VIA THE iNTERNET, May 20, 2004  By Framelia V. Anonas <fram@dost.gov.ph>  -  In a landmark move, the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development (PCASTRD) and the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) forged partnership to plan the course of advanced S&T sector in the country for the next 16 years.

“Looking into the future of the country’s advanced S&T sector involves scanning the future environment and making decisions in the present,” says Dr. Ida Dalmacio, PCASTRD executive director. “With such a serious task, the Council needs professional assistance of the utmost degree of reliability such as that of the AIM.”

In the accord, AIM, through its Policy Center and Center for Development Management (CDM), will conduct research studies and forums essential in the preparation of PCASTRD’s strategic plans. PCASTRD also tapped the services of the Center for Conscious Living Foundation, Inc. (CCLF), a non-profit foundation dedicated to the development and delivery of tools and services for personal and organizational learning and change, to assist in the formulation of the strategic plans.

Meanwhile, DOST Secretary Estrella Alabastro is optimistic on the results of the initiative, saying that “it will hopefully pave the way for the formulation of more realistic and comprehensive plans and programs that will effectively address the challenges and opportunities of S&T in the country.” She likewise stressed that the outcome will not only be beneficial to PCASTRD but to other DOST agencies and S&T institutions as well.

Crucial in the preparation of the strategic plan is assessing and anticipating the business and technical environment, as well as the political and social issues in the national and global scenes, alongside the advanced science and technology sector. This sector includes fields such as biotechnology, ICT, materials science, photonics technology, electronics technology, and space technology applications.

In a recent forum organized by the three institutions which intended to scan the environment, participants identified the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats surrounding the advanced S&T sector in the country. Key personalities in the academe, business, industry, and scientific community participated in the said forum, among them former DOST Secretaries Ceferino Follosco and William Padolina, and former Commission on Higher Education chief Ester Garcia, who served as the first deputy executive director of the Council several years back.

To initiate discussions, Dr. Federico Macaranas, dean of AIM’s Policy Center and CDM, presented several domestic and global issues affecting Philippine S&T, as well as the Philippine’s S&T performance alongside its Asian neighbors.

Outputs of the forum were presented in a separate venue to PCASTRD officials and staff by the CCLF team led by Dr. Serafin Talisayon. CCLF also presented studies and other information relevant to the Council’s preparation for its strategic planning.

Taking into account the outputs of said relevant studies and forums, PCASTRD officials and staff, including other stakeholders such as its technical panels, will craft the direction of the advanced S&T sector for the next 5-16 years in its strategic planning and consultation sessions to be held in May under the guidance of CCLF. (Framelia V. Anonas)

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Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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