President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. recognized Balik Scientists and their respective host institutions during the 8th Annual Balik Scientist Program (BSP) Convention hosted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) held on 14 October 2022 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City.
“As we all know, the world we live in has become more and more dependent on technology. We live more and more of our lives in the digital world. We have been confronted by a pandemic that again look to science for solutions, for vaccines protocols, for strategies, for technologies that would help us out of a particular problem,” said President Marcos in his Keynote Speech. “Because of the pandemic, we have learned that it is science that will provide for us the answers to future.”
The President assured that his administration will extend all support in making science and innovation an instrument of progress and prosperity for the Filipino.
The Balik Scientist Program Convention is a yearly gathering that aims to establish stronger ties and research collaborations. This year’s event dubbed “Kasangga sa Paglinang ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Maunlad at Matatag na Kinabukasan,” highlighted the activities, accomplishments, and research contributions of selected Balik Scientists and the latest in their respective fields ranging from health, agriculture, aquatic, industry, energy, and emerging technologies. It likewise showcased how Balik Scientists contributed to the attainment of the mission and vision of their host institutions and to addressing national concerns.
Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. said, “I am glad see that patriotic spirit is still lingering among our Filipino scientists. The pandemic did not hinder them to be give back to the country.” Through the commitment and dedication of Balik Scientists, seven laboratories were built and established at the height of the pandemic. One of these laboratories is the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Laboratory situated in the University of San Agustin. The NMR is led by Balik Scientist Dr. Julius Lopez and is committed to provide support in biomedical identification and drug discovery. It is classified as the first laboratory in the Visayas Region, second in the Philippines, and fourth among the ASEAN countries.
“The program targets to award a total of 101 Balik Scientists in 2023 with plans to increase target by 10% per annum should target be achieved,” as mentioned by Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation and OIC of the Office of the Undersecretary for Research and Development, Dr. Leah J. Buendia.
President Marcos and the DOST urged more Filipino scientists to come home with Balik Puso service. It was emphasized that with the enactment of Republic Act No. 11035 institutionalize the Balik Scientist Program in 2018, the Program has been offering better incentives and privileges to Balik Scientists.
Science, technology or innovation expert or professional, who is a Filipino citizen or a foreigner of Filipino descent, who may be a resident of another country or a Philippine-resident for not more than three (3) years, are qualified and encouraged to avail of the BSP.
For more information about the BSP Convention, interested participants may visit the website https://bsp.dost.gov.ph/ or DOST-BSP Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/balikscientist or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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