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Marcos Era and Martial Law

During Ferdinand Marcos' presidency, the importance given to science grew. In the amended
1973 Philippine Constitution, Article XV, Section 9 (1), he declared that the "advancement of
science and technology shall have priority in the national development."[5] In his two terms of
presidency and during Martial Law, he enacted many laws promoting science and technology.

In his Second State of the Nation Address on January 23, 1967, he declared that science was
necessary for the development programs, and thus, directed the Department of Education to
revitalize the science courses in public high schools. The Department of Education, with the
National Science Development Board (NSDB), is organizing a project to provide selected high
schools with science teaching equipment over a four-year period.[6]

In his Third State of the Nation Address on January 22, 1968, he recognized that technology was
the leading factor in economic development, and channeled additional funds to support projects
in applied sciences and science education.[7]

In his Fourth State of the Nation Address on January 27, 1969, he gave a big part of the war
damage fund to private universities to encourage them to create courses in science and
technology and to research. He stated that he planned a project to have medical interns do a tour
of duty in provincial hospitals to arouse their social conscious and reduce the "brain drain." On
April 6, 1968, he proclaimed 35 hectares in Bicutan, Taguig, Rizal as the site of the Philippine
Science Community. The government also conducted seminars for public and private high
school and college science teachers, training programs and scholarships for graduate and
undergraduate science scholars, and workshops on fisheries and oceanography.[8]

In his Fifth State of the Nation Address on January 26, 1970, he emphasized that the upgrading
of science curricula and teaching equipment is crucial to the science development program. He
added the Philippine Coconut Research Institute to the NSDB to modernize the coconut industry.
The NSDB also established the Philippine Textile Research Institute. The Philippine Atomic
Energy Commission of the NSDB explored the uses of atomic energy for economic
development. Marcos assisted 107 institutions in undertaking nuclear energy work by sending
scientists to study nuclear science and technology abroad, and providing basic training to 482
scientists, doctors, engineers, and technicians.[9]

In his Seventh State of the Nation Address on January 24, 1972, he spoke about his major
development projects in reforming sectors of education. Such projects included research and
development schools, technical institutes, science education centers, and agricultural colleges
and vocational high schools.[10]

In 1972, he created the National Grains Authority to provide for the development of the rice and
corn industry to fully harness it for the economy of the country. (Presidential Decree No. 4, s.
1972)[11] He established the Philippine Council for Agricultural Research to support the
progressive development of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries for the nation. It was attached to
the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources for administrative purposes.[12] He
provided further support for the promotion of scientific research and invention with Presidential
Decree No. 49, s. 1972. This decree contains details on the protection of intellectual property for
the creator or publisher of the work.[13] He established the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical
and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) under the Department of National
Defense to provide environmental protection and to utilize scientific knowledge to ensure the
safety of the people. (Presidential Decree No. 78, s. 1972)[14]

In 1973, he created the Philippine National Oil Company to promote industrial and economic
development through effective and efficient use of energy sources. (Presidential Decree No. 334,
s. 1973)[15]

In 1976, he enacted a law under Presidential Decree No. 1003-A, s. 1976 to establish the
National Academy of Science and Technology, which is composed of scientists with "innovative
achievement in the basic and applied sciences," to serve as a reservoir of scientific and
technological expertise for the country.[16]

In 1978, he created a Task Force on the formulation of a national action program on science and
technology to assess policies and programs of science and technology. (Executive Order No.
512, s. 1978)[17] In his Fourteenth State of the Nation Address on July 23, 1979, he said that the
government invested funds and time in organizations for scientific research, such as the NSDB,
the Philippine Council for Agricultural Research and Resources, the Plant Breeding Institute, the
International Rice Research Institute, the Bureau of Plant Industry, and the Bureau of Forest
Products. While these projects have had breakthroughs, the market machinery did not adapt and
invest in this technology due to the high-risk front-end costs.[18]

In 1979, he constituted the Health Sciences Center created by R.A. No. 5163 as an autonomous
member within the University of the Philippines System to improve the internal organization and
unity of leadership within its units. (Executive Order No. 519, s. 1979)[19]

In 1980, he created the National Committee on Geological Sciences to advise government and
private entities on matters concerning development in geological sciences. (Executive Order No.
625, s. 1980)[20]

In 1982, he reorganized the National Science Development Board and its agencies into a
National Science and Technology Authority to provide central direction and coordination of
scientific and technological research and development. (Executive Order No. 784, s. 1982)[21] He
granted salary increases to the people with teaching positions in the Philippine Science High
School due to their necessity in the advancement of national science. (Executive Order No. 810,
s. 1982).[22] He enacted a law on the completion of the National Agriculture and Life Sciences
Research Complex at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños. (Executive Order No. 840,
s. 1982)[23]

