Press Release
July 15, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara is rallying support behind a bill that would channel government funds toward improving research and development in medical care.

The proposed Senate Bill 2029, or "The Philippine Health Research Act of 2010", will legislate government investment in health services, particularly in bolstering innovation and encouraging Filipino scientists to remain in their profession.

The proposed bill also aims to institutionalize the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) and create the Philippine National Health Research Fund (PNHRF).

"We can't just spend for today; we must spend for tomorrow. It is important to invest in building of roads for economic development, but it is equally, if not more important, to invest in long-term, less popular solutions like the building of minds," said Angara.

"In order to prepare ourselves for the challenges of the future, we must invest in a talented pool of scientists who will rebuild our country's technological capacity.

"Otherwise, we will again lose these great minds--another generation of Filipino scientists will be pirated by other countries or lured by multinational pharmaceuticals," warned Angara.

Speaking at various events this week - the Novartis Biotech Camp 2011, the launch of NetworkLabs by Nokia Siemens, and the Technological University of the Philippines' Tech Expo 2011 - Angara reiterated the importance of R&D investments in leapfrogging economic growth and competitiveness, especially as the Philippines is trying to catch up with its Asian peers.

"Through R&D, we can improve and make efficient health services in the country, encourage businesses to come here and create jobs, secure the environment from further degradation, and increase agricultural production for our food supply."

Angara, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), is an advocate of utilizing S&T to boost government's capabilities in health services, disaster management, agricultural production and information technology.

"We have all these opportunities to make things right for our country, and it is imperative that our government makes the right choices this time," he said.

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