Worried by the exodus of science and technology (S&T) professionals from crucial government agencies, a senator has filed a measure seeking to remove set limits on additional salary or honoraria for Filipino scientists, engineers and other S&T practitioners.
“It is high time we deliberately retain and empower our Filipino scientists, engineers, researchers and other science and technology practitioners so we may harness the benefits of S&T to further our national agenda,” Sen. Paolo Benigno ?Bam? Aquino said in his Senate Bill No. 3151.
In filing the measure, Aquino said he was alarmed by the reported exodus of Filipino S&T professionals from agencies like Pagasa, Phivolcs, and Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) for greener pastures here and abroad.
“Motives for their migration were revealed, including uncompetitive local compensation and protracted processing of hazard pay,” said Aquino.
Aside from removing set limits on salaries and honoraria, the measure aims to foster ease in accessing benefits for S&T personnel in department and agencies other than the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The senator said regulations inimical to this interest must be addressed immediately so as to avoid brain drain in government agencies.
From 1990 to 2010, there was a two-fold increase of S&T professionals in the country, from 362,000 to 721,000.
The number was coupled with a three-fold increase in S&T professionals that work overseas, from 40,000 to 113,000 during that span.
“It is in the best interest of the country and its people to foster our local talent in the field of S&T to drive development and improve the lives of millions of Filipinos,” said Aquino.