ARROYO STEERED DoST TO ITS 'GOLDEN AGE'; WAITING FOR NEW CHIEF UNDER P-NOY

[PHOTO AT LEFT - OUTGOING DOST CHIEF ESTRELLA ALABASTRO In her last media briefing as Department of Science and Technology (DoST) secretary, Alabastro said the science and technology (or S&T) industry “never had it so good” during Arroyo’s presidency.]

BICUTAN, TAGUGIG CITY,  JUNE 30, 2010 (YAHOO ASIA NEWS) By Yahoo! Southeast Asia Editors, By Alexander Villafania, loQal.ph  - Science and technology is one area that have shown improvement under the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, according to outgoing department chief Estrella Alabastro.

In her last media briefing as Department of Science and Technology (DoST) secretary, Alabastro said the science and technology (or S&T) industry “never had it so good” during Arroyo’s presidency.

She also echoed an earlier statement by National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) President Emil Javier who said that it was under Arroyo’s administration that saw the “golden age” of the science industry.

Alabastro said the former president helped the science industry in a number of ways, which include pushing for the development of drought-resistant rice, passage of the “Biofuels” law and pushing the transformation of scientific projects into commercial enterprises.

According to her, the outgoing president also encouraged international partnerships that saw the implementation of various research endeavors. “We appreciate the support the president gave to the science community,” according to Alabastro, who was among the first to be appointed by Arroyo in 2001.

The DOST is one of the largest government agencies and gets about P5 billion in budget annually. It is composed of the at least 20 sub-agencies including the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the Philippine institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), and the Philippine Science High School (PSHS).

Alabastro also said a transition report is being prepared for her successor. Incoming president

Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is yet to identify the next DoST chief but Alabastro is hoping that her replacement will be someone who can manage such a huge department.

“He or she will have a big responsibility in her hands. But our team will ensure that he or she will get to know all of the agencies,” she said.

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