Speaking in front of the country’s leading researchers, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan vowed to continue to improve Research and Development (R&D) conducted by Philippine Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
“We will keep the faith. We will be brave and determined to make inroads and progress in promoting high-end research and development in the Philippines,” promised Licuanan during her remarks at the Philippine-California Advanced Research Institutes (PCARI) International Seminar-Workshop on Laying the Foundation for the Future of Research and Development in the Philippines held at The Peninsula Manila, Makati City on March 23-24, 2017.
The Commission on Higher Education sponsored the two-day seminar-workshop with the assistance of USAID Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) Program to discuss common issues on R&D management and produce a set of recommendations for addressing these issues toward enhancing the country’s productivity in research and innovation.
The opening Plenary session brought together key representatives from different local agencies to discuss varying facets of the Philippine R&D scenario: Dr. Reynaldo Vea, president of the Mapua Institute of Technology, on Mechanisms for Sustaining Talent in Science and Technology; Atty. Lucieden Raz of the Department of Science and Technology on the Philippine Technology Transfer Act (RA 10055); Executive Director Dennis Santiago of the Government Procurement Policy Board on the Revisions on the Procurement Process for R&D; Joyce So, Kimberly Page, and Elise Mills of the University of California Berkeley on Research Administration at the University of California Berkeley (UC Model for Research Administration) Dr. Eva Cutiongco Dela Paz of the University of the Philippines Manila on Minimizing Bureaucracy to Maximize Research Efficiency; Director Carmen Peralta of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines on R&D and the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines; and Senior Research Fellow Dr. Aniceto Orbeta, Jr. of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies on Impact Evaluation with special attention to R&D.
Also representatives from the Engineering Research Support Office of University of California-Berkeley (UCB) namely Joyce So, Kimberly Page, and Elise Mills shared the Research Administration at the University of California Berkeley (UC Model for Research Administration).
During the four parallel workshop sessions, delegates identified challenges and the recommended solutions on the four key areas of R&D management such as pre-award processes, implementation processes, Intellectual Property, and scholarships. Outputs on the discussion and recommendations for these were presented during the culmination of the event.
Some of the issues raised are the limited number of competent or qualified researchers, inadequate linkages between potential partners in industry and counterpart institutions, limited number of technical reviewers, issues in modes of release of funds, lack of awareness on Intellectual Property protection, issues in commercialization of research outputs, concerns in terms of job tenure of researchers, lack of opportunity to social sciences, and sustainability of R&D funding.
PCARI Project Manager Dr. William G. Padolina also stressed the need for an R&D reform agenda, including a new set of government policies in auditing and accounting. He also called for a talent retention scheme which is necessary for laying the foundation for the future of R&D in the Philippines.
Responding to these, Dr. Licuanan vowed that CHED will commit to studying the recommendations. “I promise to look at these recommendations from the point of view of what more can we support, what more innovative ways are there to support in research,” she said.
The Chairperson also pointed out the importance of inter-agency collaboration among HEIs and research-inclined government agencies such as the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Intellectual Property Office.
Licuanan also thanked the University of California-Berkeley, one of CHED’s collaborators in the PCARI Project, for the partnership that enabled the initiative to establish a platform for capacity-building, fulfilling the Philippine government’s goal of mobilizing knowledge for greater productivity and economic growth.