Agham party-list president Angelo B. Palmones has reiterated his appeal to lawmakers to protect the Magna Carta for scientists, researchers, and other science workers.
?We appeal to our lawmakers to uphold the provisions of Republic Act 8439, otherwise as Magna Carta for Science and Technology Workers in Government. To repeal the RA under the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2015 is contrary to the past and present efforts of government to develop and maintain an adequate number of scientists and researchers in the country,? Palmones said.
Palmones added that under the Department of Science and Technology, a program called the ?Balik Scientists? is being supported and implemented to lure back the country?s scientists and researchers serving other foreign countries.
A few years back, the Philippines is very much behind in the number of scientists per million population. The Unesco recommended standard is 305 per million; the Philippines has only 185/million population.
?While other countries are strengthening their S & T manpower, the proposed repealing of RA 8439 could discourage some of our science workers and lose them again to other countries. We strongly felt the impact of losing some of our good weather specialists and researchers for better opportunities abroad,? Palmones added.
It can be recalled that Agham initiated one of the programs implemented in 2011 to address the lack of meteorologists. Dubbed as Project Comet or the Consortium for Meteorology Education and Training, the program offered the BS Meteorology Course.
The first of its kind in Asia, the pioneering program was a collaborative undertaking of the DOST, Pagasa, Science Education Institute, the Commission on Higher Education, Bicol University, Central Luzon State University, Mariano Marcos State University, Visayas State University, and Agham Inc.
All sixteen scholars graduated last March 2014 and are now employed in both government and private institutions.
?We should continue to motivate and encourage our science workers and young science graduates, of which the Magna Carta Law is one,? Palmones reiterated.