VICE presidential hopeful Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vowed Saturday to create science schools in the country's major provinces and cities, should he win the vice presidential race, in order to improve the educational system.
"We need to build more science schools, especially in the provinces to give those who are equally qualified and interested in the field of science and technology develop their skills and interests," he said in a statement.
Marcos said science and technology has not been a priority for many years, which has to be changed to turn things around of the country.
"Science and technology should play a major role in our national policy because it is one of the basic factors that fuels a country's development, it sets the pace of the economic growth of a country, and we, Filipinos, can only achieve this if we have enough scientists studying and looking for innovations how to help achieve our goals," he said.
Marcos noted that in the Philippines, there are only around 80 scientists per million of the population when other countries have some 4,000 per million.
He said the country should produce more scientists to help the country achieve development and cope with the new challenges of an "ever-changing" world.
While the Department of Science and Technology has a program for students to pursue post-graduate studies in science and technology, Marcos said more should be done in terms of budget and coverage.
He said the approved scholarship budget for around 2,000 students pursuing their masters and doctorate degrees in science and technology is far cry from the hundreds of thousands being produced by other countries in the Asian region.
Marcos said research and development activities should be focused on poverty reduction, agriculture development, climate change and in the field of medicine. (Sunnex)