Tag: research and development

‘VIP Bill’ vs COVID-19 at Ibang Virus Threats, Isinampa ni Ping

Dahil siyensiya at teknolohiya lamang ang tamang gabay para malutas ang mga problemang dulot ng pandemya gaya ng COVID-19, isinulong ni Senador Panfilo Lacson ang pagtatag ng isang institusyong tutuklas sa mga solusyon para sa sakit na ito.

Sa ilalim ng Senate Bill 1543, layon ni Lacson na itatag ang Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).

Ayon kay Lacson, kada araw ay patuloy sa pagtaas ang bilang ng mga nahahawaan ng COVID-19. Sa Pilipinas lamang ay hindi bababa sa 873 na ang kumpirmadong namatay. Dahil din dito, nagkaroon ng malawakang suliraning panlipunan at pang-ekonomiya ng bansa.

“These problems can only be addressed using science and technology, specifically through research and development (R&D). It is therefore imperative that we establish a Research Institute that delves into the study of viruses of the field of virology. The country needs diagnostics to detect and limit the spread of the existing viruses; vaccines to provide long-term protection; treatments to save lives in the shorter term, and social science to understand their behavioral and societal implications,” paliwanag ni Lacson sa panukala.

Related:Β Lacson Bill Establishes Philippine Virology Science and Technology Institute to Fight Novel Virus Threats
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Lacson Bill Establishes Philippine Virology Science and Technology Institute to Fight Novel Virus Threats

Stressing the importance of science and technology in addressing the problems caused by novel viruses such as the coronavirus, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed a bill establishing the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).

Lacson, in Senate Bill 1543, noted the current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has infected more than five million and killed more than 340,000 worldwide, including 14,319 infected and 873 dead in the Philippines alone.

Worse, he said the health crisis from COVID-19 has resulted in widespread social and economic crises, “the impacts of which are devastating, especially to the poor.”

“These problems can only be addressed using science and technology, specifically through research and development (R&D). It is therefore imperative that we establish a Research Institute that delves into the study of viruses of the field of virology. The country needs diagnostics to detect and limit the spread of the existing viruses; vaccines to provide long-term protection; treatments to save lives in the shorter term, and social science to understand their behavioral and societal implications,” Lacson said in his bill.

Related: ‘VIP Bill’ vs COVID-19 at Ibang Virus Threats, Isinampa ni Ping
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Fast-Tracking the National ID System and Funding R&D

The National ID system was signed into law nearly two years ago. There is no other time than now where it is most needed.

I hope the National Economic and Development Authority can fast-track the implementation of the National ID system, as directed by the President.

NEDA should have ample help from the Philippine Statistics Authority as the frontline agency, and the Department of ICT which plays a major role.

The first question is, is the system ready to accept registrants? If so, they should give priority to the marginalized sector, and those targeted for financial assistance because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Meanwhile, while the President has made a P10-million offer to whoever can develop a vaccine for COVID-19, it would mean much more if the government invested more on research and development than the token annual average share of 0.4% from the General Appropriations Act.

We only need to look at how much the most prosperous countries spend on R&D to see why we are among the laggards. Even if we bump up the percentage to 1 or 2 percent of the national budget, it would make a major difference.

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#PINGterview: Pagbigay ng Ayuda sa COVID19-Affected Areas, Dapat Ibigay Agad at Bantayin!

In an interview on DZBB/GMA News TV, Sen. Lacson stressed at least P200B in assistance to poor families affected by the COVID19-triggered quarantines should be distributed soonest, with scrutiny from the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee.

NOTES and QUOTES:
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On the State of Calamity Over the Entire Philippines Due to COVID-19

Placing the entire country under a state of calamity is timely and rational, and thus deserves the support of the Filipino people. For one, it will allow the local government units as well as the national government agencies to utilize their calamity funds and Quick Response Fund, in accordance with Republic Act 10121 and other pertinent laws.

Having said that, I cannot imagine that concerned local government officials in charge of dispensing those funds can still have gall and malevolent intention of stealing the monies under their control, considering the seriousness of this unprecedented crisis that we are all facing.

Further, the government, for all its disaster preparedness and response efforts, cannot overcome the threat by itself. We must all do our part, whether as workers rendering frontline services, scientists developing ways to deal with the problem, or responsible Filipinos giving support to them while showing understanding and cooperation with measures from the national government and local government units.

There is no doubt we will survive this, as we have done in so many crises before.

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More Budget for R&D Pushed Amid COVID-19 Threat

Despite measly state support, our local scientists have given us a major boost – and much-needed hope – in dealing with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), by way of test kits developed by local experts at the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health (UPNIH). Tests using these kits will cost less than 1/6 of those using imported kits.

I have repeatedly raised the issue of the minuscule budgetary allocation for research and development (R&D) in the national budget year in, year out – an average of, lo and behold, 0.4% of the annual budget from 2016 to 2020, including 0.39% for 2020. For the same five-year period, the DOST’s average budget is only P20 billion or a meager 0.56% against the trillions of pesos that we pass every year as our national budget. This, even as I consistently amended the budget measure by augmenting the budgets of the Department of Science and Technology and its programs. For 2020, I sought a P50M increase for NICER, P100M increase for STAMINA4Space and a P100M increase for CRADLE; as well as P537.991M for UPLB’s National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

Had our homegrown scientists been given the much-needed additional budgetary support for R&D, who knows how much more they can contribute? As it is, by not supporting them adequately, we’re wasting their talents and opportunities to help our nation.

This should be a wake-up call for our government officials who do not invest in research and development (R&D) through the budget, but instead are supplier-friendly “shopaholics” who choose to shop or buy from their β€œfavorite” suppliers.

If only the kudos and support that our local scientists richly deserve, especially during these trying times, would be translated into increased support from our government.

Science entails research. Science can greatly help especially during looming disasters such as COVID-19. It is high time our government throw its support behind our homegrown scientists.

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Ping: R & D sa Kalamidad, Dapat Bahain ng Pondo

Image courtesy: PHL Microsat Program blog

Para mapabuti ang paghahanda sa mga kalamidad, dapat na gawing ehemplo ng pamahalaan ang mga matatagumpay na kumpanyang namuhunan sa research and development (R & D).

Ito ang iminungkahi ni Senador Panfilo Lacson, chairman ng Senate Commitee on National Defense and Security, matapos ang sunod-sunod na kalamidad, kasama ang pagsabog ng bulkang Taal.

Ayon kay Lacson, mga 0.4 porsiyento lamang ang nakalaan sa R & D sa pambansang gastusin.

Related: Malaking Maitutulong: Lacson Pushes Bigger State Investment in R & D for Disaster Preparedness
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Malaking Maitutulong: Lacson Pushes Bigger State Investment in R & D for Disaster Preparedness

Image courtesy: PHL Microsat Program blog

To enhance its disaster preparedness and risk management capabilities, the government should take a cue from big, successful companies: invest big on research and development (R & D).

On this note, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson pushed for bigger investments in R & D, which he lamented accounts for only a minuscule 0.4 percent of the national budget.

“Science entails research. Science can greatly help especially during disasters. Yet, why do we appropriate only 0.4 percent on the average for R & D?” said Lacson, who chaired a Senate hearing on disaster management last Wednesday.

Related: Ping: R & D sa Kalamidad, Dapat Bahain ng Pondo
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