Today, more than ever, we need science, technology, and innovation initiatives that are inclusive and sustainable – initiatives that will help us towards recovery and growth.
Providing funding support is one of the contributions of the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Department funded:
- research studies on supplement medicines for COVID-19;
- needed medical equipment and biomedical devices; and
- the repurposing of available technologies in coming up with COVID-19 disease modeler and the development of the Philippines’ own COVID-19 RT-PCR test kits.
The micro-, small-, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which received financial support from the Department of Science and Technology for technology upgrading that were already in the repayment stage were given a reprieve by the suspension and re-scheduling of repayments for a given time period.
The series of lockdowns experienced around the world has forced everyone to rapidly transform through digitalization. Digital innovations led to shifts to mobile or online applications and software to deliver public services and conduct business transactions. This has proved that science, technology, and innovation is a powerful tool in addressing the different needs of the society.
The Department of Science and Technology is committed to contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Philippines formulated the Harmonized National R&D Agenda 2017-2022 which responds to most of the SDGs, if not all.
There have been technology breakthroughs in agriculture and marine resources for SDGs 6, 13, 14, and 15; drug discovery and health programs under SDG 3; waste-to-energy facilities and hybrid vehicles development for SDGs 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13; scholarship offerings in STEM, that are directly linked to SDG 4; food security programs in line with SDGs 2 and 3; and science-based interventions for livelihood, some especially designed for women, Indigenous Peoples, and vulnerable sectors, which contribute to SDGs 1, 5, 8, and 10.
For sustainable recovery, investment should be made in research and development, infrastructure, and STI ecosystem. Short- to long-term agenda must also be set.
To promote equality and build resilience, we have to formulate inclusive policies and programs. The governments should engage in multistakeholder collaborations and adopt a Whole-of-Society approach. Financial, technical, and technological assistance should be extended at the grassroots level as science, technology, and innovation hastens socio-economic development in the provinces and local regions.
Excellencies, the Philippines is one with you in promoting the role of STI in the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.