Senator Bam Aquino welcomed the passage of the law that provides necessary assistance to Filipino scientists who will return to the country and help strengthen its research and development capability.
Sen. Bam pushed for the passage of Repubic Act 11035 or the Balik Scientist Act in the Senate as principal sponsor and principal author. The law is Sen. Bam’s 22nd in his five years as senator.
“Malaking tulong ang batas na ito upang mahikayat ang mga Pinoy scientists na bumalik sa bansa at tumulong sa pagpapaunlad sa bayan at sa buhay ng mga Pilipino,” said Sen. Bam, chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology.
“Matutugunan din ng batas na ito ang kakulangan ng bansa sa scientists, upang makasabay na tayo sa ating mga kapitbahay sa Asya na mas marami ang nagtatrabaho sa research and development,” added Sen. Bam.
During the committee hearing, it was discovered that the country has 189 scientists per million, far from the ideal ratio of 380 scientists per million.
Currently, the Philippines trails 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.
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.
Aside from the Balik Scientist Act, 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.
Meanwhile, President Duterte also signed into law Republic Act 11036 or the Philippine Mental Health Law, which Sen. Bam pushed as co-author.