Bill on ‘Balik Scientists’ formally signed into law by Duterte

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a bill that provides necessary assistance to Filipino scientists who will return to the country and help strengthen its research and development capability.

Malacanang file photo shows President Rodrigo Duterte with Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez

The Balik Scientist Act will provide overseas Filipino scientists with financial benefits and incentives to encourage them to return to the Philippines and help boost the country’s research and development.

Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, who pushed for the passage of Repubic Act 11035 or the Balik Scientist Act in the Senate as principal sponsor and principal author, said the new law is his 22nd in his five years as senator.

“Malaking tulong ang batas na ito upang mahikayat ang mga Pinoy scientists na bumalik sa bansa at tumulong sa pagpapaunlad sa bayan at sa buhay ng mga Pilipino,” said Aquino, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.

“Matutugunan din ng batas na ito ang kakulangan ng bansa sa scientists, upang makasabay na tayo sa ating mga kapitbahay sa Asya na mas marami ang nagtatrabaho sa research and development,” he added.

During the committee hearing, it was discovered that the country has 189 scientists per million, far from the ideal ratio of 380 scientists per million.

Currently, the Philippines trails South Korea and United States, which have 5,300 and 3,500 scientists per million, respectively. Malaysia, for its part, has 2,000 scientists per million.

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