MANILA – The country needs more support and investments in research and development (R&D), an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Friday.

"Malaki ang papel na ginagampanan ng science and technology upang patuloy na mapaunlad ang ating bansa. Nasa kamay nila ang pagkakaroon ng pagbabago at patuloy na pag-unlad (Science and technology play crucial role in the country's development. They are the key towards continuous progress)," said DOST Assistant Secretary Maridon Sahagun in a public briefing.

A developing country like the Philippines, she said, needs to allocate at least 1 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) for R&D.

"Thus, we need to add and sustain our support to R&D and innovation, so we could create more products for the benefit of the people," she said.

Among the things that the country needs are investments in testing facilities; budget for maintenance and upgrading of infrastructure, laboratories in the regions.

"We need to upgrade these to reach international standards for export, and to adhere to the world standards," Sahagun added.

The official, meanwhile, called on researchers, scientists and engineers to continue their career so they could produce solutions to the country's problems.

"We also encourage the youth to follow the footsteps of the Filipino scientists. Make your country proud through science, technology and innovation. Help the DOST in providing support to the country," she said.

Sahagun cited as an example a Balik Scientist who has discovered that "kadios" or pigeon pea can be used as base of a locally formulated and sourced skin antibiotic that could treat acne, impetigo, and paronychia.

Another example is an agriculture innovation called the automated furrow irrigation system that can improve production efficiency and sugarcane yield.

These are just two of the projects presented at the recently-concluded National Research and Development Conference (NRDC), which aims to increase partnerships among the stakeholders, she said. (PNA)