DOST honors Salceda with its first-ever HEROES Award for science-based, data-driven policy making

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) will honor this month Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda with its first ever HEROES Award.

HEROES stands for House [of Representatives] Exponents of Responsive and Outstanding Engagement in Science. The award is in recognition of Salceda’s ‘invaluable and untiring efforts in passing important science, technology, and innovation (STI) legislations.”

In a recent letter to the lawmaker, DOST Secretary Fortunato T. De La Peña said the “Department is forever grateful” for Salceda’s significant legislative contributions on STI and their other programs and projects.

Salceda, who chairs of the House Ways and Means Committrr, said  he is “elated and honored by the surprise recognition,” which “is a testament to the legislative work we diligently undertake.”

“Science legislation demands abundant study. I work very hard to make sure my colleagues and the public understand the importance of science-related policies and programs. I am honored by this award, because it recognizes the amount of work we do to promote science-based, data-driven policymaking,” he added.

Salceda principally authored the Philippine Space Agency Act (Republic Act 11363) and other related measures pending in  Congress, among them the Charter of the Virology Institute of the Philippines (VIP), the creation of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Science for Change Program, the National Policy on Access to Philippine Genetic Resources, the Philippine Nuclear Regulation Commission Charter, the Charter of the Atomic Regulatory Commission, and the establishment of the Philippine Science High School branch in Daraga, Albay.

He also pushes research and development and higher-technology incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act.

In a statement following the announcement of the HEROES Award, Salceda called on Congress to pass DOST-promoted measures such as the Science for Change Program or S4CP and the charter of the VIP.

He also lamented the failure of Congress to speedily support important science and technology legislations that would have helped the country take off in the fields of research and disease control.  

“It’s a shame that we were unable to provide funds for the Virology Institute in the 2022 budget because the Senate failed to approve the VIP’s charter, and the S4CP which was also approved in the Economic Development Cluster of the Cabinet. I am still optimistic   these measures will be approved before Congress adjourns in June,” Salceda said.

“The VIP will help us fight future pandemics, and the S4CP is crucial to rapid and sustained economic growth. Science is always the future. All of our national ambitions depend on science-based governance,” Salceda added.