Lawmaker bats for more benefits for science, technology workers

A lawmaker is requesting the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives to appropriate P787 million for the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) workers to cover the benefits of its science and technology workers mandated by Republic Act 8439.

In filing House Resolution 2713, Rep. Angelo Palmones (Party-list, AGHAM) said it is high time for the government to grant the incentives for science and technology workers as mandated by RA 8439 entitled Magna Carta for Scientists, engineers, researchers, and other science and technology personnel in government.

RA 8439 was enacted in 1997 to realize economic development faster with the application of science and technology, and technological changes can be achieved with systematic and deliberate investments in research and development (R & D) over time and putting in place appropriate policies and programs.

Palmones said it is provided in Sec. 20 of R. A. 8439 that an appropriation of needed funds in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of the year following its enactment into law under the budgetary appropriations of the DOST and concerned agencies.

But despite that, Palmones said there was no such amount appropriated for DOST and other concerned agencies was provided following the enactment of R. A. 8439 in 1997 nor in the succeeding years.

Palmones said the incentives that DOST has been able to give to its science workers comes from savings of the individual agencies and from the DOST office, which fluctuates from year to year depending on the ability of the agencies to save.

Palmones said it’s about time the government give the science and technology workers what’s due them. It is provided in the Constitution and it further states that Congress may provide for incentives to researchers, scientists, inventors, technologists, among others, hence, Congress enacted R. A. 8439.

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