President Marcos presented himself as a “frustrated scientist” and has made several statements on prioritizing scientific research and development since stepping into office one year ago.
These include the commitment to coordinate research and development (R&D) efforts across agencies to ensure it directly answers the needs of Filipinos, encouraging scientists to stay in the country saying that opportunities will be made available for them, and asking concerned agencies to provide more scholarships to Filipino students.
Despite all these grand pronouncements, research and development have seen no significant improvement. One indicator of this is the steadily declining R&D budget, which accounts for only P17.9 billion or 0.3% of the 2023 national budget. This presents a significant 24.79% decrease from R&D-tagged expenditures in 2021.
Science and technology workers are directly affected by this situation, as exemplified by the prevalence of delayed wages among research assistants in institutions such as the University of the Philippines .