MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) acknowledges the vital role of Filipino scientists in the country’s various sectors and economy.
Among them is Dr. Divina Amalin, an expert in terminating pests and one of those who discovered the predators of the pest Cocolisap that destroyed thousands of coconut trees in the country.
She worked in the Univesity of Florida and in the US agriculture department but decided to return to the Philippines in 2010 to practice in her home country and also for family reasons.
Amalin said that the government will definitely save funds thru the Balik Scientist program.
“Hindi na mag-spend ng more funding to generate technology ’cause Filipinoipino scientist abroad had already gained knowledge on technology that Philippines can adapt and can be modified,” said Amalin.
Engineer Leo Almazan, meanwhile, served as a US naval officer and was assigned to the naval warfare center in San Diego, USA.
“The uniqueness really is the expertise. We know and we already know what’s gonna go wrong so you don’t wanna duplicate or reinvent the wheel because we already know what’s gonna happen,” said Almazan.
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said, around 569 Filipinos responded to their Balik Scientist program. However, only 187 preferred to stay in the country.
He said that the Philippines’ ranking has now improved in terms of the numbers of scientists though it still needs to increase.
“If you talk of the global competitiveness index where there are about 137 countries enlisted, we are somewhere in the 56th rank,” said the secretary.
“In the global innovation index, the number 73 rank now is an improvement from the 90th rank in 2013,” he added.
Dela Peña added that foreign investors are not so interested to venure in the country’s science and technology services due to the scarcity of experts.
De La Peña said the budget department needs to create additional positions to accommodate more scientist.
“Kung scholarships bibigay sila. Kung pampatayo ng building bibigay sila. Pero yung pag-magcreate ka ng bagong positions for researchers and scientists napakahirap,” said De La Peña. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
Trump signs executive order to keep immigrant families together
U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order on immigration policy in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump, addressing what his administration has characterized as an unwanted side effect of his zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration, signed an executive order on Wednesday (June 20) to keep families who illegally cross the U.S. southern border together as they await immigration proceedings.
“It’s about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border,” Trump told reporters as he signed the measure.
The order requires that immigrant families be detained together when they are caught entering the country illegally, although it was not immediately clear for how long. It also moves parents with children to the front of the line for immigration proceedings. The order does not end a “zero tolerance” policy that calls for criminal prosecution of immigrants crossing the border illegally.
Videos of youngsters in cages and an audiotape of wailing children had sparked anger in the United States from groups ranging from clergy to influential business leaders, as well as condemnation from abroad, including Pope Francis.
Trump, a frequent viewer of cable television newscasts, had recognized the family separation issue was a growing political problem, White House sources said. First lady Melania Trump, in private conversations with the president, urged him to do something, a White House official said.
Wednesday’s move marked a rare instance since Trump took office in January 2017 in which he has changed course on a controversial policy, rather than digging in. — Reuters
It’s time to reform global trade rules, says France’s Macron
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron attends the OECD ministerial council meeting on “Refounding Multilateralism” in Paris, France, May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/Pool
French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday (May 30) said it was time for the world’s biggest economic powers to start talks on reshaping World Trade Organization rules to prevent current tensions spiraling into trade wars.
Macron’s comments before the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) came as the European Union faced less than 48 hours to win an exemption from U.S. tariffs on European aluminum and steel.
“This is about a complete update of global competition rules,” Macron said, advocating multilateralism at a time when the risk of tit-for-tat trade measures threatens to derail global growth.
The French leader wants the EU, United States, China and Japan to draw up a blueprint for WTO reform in time for the next G-20 meeting in Argentina at the end of the year.
Macron has painted himself as a defender of global co-operation – what he calls “strong multilateralism” – and sought to dissuade leaders such as U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin from going it alone on issues from diplomacy to trade and the environment.
Trump has effectively engineered a crisis in the WTO’s system of settling global disputes by vetoing all appointments of judges to its appeals chamber. — Reuters