A proposed law filed at the House of Representatives is seeking to make Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC) directors of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) into provincial directors.
House Bill No. 1205 or the Provincial Science and Technology Directors Act of 2016, filed by Zamboanga del Sur 1st District Representative Divina Grace C. Yu, aims to upgrade the status and rank of S&T center provincial officers with commensurate increase in remuneration and benefits.
House Bill No. 1205, once enacted into law, upgrades the PSTC director to Salary Grade 27 and shall be entitled to reimbursable representation and transportation allowance and other benefits prescribed by law. Currently, most PSTC directors are within Salary Grades 19-22.
Likewise, the PST office shall be provided with a minimum of six technical staff and one non-technical officer, thereby further strengthening the PSTC. PSTCs currently have only one to two permanent staff, plus a few project staff.
Also, the PSTC shall be appropriated with separate funding by the Department of Budget and Management allowing it to better extend service to the people in the provinces.
PSTC directors currently have the following functions: formulate the provincial S&T plan, programs and projects; implement and monitor technology promotion and commercialization of projects under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP); disseminate S&T related information of R&D results; coordinate with LGUs, the academe and other public and private institutions to push S&T education, research, and human resources training; among others.
DOST secretary Fortunato T. de la Pe?a, said the PSTC officers are the one of the frontlines directly implementing various DOST programs like SETUP for livelihood amd the RxBox for healthcare service.
To push the enactment of the bill into law, the Committee on Science and Technology at the House of Representatives held a public hearing at the Bohol Bee Farm in Dauis, Bohol last May.
Committee chair Rep. Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado of the 2nd District of Bohol and host of the event, said that the committee fully recognizes the many projects of the DOST in the province, as well as in the regions.
The public hearing served as a venue for the participants to submit their comments, suggestions, and recommendations before the final draft is made for endorsement to the committee-at-large.