I took the photo while walking to my office from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) inside the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) compound.
The whole DOST compound was built during the Martial Law in the 70’s. Except for the rusting signs and crumbling pavements or for a few new buildings that were built around the last two decades, the whole place does not show any sign that it has undergone any major changes at all. It has remained essentially the same, mirroring the slow paced movement in research and development initiatives that the country is treading today.
Yeah, there has been some major discoveries in drugs and other important stuff for life that the agency can be proud of, but in a few months of working here, I felt like we haven’t really leaped that far since time immemorial.
While some countries are now hopping between stem cell and renewable energy researches, our country is still fortifying food products to solve the malnutrition in poorest places in the country. I am not complaining about our scientists, for if there is anything I could be proud of about our country, it would be our exceptionally intelligent and innovative scientists. What I feel bad about is our policy-makers’ seeming ignorance to the potential of research and development. Just the last week, websites of major government agencies were hacked by Chinese hackers. The media looked for the right agency to find solution to the problem, only to find out that the central agency governing IT and computer technology in the country has just been recently dissolved by the President. Similar things happened with Councils that coordinate researches on Forestry and Agriculture.