Science, Technology, and Engineering Agenda for the Masses Philippines or STEAM Ph, an alliance that aims to advance the demands and calls of the S&T sector, decries the failure of the Marcos Jr administration to understand the relevance of science and technology with the meagre support being given to the critical functions that address the problem of climate crisis, instead it appropriate big funds on controversial, questionable and dangerous projects. 

AGHAM’s Secretary General Jona Yang and lead convenor of STEAM Ph says, “The Marcos administration’s priority budget poses more threats as they continue the anti-people and anti-environmental protection that Duterte regime and other government have started while there are meaningful programs that were slashed with funds  such the modernization program of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).”

PAGASA’s modernization program could have better equipped the agency in their weather and flood monitoring and warning system as well as their agro-meteorological observation system for agriculture. UP Professor and Engineer Joshua Agar emphasizes, “We need to invest in updated climate models as well as weather sensor systems. And we have seen its urgency with our recent experience with Typhoon Karding that requires a better sea-surface temperature model in anticipation of rapid intensification. We must also develop our agrometeorology to be able to sync climate change in our crop production.” 

“Instead of funding programs and infrastructures for our climate adaptation, we are wary that funds are wasted on destructive projects in the guise of protecting the environment,” Jerwin Baure, AGHAM’s fishery expert says. “The Manila Bay Rehabilitation Plan still includes the replenishment of dolomite that affects the natural ecosystems of the Bay. The dolomite material will increase water pollution with the presence of suspended solids that impact marine organisms. There are also reclamation activities in Manila Bay that have already displaced many communities and led to tha massive cutting of mangroves such as the Aerotropolis project in Bulacan. ”

Another environmental program to be prioritized as climate-related expenditure in 2023 is the National Greening Program (NGP). While in principle the aims of the NGP will address both environmental and socio-economic problems in the country, poor planning, organization and implementation led to deficiencies in achieving the program’s targets. 

Jay Fidelino, a field biologist says, “despite contemporary restoration practices recommending the use of native species, a larger diversity of species, and varied germplasm sources, current NGP practices have compromised quality and diversity of seedlings and well-known best-practice planting standards in favor of meeting quantitative planting targets. For example, exotic and invasive species are still commonly planted in protection zones where they can outcompete native and endemic trees, while in mangrove plantings, there is no attention to well-established species zonation (von Kleist et al., 2021).” [1]

Funding the program without appropriate adjustments to governance, management, and implementation will only further open the NGP up to corruption and bad practices, reducing its impact or even potentially compromising biodiversity and climate mitigation, the very thing it aims to enhance and protect. 

“The development of our local science and technology has been far from the minds of the government,” says Darrien Russele Angeles, a teacher. “We have seen the trend of declining government support on research and development since 2010 up to the present. And those that need to be funded are being left on the back burner.” [2 and 3]

“Historical typhoon disasters in the country must serve as a strong basis for the present administration to prioritize research and development  as we must not lose sight of the reality of climate change. The present government must look back from our previous experience that more communities become vulnerable to climate crises with the intensifying occurrence of extreme weather events. It is at this point that the President must acknowledge the importance and urgency of supporting the country’s research and development in confronting the impact of climate change, hence protecting the country and the Filipino people,” ends Yang. 


[1] Von Kleist, Kurt, et al. “How improved governance can help achieve the biodiversity conservation goals of the Philippine National Greening Program.” Land Use Policy 104 (2021): 104312.

[2]  DOST. (nd). DBM Approved Budgets.

[3] The Lasallian. (October 9, 2019). Scrutinizing the lower 2020 budget allocation for DOST.


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