The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines is the symbol of the nation's commitment to science. The proposal for its creation originated from the University of the Philippines. Among the notable members of this small group were Dr. Joventino D. Soriano, a cytogeneticist; Dr. Gregorio T. Velasquez, a phycologist; his wife, Dr. Carmen C. Velasquez, a parasitologist; Dr. Edgardo D. Gomez, a marine biologist; Dr. Edito G. Garcia, a public health specialist. After a series of impromptu meetings held at the UP Institute of Small-Scale Industries, the task of preparing a formal proposal for a science academy was assigned to Dr. Soriano. In May, 1976, the proposal was submitted to Dr. Melecio S. Magno, who had been appointed Chairman of the NSDB with Cabinet rank. Chairman Magno fully endorsed the plan for a government-funded academy of science. It was heartily endorsed by the National Science Development Board (the predecessor agency of the Department of Science and Technology) to the President of the Philippines, On 06 October 1976, The National Academy of Science was created by Presidential Decree 1003. A subsequesnt amendment established instead the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines and expanded the base of its membership. Thus, P.D. 1003-A signed on 17 December 1976, is the enabling legislation for the present NAST.
The science community then submitted nominations of the most eminent among them to be members of the Academy. The President of the Philippines named ten scientist from a wide range of disciples to be the first Academicians in 1978. Henceforth, nominations have continued to come from the scientific community but their election as Academicians is the prerogative of the members of the Academy alone, following thier strict rules of reciew and selection. Every Member is distinguished, known ntionally and internationally in his or her own right. Collectively, the Academy represents the best of what this country has produced in science and Technology.
The Annual Scientific Meeting started in 1978 and has since earned the distinction as the most prestigious Philippine scientific conference. The NAST Transactions, composed of papers presented in the ASM, is the annual journal of the academy. NAST also publishes books and monographs based on the studies of its members and ither rnowed scientists.
In 1982, through Executive Order 818, the Academy was also formally charged with the function of advisory body to the President of the Republic of the Philippines and the Cabinet on policies concerning science and technology in the country.