MANILA— The Department of Science and Technology said Friday it could fund only a tenth of the research proposals it received for next year if its 2021 budget is not increased, a proposal for which was backed by some senators.
The agency received 888 research and development proposals for next year, which required some P7.5 billion in funding, said Science Undersecretary Rowena Guevara.
"Hindi sapat ang aming pondo kaya 10 percent lang ang proposal na aming mapopondohan," she said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(Our funds are not enough so we can only fund 10 percent of the proposals.)
The proposed budget for DOST's research and development institutes for next year is at P2.41 billion, P76.24 million lower than the P2.48 billion allocation this year, Science Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña recently told senators.
Among the institutes getting cuts for next year are the Forest Products Research and Development Institute, Metals Industry and Development Institute, Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, and Philippine Textile Research Institute.
"Muli nating ipinagdidiinan ‘yung halaga ng innovation sa gitna ng panahon ng pandemya. Suportado natin ang adhikaing paglaanan pa ng pondo ang karagdagang research and development para sa samu’t saring programa ng DOST,” Sen. Joel Villanueva said in a Senate hearing in September.
(We again stress the importance of innovation in the middle of the pandemic. We support the advocacy of alloting funds in research and development programs of DOST.)
Sen. Panfilo Lacson this week said he would push for an increase in the budget allocations for COVID-19 vaccine purchase and for harnessing homegrown talents of the DOST.
The DOST produces up to 500 master's and doctorate graduates every year, said Guevara.
"Sana matuloy ang proposal ni Sen. Lacson," said the undersecretary.
(We hope that the proposal of Sen. Lacson pushes through.)
The Philippines’ innovation ranking went up by 4 places, reaching the 50th spot out of 131 participating economies, in this year’s Global Innovation Index, despite funding limitations, the DOST said last month.