Dela Pena 'inspired' with solons' support to S&T

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

September 9, 2019, 7:10 pm

<p>(<em>PNA photo by Cristina Arayata)</em></p>

(PNA photo by Cristina Arayata)

MANILA -- Despite cutting the proposed budget for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in 2020 into half, Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said he felt inspired by the legislators' support to science and technology (S&T).

"Despite the many questions they asked, and despite that the approved budget was only half of what we proposed, I got inspired with the congressmen's support," dela Peña told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) over the weekend.

Dela Peña attended the budget hearing last week, which, according to him, lasted for about three and a half hours.

"I am happy, because most of the congressmen were in attendance during the hearing. They have expressed their support for science and technology," he said.

The DOST chief said only PHP20 billion was approved in the National Expenditure Program, and this is half of the agency's PHP40 billion proposal.

"I was told, 'Tell us your top five plans or projects that were not included in the priority bills. We'll see what we can do'," dela Peña shared, hoping the legislators could do something.

"Adding something to your approved budget would mean deducting an amount from another agency. I don't know what they are going to do," dela Peña said.

"They want to know what are my priority proposals that were not approved for 2020. A congressman reiterated that I submit my proposals," he said.

Dela Peña said he would like to focus on technologies for research and development, noting that he does not want a research to be of no use or would not translate into an output.

He added that the legislators asked him why there was a low utilization of technologies.

"Hopefully, we'd get support from other line agencies in terms of technology adoption. We're also eyeing for more collaborations with the industry, the academe and the government," he said. (PNA)