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Filipino S&T workers double in 20 years, according to DOST study

The number of Filipino professionals in science and technology (S&T) doubled from 1990 to 2010, with nursing, midwifery, and engineering registering the most number of professionals each.

This was revealed in a publication by the Department of Science and Technology-Science and Education Institute (DOST-SEI) titled “Human Resources in Science and Technology in the Philippines,”  launched on April 22, 2015 at the Astoria Plaza Hotel, Pasig City.

The publication contains estimates on the country’s S&T professionals, established by a study conducted by SEI which utilized National Statistics Office census data for 1990, 2000, and 2010, among others

According to the study, there were 362,000 estimated workers in the Philippines in 1990. This estimate climbed to 593,000 in 2000 and leapt to 721,000 in 2010, posting an impressive 99.17 percent increase from 1990 to 2010.

This incredible growth of the Philippines’ S&T workforce suggests a positive effect on the economy, as “knowledge and technological creation through research and development leads to better performance of major S&T-based industries,” according to SEI Director Dr. Josette Biyo

Of this total number, 211,000 or 29.2 percent of local S&T personnel were concentrated in the National Capital Region. Meanwhile, the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao had the least number of S&T workers with only around 5,000.

“Our programs aimed at producing scientists and engineers have always been anchored to the belief that science, technology and innovation will lead us to development and by having a clear picture of our human resources in the field, we’ll know how much more we should work towards this endeavor,” explained Biyo.

However, the study also revealed that not all S&T occupational groups recorded an increase in number of workers. In particular, key professions in the fields of mathematics, statistics, life science, physics, and chemistry, indicated a huge dip in their numbers.

“We really need to focus on producing professionals from fields that have seen a decrease. We shall consider these findings in carrying out our scholarship, advocacy and innovation programs,” Biyo emphasized.

In addition, the country was also found to be lagging behind many other countries in terms of percentage of  S&T workers to the total number of workers in a country. According to the study, S&T professionals in the Philippines made up a measly 5.6 percent of its overall workforce, putting the country in 31st position among 34 countries ranked for this purpose. Among these countries were Belgium which ranked first, Australia, Netherlands, US, UK, Germany, South Africa, India, and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the number of Filipino S&T overseas workers rose from 40,000 in 1990 to 113,000 in 2010.

“Human Resources in Science and Technology in the Philippines” hopes to provide knowledge and  policy directions to the local science community and be used as a basis for the formulation of S&T programs in the country especially where human resources are concerned.

Education for human resource development is one of DOST’s main thrusts and will be one of the focal points at the upcoming National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) slated from July 24-28, 2015 at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Copies of the publication will be distributed to government and academic agencies. It will also be available for downloading via the SEI website (sei.dost.gov.ph). (S&T Media Service)

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