Labor leader and presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman said that he would invest in research and development if he wins the presidency to help the Philippines develop its own vaccines and medicines.
He made the remark after being asked during the PreSIYENSIYAbles interview hosted by SEDS Philippines.
“Oo kasi nakakaawa tayo. Mag a-antay tayo nang napakatagal na panahon para makakuha lang ng vaccine. Tapusin lang muna ‘yung ibang bansa at ‘pag may natira, saka lang tayo bibigyan.”
De Guzman explained that the money set to be invested in research and development would help finance the machinery required to create local medicinal products. With that, the Philippines would no longer depend on imported products from other countries.
He also promised to increase the annual budget of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to aid in developing local tools and systems that would help improve food production and manufacturing systems.
The DOST’s 2022 budget was reduced — from P25.188 billion in 2021 to only P24.338 billion in 2022.
“‘Yang budget na ‘yan ay larawan ng walang pagpapahalaga sa pag-develop ng science and technology sa ating bansa. Dahil ang katwiran nila, lahat naman ng ating pangangailangan ay ini-import na. Bakit pa tayo magpapaunlad niyan? Parang token ang halaga ng budget na inilalagay,” he said.
“Kinakailangan ‘yang itaas na equal sa halaga na tutumbas doon sa plano na pagpapaunlad sa paglikha ng pagkain, pagpapaunlad sa pagbubukas ng ating sariling industriya,” he added. Ronald Espartinez