The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) launched the Special Concerns Program (SCP) on 01 September 2023 at the Philippine International Convention Center. This initiative emerged from an increase in funding provided for its formulation of policy recommendations on relevant science, technology, and innovation (ST&I) concerns.The SCP has 14 projects on a wide range of topics. The results of in-depth studies on these areas shall be used as valuable inputs for the formulation of policy resolutions and legislative proposals.

The program is headed by the chairperson of the SCP Steering Committee, Academician William G. Padolina who has previously served as NAST PHL President (2012-2016, 2017-2018) and Secretary of the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (1994-1999). The SCP has also engaged more than 70 experts in its 14 Technical Working Groups, and these include National Scientists, NAST PHL members (Academicians), Career Scientists, Oustanding Young Scientists, and officials from the DOST and other national government agencies.

PAGTANAW2050 01092023

William G. Padolina, NAST PHL member and chair of the Special Concerns Program Steering Committee, delivered a talk on the Special Concerns Program and the Philippine ST&I Foresight, PAGTANAW 2050, during the program launch.

The 14 Special Concerns Program projects include:

Agriculture and Natural Resources Management

  • The Competitiveness and Sustainability of Philippine Agriculture: Developing New Products
  • Natural Resource Management Issues and the Economy
  • Targeting the Appropriate Technological Maturity of Rural Industries
  • Use of Space Technology for Agriculture and Natural Resources Management

Industry and Trade Facilitation

  • Assessment of Basic Industrial Base of the Philippine Economy
  • Assessment of the Regulatory Laboratories in the Philippines and their Role in Trade Facilitation
  • Bioplastics: Technical Challenges and Opportunities for the Philippines
  • Technology Trends and Policy Directions Towards Philippine Niche in Energy Storage Development

STEM Education and the Science, Technology, and Innovation Ecosystem

  • An Assessment of the Effectiveness of the National R&D Investment
  • Studies on the Alignment of the Philippine R&D System from a Domestic to a Global Network
  • Enhancing the Science, Technology, and Mathematics components of the K-12 curriculum
  • Formulation of Schemes to Improve the Production and Retention of STEM PhD Graduates in the Country


  • Applications of Advanced Technologies in the Delivery of Health Care Services
  • Air Quality in Transport, at the Workplace, in Schools, and Homes

In the past year, NAST PHL was also able to conduct consultative activities in various parts of the country through the SCP such as the regional focus group discussions (FGDs) on the National Greening Program, the FGDs on the alignment of the Philippine R&D system from a domestic to a global network, roundtable discussion on drug discovery and development in the Philippines, and the roundtable discussions in advancing innovation coordination in the food manufacturing and artificial intelligence services industries. Insights from these consultative activities are expected to embody the concerns and suggestions of various stakeholders and provide bases in the preparation of science-based and futures-oriented policy recommendations.

As the implementation of the SCP continues this year, the program is expected to lead to the wider engagement of concerned stakeholders and the development and release of policy recommendations on the identified S&T concerns. Several commissioned papers that were initiated through the program are also going to be published in Transactions NAST PHL. The publication and launch of the book on the Futures of Philippine STEM Education are also among the expected outputs of the program. The book will cover the outputs of the national-level visioning workshop participated by regional representatives and representatives from the Department of Education.

The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) is an attached agency to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) mandated by law to recognize outstanding achievements in scientific research and development and to serve as an adviser to the President of the Republic of the Philippines and the cabinet on policies concerning science and technology in the country. For more updates, follow NAST Philippines’ (@nastphl) social media accounts.