NRCP appeals for more funding, personnel to boost country’s basic research

By Aerol B. Patena

MANILA, Jan 18 (PNA) — The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) is calling for additional manpower and funding as part of its mandate to strengthen the basic research system in the country.

NRCP executive director Carina Galvez Lao stated in an interview with the Philippine News Agency that the council’s resources must be boosted for them to further support researchers in crafting innovative solutions that will address the country’s pressing issues such as disaster mitigation, poverty alleviation and climate change.

“We address the growing demand for knowledge, innovation and skills and share expertise with various sectors of society,” Lao said.

A collegial body of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the NRCP serves as a repository of research works such as thesis reports, journals and dissertations from students, professors, scientists, medical professionals, etc. The institute reviews and publishes them on scientific journals and also coordinates with media organizations to build public awareness.

It also provides research and dissertation grants, gives financial assistance to PhD/M.S. students, and organizes seminars, workshop, symposia and outreach programs. Furthermore, the council establishes linkages with local and international scientific organizations for enhanced cooperation in the development and sharing of scientific information.

The NRCP has divisions covering various fields such as education, health sciences, earth sciences, engineering, agriculture and forestry, among others.

The executive director related that the NRCP seems to be understaffed amid the increasing number of research works that they need to review.

Lao disclosed that the NRCP secretariat has 35 members which are assigned into 3 divisions namely research and development management; research information and dissemination and finance and administration.

“Our personnel are stretched too thin amidst our increasing workload as some of us resort to multitasking. We are appealing for additional personnel,” according to her.

The NRCP is also asking for additional funding as researchers are requesting for further assistance and grants.

“We need to boost our support for researchers for them to be motivated on thinking innovations that would help boost the competitiveness of our country,” she said.

Nevertheless, the director is elated that her staff is dedicated to their work and she feels fulfilled on serving the public.

The director organizes team building events and sports festivals to motivate its workforce and foster camaraderie. “Our staff needs to be physically fit and have a balanced lifestyle for them to work efficiently and effectively.”

Lao advises future researchers to align their work on the priorities of the government.

“Researchers must think thoroughly on submitting their proposals. Their work must focus on effectively addressing the problems of the country such as alleviating poverty and mitigating the impact of climate change. Most of all, they must be honest on their outputs.”

Dr. Lao was appointed as NRCP Executive Director last December 16, 2013. Before joining the council, she worked as Assistant Weather Services Chief at the DOST –Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Atmospheric Services Administration (PAGASA) for 39 years

She recently had been to China, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, and the USA to participate in various workshops, forums, and symposia on multi-hazard mitigation, typhoon behavior, strengthening meteorological services among others. (PNA)