17 June 2018

What support to scientists is he talking about? We view his pronouncements as empty at best as the Duterte regime is not taking real efforts in the protection and study of such important corals reef systems as in the West Philippine Sea and Philippine Rise.

The dredging of reefs and poaching of endangered species in the West Philippine Sea are still continuing, yet they cannot even stop the Chinese’ environmental violations and demand reparations for the destruction of our marine ecosystems.

The scientific and diplomatic proposal to set up a Marine Peace Park in West PH Sea simply fell on deaf ears under Duterte. A puppet regime through and through!

Governments, present and past, have neglected support for environmental protection research. Data from the Department of Science and Technology show that the Philippine government currently spends only 0.11 percent of our GDP on scientific research and development (R&D), a far cry from the global standard for developing countries to allocate an equivalent of one percent of their GDP to R&D.

Unsurprisingly, we are laggards in asserting our claims in the Philippine Rise as proving our claim would entail geological surveys. The Chinese beat us in naming features in that area.

Only P537.78 million of the P4.73 billion or just 11 percent of total public R&D expenditures was allocated for researches focused on the ‘control and care of the environment’ in 2013.

Private industry spending for environment-related R&D was even smaller at just 1 percent of total private spending. This is all empty talk.

It’s been long overdue for this government to shift more funding for environmental research and protection instead of using people’s funds to finance environmentally-destructive projects under the Build-Build-Build scheme.#