In 1986, he established the Mindanao and Visayas campuses of the Philippine Science High
School to encourage careers in science and technology and to be more accessible to the talented
students in the Mindanao and Visayas areas. (Executive Order No. 1090, s. 1986)[24]

Fifth Republic
Filipina food technologist Maria Y. Orosa (1893–1945) is credited with inventing banana

In 1986, during Corazon Aquino's presidency, the National Science and Technology Authority
was replaced by the Department of Science and Technology, giving science and technology a
representation in the cabinet. Under the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan for the
years 1987-1992, science and technology's role in economic recovery and sustained economic
growth was highlighted. During Corazon Aquino's State of the Nation Address in 1990, she said
that science and technology development shall be one of the top three priorities of the
government towards an economic recovery.[4]

On August 8, 1988, Corazon Aquino created the Presidential Task Force for Science and
Technology which came up with the first Science and Technology Master Plan or STMP. The
goal of STMP was for the Philippines to achieve newly industrialized country status by the year
2000.[4] The Congress did not put much priority in handling bills related to science and
technology. The Senate Committee on Science and Technology was one of the committees that
handles the least amount of bills for deliberation.[4]

Former DOST Secretary Ceferin Follosco reported that the budget allocation for science and
technology was increased to 1.054 billion pesos in 1989 from the previous year's 464 million
pesos. However, due to the Asian financial crisis, budget allocation for the years 1990 and 1991
were trimmed down to 920 and 854 million pesos respectively. Budget allocation were increased
to 1.7 billion pesos in 1992.[4]

During her term, President Corazon Aquino encouraged scientists and inventors to bring the
Philippines to its former position as second to only Japan in the field of science and technology.
One of the goals of her administration was to achieve the status as being an industrialized
country by 2000. She urged that the private research sector form a stronger bond between public
research to help jump-start the progress in the area of Philippine Research and Development.[27]

Ironically, it was during President Corazon Aquino’s term and the reorganization of Philippine
bureaucracy that Executive Order No.128 abolished R.A. No. 3859, also known as the
“Philippine Inventors Incentive Act.” This Philippine Inventors Commission was under the
Science Development board. It gave assistance to Filipino inventors through giving financial aid,
patent application assistance, legal assistance, and to help inventors market their products
domestically and abroad.[28] Despite the abolishment of the Philippine Inventors Commission,
her administration gave rise to new avenues for the government to aid the progress of Science
and Technology in the country.

R.A. 6655 or the Free Public Secondary Education Act of 1988 opened doors to free education
up to the secondary level, implemented in the education system together with this was the
“Science for the Masses Program” which aimed at scientific and technological literacy among
Filipinos. The Aquino administration recognized the importance of science and technology in the
development of the Philippines into a newly industrialized country. Funding for the science and
technology sector was tripled from 464 million in 1986 to 1.7 billion in 1992. The Science and
Technology Master Plan was formulated which aimed at the modernization of the production
sector, upgrading research activities, and development of infrastructure for science and
technological purposes. A Research and Development Plan was also formulated to examine and
determine which areas of research needed attention and must be given priority. The criteria for
identifying the program to be pursued were, development of local materials, probability of
success, potential of product in the export market, and the its strategic nature. The grants for the
research and development programs was included in the Omnibus Investment Law.[1]

There were noticeable improvements regarding science and technology as stated in President
Fidel Ramos' State of the Nation Address. In his third SONA, there was a significant increase in
personnel specializing in the science and technology field. At 1998, the Philippines was
estimated to have around 3,000 competent scientists and engineers. Adding to the increase of
scientists would be the result of the two newly built Philippine Science High Schools in Visayas
and Mindanao which promotes further development of young kids through advance S&T
curriculum.[29] The government provided 3,500 scholarships for students who were taking up
professions related to S&T. Schools were becoming more modernized and updated with the
addition of high-tech equipment for student improvement and teachers were getting training
programs to benefit themselves and their students. Health care services were promoted through
local programs such as "Doctors to the Barrio Program." The health care programs were
innovative and effective as shown by the change in life expectancy from 67.5 years in 1992 to
69.1 years in 1995.[30]

