/ 24 May 2022

THE SENATE approved a bill that seeks to convert the Provincial Science and Technology Center into the Provincial Science and Technology Office.

Voting 21-0-0, the senators approved on third reading Senate Bill 2484 or the Provincial Science and Technology Act, which was authored and sponsored by Senator Nancy Binay.

Binay said the PSTCs of the Department of Science and Technology have continuously provided, disseminated and transferred scientific and technical knowledge and support to the Filipinos.

PSTCs are responsible for the development of technology-based enterprises of the government in rural areas.

Binay said the PSTCs assisted in numerous programs such as livelihood, healthcare services, disaster risk reduction and the DOST scholarship programs.

“To aid in our country’s development, we must equip Filipinos nationwide with the appropriate scientific knowledge and skills, as well as technical innovations. Let us use the power of science and technology to uplift the lives of our countrymen,” Binay said.

Under the bill, senior science research specialists will be reclassified as chief science research specialists with the compensation upgrade from Salary Grade 19 to Salary Grade 24.

“By reclassifying the positions of senior science research specialist to chief science research specialist, we are bringing the necessary resources and manpower to our PSTCs so that they can fully empower and develop local communities with science and technology,” Binay said.

She added that the government needs to harmonize and rationalize the compensation and support for the PSTC staff so they would be at par with other government agencies.

“We need to prevent disillusionment and brain drain by taking care of their staff. It is necessary for us in the legislative branch to help them, especially in the staffing pattern,” Binay added.

Under the bill, the DOST secretary shall determine the organizational structure and staffing pattern of the PSTO in accordance with the civil service laws, rules and regulations, subject to the review and approval of the Department of Budget and Management.

PSTOs functions include identifying the need and opportunities and technology in the provinces; implement DOST programs and projects on technology promotion and transfer; S&T human resource development, S&T promotion and information dissemination, delivery of technical and consultancy services; development of institutional linkages with provincial offices of other departments, local government units, academe and non-government offices for the effective implementation of science and technology programs in the provinces and perform other functions as may be determined by the DOST secretary or the regional director.