February 25, 2024

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Philippines enacted law that would give more incentives to returning Filipino scientists and experts

Philippines enacted law that would give more incentives to returning Filipino scientists and experts

According to the report
made by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the newly-enacted
Balik Scientist Law would provide benefits and grants that would entice
Filipino experts, scientists, inventors, and engineers to return to the
Philippines so that they can share their knowledge in the country.

Another milestone has been reached by both
science and technology in the Philippines with the Balik Scientist Law.
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa A. Duterte signed Republic
Act No. 11035
or the “Act Institutionalising the Balik Scientist
Program” on 15 June 2018.

This law would give more incentives to returning
Filipino experts, scientists, inventors, and engineers who would share their
expertise in the country.

The enacted law would strengthen the
implementation of the DOST’s “Balik Scientist Program”. This program was first
established in 1975 through Presidential Decree No. 819 but was only
implemented in 1986.

Since its implementation, several
scientists have come back to the country, either on a short-term or long-term
basis in order to mentor science and engineering students and faculty along
their line of expertise.

They have done this through research and
development, teaching, and other activities. This sharing of expertise
significantly contributed to the acceleration of the scientific,
agro-industrial and economic development of the Philippines.

A returning scientist can participate in
DOST’s Grants-in-Aid research and development made possible by the Balik
Scientist Law. A grant may be provided to the Balik (returning) Scientist and
will be released through the institution that will be hosting the
implementation of the project.

Various compensations can also be enjoyed
by Balik Scientists. They can have tax and duty exemptions on the importation
of professional equipment and materials. They will also receive free medical
and accident insurance benefits, which would cover the award period.

Returning scientists can also avail
reimbursement of expenses for baggage related to scientific project. Moreover,
they can also be exempted from renouncing the oath of allegiance to the country
where they took that oath.

They will also be granted special working
and non-working visas, a round-trip airfare from a foreign country to the
Philippines, an exemption from local travel tax, and DOST-subsidised visa
application.

For long-term Balik Scientist awardees, they
can enjoy relocation benefits. This includes support in securing job
opportunities for their spouses, as well as admission support for their
children in their preferred schools.

They would also be given a relocation
allowance and monthly housing or accommodation allowance. Funding will also be
provided for the establishment and development of a facility or laboratory.

The principal sponsor and author of the
bill, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said, “This law is a big help in
encouraging Filipino scientists to return to the country and contribute to
improve the nation and people’s lives.”

He added, “This law addresses the problem
on the low number of scientists in the country so we can fare better with our
neighbouring countries in Asia who have more people working in research and
development.”

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said
that is very crucial to strengthen the DOST Balik Scientist Program because the
Philippines has areas that lack experts such as space technology and artificial
intelligence which are just starting. He believes that having enough human
resource in these fields would help the country in conducting various research
and development projects in these areas.

The bill also states that the Balik
Scientist Program will give priority to experts in the fields of space,
technology, artificial intelligence (AI), biomedical engineering, energy,
agriculture, food technology, biotechnology, information and communications
technology (ICT), pharmaceutical, disaster mitigation and management,
environment and natural resources, electronics, genomics, health,
manufacturing, nanotechnology, cyber security, and semiconductors.

The law also requires DOST to ensure that
the results of scientific and technological activities are properly applied and
used.

The counterparts of Sen Aquino in the House of
Representatives in sponsoring this bill are Zamboanga del Norte 1st District
Representative Seth Frederick R. Jalosjos, Zamboanga del Sur 1st District
Representative Divina Grace C. Yu, and Bohol 2nd District Representative and Chair
of the Science and Technology Committee Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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