Sen. Bam: Balik-Scientist Act one signature away from becoming law, to boost country’s R&D

Senator Bam Aquino expects the country’s research and development to get a much-needed boost, now that the Balik-Scientist Act is one signature away from becoming a law.

“This is our way of supporting the field of research, science and technology in the country, which has been undervalued for too long. We hope the President can sign this into law and show his support and appreciation for Filipino scientists,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.

The Senate and House both ratified the bicameral conference committee version, which will now be transmitted to Malacanang for President Duterte’s signature.

Once it becomes a law, Sen. Bam said it will help address the country’s lack of scientists. As of last tally, the country has 189 scientists per million, a far cry from the ideal ratio of 380 scientists per million.

Sen. Bam pointed out that the Philippines falls behind South Korea and United States, which have 5,300 and 3,500 scientists per million, respectively. Malaysia, for its part, has 2,000 scientists per million.

 “With the Balik-Scientist Act, we expect Filipino scientists to return to the Philippines and help strengthen our research and development,” said Sen. Bam, the principal sponsor of the measure in the Senate.

If enacted into law, the Balik Scientist Act will provide overseas Filipino scientists with financial benefits and incentives to encourage them to return to the Philippines and help boost the country’s research and development.

Sen. Bam is also the principal sponsor and co-author of the Amendments to the Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, and Researchers bill and the Innovative Start-up Act, which is currently being tackled in the plenary.

Sen. Bam has passed 19 laws in over 4 years as a senator.

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