Focus on science and technology development to spur job creation - Angara
Manila (9 November) -- Senator Edgardo J. Angara called for a renewed push to make the Philippines more competitive by developing a strategy for the science and technology sector to improve the capacity for innovation and spur job creation in the country.
Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) reiterated the need for a sound S&T strategy in light of the World Competitiveness Report for 2010-2011 which ranked the Philippines at 85th among 139 in terms competitiveness.
Last year, the Philippines was ranked 87th, but despite of the slight improvement Angara said that, "our efforts to improve our competitiveness must continue, especially when it comes to innovation and S&T platforms."
The same report also listed the country as ranking a lowly 108th for quality of research institutions, 96th in terms of availability of scientists and engineers and 85th in terms of University-Industry Collaboration in R&D.
"COMSTE has long pushed for the development of Public Private Partnerships (PPP's) that can boost the capabilities of our research institutions, improve the quality of R&D and at the same time create an environment for stronger industry-academe linkages," noted Angara.
Angara noted that COMSTE has identified four priority thrusts for 2011, electric vehicles and green transport, disaster science management and mitigation, the establishment of the Industrial Research and Development Institute (IRDI) and the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI). All four are projected to have strong PPP foundations.
"By developing our S&T strategy, we can better align our initiatives with that of other countries. If we have similar priorities, we can build on this and develop a basis for international collaboration, while at the same time stimulate the creation of new jobs in the S&T sector," said Angara.
Angara noted that innovative Filipino companies are already breaking ground in the semiconductor and electronics industries, with the emergence of Filipino branded communications and computer products, like ex-Intel chip designers that formed an electronics service company in chip design, and Ionics EMS, Inc. which is the first ASEAN manufacturer of WiMax, wireless broadband access system components.
In the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector alone, projections are that by 2016 employment in the sector would rise to 1.4 million, an average of 135,000 new jobs per year. (COMSTE) [top]