DOST chief hopes for passage of PSTO Act

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

May 26, 2022, 7:07 pm

<p>Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña (<em>File photo</em>)</p>

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña (File photo)

MANILA – Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña on Thursday expressed hope that the Duterte administration will approve a law increasing the salaries and providing more benefits to officials of Provincial Science and Technology Centers (PSTC).

Through the Provincial Science and Technology Office (PSTO) Act, the DOST's PSTC will be converted into PSTOs and its directors' salary will be increased from Salary Grade 19 to 24. Further. They will also be entitled to transportation allowance, representation reimbursement, and other benefits.

"(This is just) a fair recognition and commensurate compensation for the heavy responsibilities as a national agency front-liner in the provinces for tasks which require high technical and managerial skills in the area of science and technology (S&T)," De la Peña told the Philippine News Agency.

He added that science and technology are very critical for development and growth.

The PSTO Act was recently passed by the Senate. The bill is being eyed to be endorsed to the Office of the President before May 31.

ln a post on his Facebook page, De la Peña said that should the PSTO Act be signed into law before President Rodrigo Duterte's term ends, this will be the fifth legislation on science, technology and innovation approved during the latter's administration.

The other legislations are the Balik Scientist Act; the Amended Magna Carta for Science Workers Act; Philippine Space Act; and the Innovative Start-Up Act.

De la Peña, meanwhile, said he also hopes the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines Bill, as well as the Science for Change Bill, will be passed into law during Duterte's term. (PNA)