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Marcos vows more S&T scholarships, stronger STEM program

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. takes time to engage with a young scientist while checking the innovations made by Filipino scientists and innovators that are on display during the 2022 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) starting on Nov. 23, 2022. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Press Secretary)

MANILA, (PIA) -- President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Wednesday vowed to provide valuable government support to create more scholarships for Filipino science and technology students in order to develop a bigger pool of scientists, researchers and innovators in the country.

We will institute a scholarship program specifically for STEM students and this will not be limited to those who have shown their capabilities, their ability, and how they deserve these scholarships here in the Philippines but to any institution that they are accepted to abroad,” Marcos said in a speech during the 2022 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) opening ceremony at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

As he urged the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and their partner institutions to lead the national effort, the President also called for improvements in the country’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) program, citing the need to become more globally competitive.

Unfortunately in the Philippines when we are graded alongside our neighbors in Asia, in ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], do not do very well when it comes to the STEM subjects and that is what we need to encourage," he said.

"The material I can see is available. It is just a question of us incorporating it into our curricula, it is just up to us to give it an emphasis because in every aspect the STEM subjects have become terribly, terribly important,” he added.

Marcos said the government must provide opportunities for scientists to learn new skills because science and technology will determine the country’s success in the coming years.

Whereas before we train people to be carpenters and plumbers and electricians and construction workers. Now the training is in computer science, it is encoding, it is block chain technology, it is computer engineering,” he said.

Marcos then acknowledged the efforts of the DOST and its attached agencies for continuously implementing programs that create solutions to address the country’s pressing problems such as food security, job creation, health education and climate change adaptation, among others.

"Every time we speak of any subject, we can talk about agriculture, we can talk about public works, we can talk about tourism, every subject, sumisilip yung subject ng climate change (the subject of climate change peeks through), it affects everything and everyone and so once again we look to science, we look new technologies, we look to engineers to find us solutions to mitigate, to adapt our very vulnerable country to the effects of climate change,” he said. (PIA-NCR)

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