In order to propose a 6-year science and technology (S&T) human resource development strategy, the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) have gathered stakeholders from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the academe, concerned public and private institutions, participants from the professional societies, industry sector, and the media for a policy forum on June 30, 2016 at Astoria Plaza Manila.

The Policy Forum on S&T Human Resource Development: Looking Back and Looking Forward aims to look at the current state of S&T personnel in the Philippines, challenges, and opportunities faced in a growing knowledge economy, the need for more research scientists and engineers for the country and propose resolutions to address current issues and concerns regarding S&T competencies, talent mobility, and job opportunities.

The participants were welcomed by Academician (Acd.) Fabian M. Dayrit, acting president of NAST PHL. He also presented about the National Science Consortium: its members, initiatives, and activities. “It takes an ecosystem to train a scientist,” he stressed as he narrates the challenges, opportunities, and areas for improvement in government support relative to the development of S&T human resource in the country.

Dr. Augustus C. Resurreccion, Associate Dean for Instructions and Research of the College of Engineering, University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) and UPD Project Leader of the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) Program, discussed about Updates, Challenges, and Opportunities of Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) Program. According to Dr. Resurreccion, the ERDT Program, an investment for global competitiveness, was initiated to address the gap between the UNESCO benchmark and the Philippine situation.

Engr. Federico A. Monsada, president of the Philippine Technological Council (PTC), discussed about Washington Accord and Prospects of the Professions in the Industry. PTC is the umbrella organization council of 13 integrated engineering professional organizations advocating for global mobility of engineers and pursuing the alignment and recognition of Filipino engineering professionals’ qualifications.

Engr. Monsada emphasized on raising the bar of standards for mobility and global competitiveness not only for Filipino engineers but also for Filipino engineering technologists and engineering technicians.Engr. Joseph Villordon, president and vice chairman of the Quality Control and IT-BPM Analytics Initiative Leader IT & Business Process Association, talked about Human Capital Outlook in the ICT Sector.

He presented the revenue and headcount distribution per sub-sector in the ICT sector as of 2014. According to Engr. Villordon, the Philippines’ potential in the industry can be attributed to its scalable educated talent pool, cost effectiveness, excellent infrastructure, government support and public-private partnership, and proven track record.

Acd. Alvin B. Culaba, member of the Engineering Sciences and Technology Division (ESTD) of NAST PHL, gave a synthesis of the discussions. He emphasized on the alignment of S&T programs that are implemented to the requirements of industry and competencies cited by PTC. The theme of the policy forum, looking back and looking forward, is indeed timely as the Philippines reflect on the accomplishments and shortcomings of the past administration and embark on a new journey towards sustainable development and inclusive growth with its inaugurated president, President Rodrigo R. Duterte. ~Ana Loren B. Durana