Press Release
October 5, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara has recommended the allocation of P50 million from the Commission on Higher Education's (CHED) proposed 2012 budget of P2.207 billion to support the immediate implementation of five innovation clusters.

Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, made the proposal during the budget hearing of the CHED and the State Universities and Colleges (SUC's) yesterday.

The proposed funding for innovation clusters shall be taken from a P500 million fund lodged by the Executive with CHED for distribution to SUC's based on project proposals. It is made up of P250 million budget for Maintenance and other Operating Expenses (MOOE) and P250 million for Capital Outlay.

Angara explained, "Each cluster shall receive P10 million each for their research and development (R&D) projects. The SUCs, on their part, shall submit a work and financial plan to CHED which is tasked to filter and screen project proposals for funding."

He continued, "Doing so will ensure that the Philippines will boost its capacity to create knowledge and harness innovation. Unless we leapfrog development through S&T, our country cannot hope to catch up with our highly competitive neighbors and raise the living standards of our growing population."

Angara stressed that the proposed national budget for 2012 must be used to create a critical mass of scientific knowledge.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo has already lent his support to the innovation clusters program which is being engineered by the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) chaired by Angara.

The initial innovation clusters proposed are ICT on Cloud Computing in Cebu; High Value Added Electronics Products; Philippine Institute of Algae Research & Commercialization; Remote Sensing for Precision Agriculture; Non-adversarial Mining Technology in Mindanao; Disaster Management; Rice Self-Sufficiency; High Valued-Added Crops; and Biotechnology for Health.

The innovation clusters are envisioned to be Public-Private Partnerships in research and development among the academe, private sector and government through the Department of Science and Technology and CHED.

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