation (IRR). (PIA) [top]

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