The Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives conducted a public hearing to revisit Republic Act No. 6959, otherwise known as “An Act Establishing Provincial Centers for Science and Technology in all Provinces of the Philippines and Appropriating Funds Therefore” at the Dapitan City Hall in Zamboanga del Norte on March 15-16, 2018.
Three (3) house bills were discussed during the said hearing, all of which are aimed at upgrading the Seventy-Nine (79) Provincial S&T Centers in the country from centers into full-pledged offices, namely: House Bill No. 1205, otherwise known as “An Act Upgrading the Position of the Provincial Science and Technology Officer into Provincial Science and Technology Director in the Department of Science and Technology and Amending Republic Act 6959, Appropriating Funds Therefore, and for Other Purposes”; House Bill No. 7011, otherwise known as “An Act Converting the Provincial Science and Technology Center into Provincial Science and Technology Office in every Province and Appropriating Funds Therefore”; and House Bill No. 7058, otherwise known as “An Act Strengthening the Provincial Science and Technology Centers of the Department of Science and Technology amending Republic Act 6959, Appropriating Funds Therefore, and for Other Purposes”
These three bills were harmonized to come up with a more comprehensive version to upgrade and strengthen the PSTCs, specifically elevating the center into an office with a Provincial Director as its head and employing sufficient human resource complements. The committee manifested their strong support to the immediate passage of the harmonized bill.
The hearing was led by the Committee on Science and Technology, headed by Rep. Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado together with Rep. Allen Jesse C. Mangaoang, Rep. Seth Frederick P. Jalosjos, Rep. Divina Grace C. Yu, Rep. Carlito S. Marquez, and Rep. Arlene Arcillas. Also present during the hearing was Dapitan City Mayor, Hon. Rosalina G. Jalosjos. The DOST Undersecretary for Regional Operations, Usec. Brenda L. Nazareth-Manzano served as one of the resource persons who presented existing measures in strengthening the PSTCs. Ms. Jennifer A. Pidor, a Senior Science Research Specialist, designated as Provincial S&T Director of PSTC Zamboanga Sibugay, presented the accomplishments of the DOST-IX PSTCs and the challenges they face in promoting and implementing the Department’s programs and services in the region.
Also in attendance at the public hearing were DOST-IX Regional Director Martin A. Wee; Assistant Regional Director for Finance, Administrative Support and Technical Services – Ms. Rosemarie S. Salazar; Assistant Regional Directors for Field Operations Services – Engr. Mahmud L. Kingking, and the designated Provincial S&T Directors of DOST-IX, DOST-X, DOST-XI, and DOST-CARAGA.