May 21, 2012
FUND S&T SCHOLARSHIP FROM PAGCOR, PCSO REVENUES - ANGARA
After the public hearing today of the Committee on Science and Technology, Committee Chair Senator Edgardo J. Angara recommended that the expansion of S&T scholarship programs should be bankrolled by gaming and lottery revenues.
"We are unable to adapt and capitalize advances in science and engineering worldwide because of a lack of skilled manpower," he said.
"For example, advances in health through biotechnology are so amazing and yet we are not putting money in training people in this field. Many good biotechnology graduates from foreign universities are looking for laboratories in the country, yet we are unable to tap their talents."
Angara rallied support for the scholarship programs from government institutions like the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and Landbank of the Philippines.
The veteran lawmaker stressed that in many advanced countries, financial support for public education and public hospitals is the social justification of lottery money.
"In Hongkong, the main source of money for public hospitals and public education is the Jockey Club which controls all gambling . In many states in US, support for schools and hospitals also come from lottery revenues," Angara said.
"PAGCOR can generate P32 billion in revenues this year and PCSO can generate P30 billion in revenues. In total this is P60 billion in money available to the Philippines," Angara added.
"With that kind of funding, we will not only scale up science and technology scholarship, but also train personnel and provide them with the equipment and laboratory they need to effectively adapt these emerging technologies to our needs."
Angara, also Chair of Congressional Commission on Science & Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), is also the proponent of the Engineering Research and Development for Technology Program (ERDTP), a consortium among the country's top universities to provide Masteral and PhD scholarships in engineering.
A parallel program is the DOST's Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRDP) which provides Masteral and Doctorate scholarships in priority S&T areas.
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