Priority for S&T personnel increased when Magna Carta for Science and Technology Personnel
(Republic Act No. 8439) was established. The award was published in order to give incentives
and rewards for people who have been influential in the field of S&T. In the sixth SONA,
education was one of the primary story-lines wherein programs such as National Program for
Gifted Filipino Children in Science and Technology and enactment of a law creating a
nationwide system of high schools specializing in the field of science and engineering.[31]
Fidel V. Ramos believes that science and technology was one of the means wherein the
Philippines could attain the status of new industrialized country (NIC). During his term, he was
able to establish programs that were significant to the field of S&T. In 1993, Science and
Technology Agenda for National Development (STAND) was established. Among its priorities
were: (1) exporting winners identified by the DTI; (2) domestic needs identified by the
President's Council for Countryside Development; (3) support industries and (4) coconut
industry development. Congress, during his term, was able to enact laws that were significant for
the field. Among were: (1) Magna Carta for Science and Technology Personnel (Republic Act
No. 8439); (2) Science and Technology Scholarship Law of 1994 (Republic Act No. 7687) and
(3) Inventors and Inventions Incentives Act (Republic Act No. 7459). The Intellectual Property
Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 8293) was enacted during Ramos' term. The law
provides industrial property rights, copyrights and related rights, and technology transfer

In President Joseph Estrada's term, two major legislations that he signed were Philippine Clean
Air Act of 1999 (Republic Act No. 8749[33]) which was designed to protect and preserve the
environment and ensure the sustainable development of its natural resources, and Electronic
Commerce Act of 2000 (Republic Act No. 8792)[34] which outlaws computer hacking and
provides opportunities for new businesses emerging from the Internet-driven New Economy.
Aside from these, in his first State of the Nation Address, President Estrada launched a full-scale
program based on cost-effective irrigation technologies. He also announced that Dole-outs are
out, which meant basic health care, basic nutrition, and useful education for those who want, but
cannot afford it. Lastly, he said that they would speed up the program to establish one science
high school in every province.[35] It was in his second State of the Nation Address that President
Estrada announced the passage of the Clean Air Act, and the decision to pursue the 15-year
modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.[36] His last State of the Nation
Address pushed for the advancement of industries and schools into the Internet age, as well as
the announcement of the passage of the e-Commerce Act.[37]

In the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration, the science and technology sector of the
Philippines was dubbed as the "golden age" of science and technology by then secretary Estrella
Albastro [3]. Numerous laws and projects that concerns both the environment and science to push
technology as a tool to increase the country's economic level. This is to help increase the
productivity from Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) and help benefit the poor people.
Moreover, the term "Filipinnovation" was the coined term used in helping the Philippines to be
an innovation hub in Asia.[4]

The STI was developed further by strengthening the schools and education system such as the
Philippine Science High School (PSHS), which focuses in science, technology and mathematics
in their curriculum. This helps schools produce get more involve in this sector. Private sectors
were also encouraged to participate in developing the schools through organizing events and
sponsorships. Future Filipino scientists and innovators can be produced through this system[4]

Helping the environment was one of the focus in developing technology in the Philippines. One
of the more known laws to be passed by her administration was the R.A. 9367 or the "Biofuels"
act. This act promotes the development and usage of biofuels throughout the country. This
potentially enables a cheaper alternative to gasoline as a medium in producing energy. Also, this
benefits the environment since it boasts a cleaner emission compared to regular fuel. Yet,
setbacks such as lack of raw materials is holding the full implementation of the laws since
importing the necessary materials are imported more.[5] On one had, drought-free rice was also
highly encouraged to by used during her term. This enables farmers to produce rice despite the
environmental hazards that slows or stops the production.[3]

In an effort to improve the efficiency of both land and water, the government imposes Republic
Act 10601 which improves the Agriculture and Fisheries Sector through Mechanization
(AFMech). RA 10601 covers research, development, and extension (RDE), promotion,
distribution, supply, assembling, manufacturing, regulation, use, operation, maintenance and
project implementation of agricultural and fisheries machinery and equipment (Section 4).[38]

In 2014, President Aquino conferred four new National Scientist for their contribution in the
Scientific field,[39] Academicians Gavino C. Trono, Angel C. Alcala, Ramon C. Barba, and
Edgardo D. Gomez was honored in their respective fields. Trono's contribution helped a lot of
families in the coastal populations through the extensives studies he made on seaweed species.
On the other hand, Alcala served as the pioneer scientist and advocate of coral reefs aside from
his contribution in the fields of systematics, secology and herpetology. Barba's contribution
changes the seasonal supply of fresh fruits to an all year round availability of mangoes through
his studies on the induction of flowering of mango and micropropagation of important crop
species. Lastly, Gomez steered the national-scale assessment of damage coral reefs which led a
national conservation.