Bicol may get PH’s 1st ‘science for change’ facility

LEGAZPI CITY – This city may be the site of the first-ever “science for change” facility in the country. A P115-million allocation for it has been included in the country’s 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

Albay Second District Rep. Joey Salceda told media here the “Bicol Science For Chance” (S4C) facility will be a regional research and development (R&D) center that will support science, technology and innovation (STI) ecosystems and foresight thinking in the region.

To date, Salceda said there is no existing regional center that is dedicated to STI. “Talent retention and knowledge exchange remain a challenge in the Bicol Region,” he said, adding that this motivated him to push the setting up here of the facility.

He said the S4C will serve as a catalyst in the harmonization of the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) R&D agenda to the Bicol regional development plan, and the adoption of locally generated technologies, inventions, and innovations.

“We need to increase research innovations and productivity, adopt technologies, develop the culture of STI, and strengthen partnership and innovation linkages,” Salceda stressed.

A noted and respected economist, Salceda said there is a need to continually promote local health research projects, and provide more opportunities to scientists/researchers. He lamented that at present, the STI ecosystem and regional research, development and innovation are fragmented, resulting in overlapping R&D coverage.

“The absence of a viable showroom where to exhibit all R&D and STI initiatives in Bicol will be responded to by this science for change facility,” he added.

Salceda said the facility, once fully functional, is expected to  benefit medium, small, and micro-enterprises (MSMEs), researchers, higher educational institutions, students, and other public and private stakeholders.