Joey Sarte Salceda

S4CP seen to boost PH economic growth

February 8, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 249 views

TO strengthen industry sector and boost the country’s economic growth, the House committee on ways and means has convened with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last Monday to support the industry sector through the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) Science for Change Program (S4CP) by maximizing the investment potentials of foreign and local investors in the Philippines.

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda said S4CP outlines how our R&D investment will help improve every facet of the economy and our society. The transformative power of scientific development enables a country to flourish despite barriers like a health crisis by funding the research and development (R&D) capabilities of private companies, most specially the Micro-Small-Medium-Enterprises (MSME).

During the hearing, the DTI presented the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP) which outlines the consolidated list of industries that are eligible for tax incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprise (CREATE) Act.

DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba mentioned that the SIPP plays an important role as catalyst and engine for industrial development and national industrial revolution to transform and upgrade industries and produce more diversified and sophisticated products.

It is aligned to DTI’s New Industrial Policy (i3S) which is focused on innovation and S&T focused strategy for the development of globally competitive and innovative industries.

Undersecretary Aldaba stated that identifying the SIPP and its activities have undergone rigorous assessment that enable them to identify industries with existing and latent comparative advantage and to leverage this by providing incentives that are performed-based, targeted, transparent and time-bound.

In her presentation, Undersecretary Aldaba also stated that one of the activities that will qualify for incentives is the commercialization of R&D investments through DOST’s Science for Change Program (S4CP).

In a separate statement, DoST Undersecretary for R&D Rowena Cristina L. Guevara expressed appreciation for the support of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and the DTI in the S4CP.

“The hearing highlighted the advantages of the whole-of-government-approach, as it brought together the diverse roles of the DTI and DOST in supporting industry. The HOR in turn, ensures that these efforts are strengthened and sustained through legislation of needed policies that enable innovation and help industry to adapt and flourish,” Guevarra said.

The S4CP is one of the banner programs of the DoST initiated in 2016 to catalyze inclusive innovation and development across the 17 regions of the country. It has four (4) components programs that capitalize on increasing R&D investment, continued capacity in science and technology and improving industry competitiveness: 1) Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER); 2) Collaborative R&D to Leverage the Philippine Economy (CRADLE); 3) R&D Leadership (RDLead); and 4) Business Innovation through S&T (BIST) for Industry. These endeavors provide an enabling platform for government, academe, and industry collaboration to engage in R&D to foster inclusive innovation and sustain industrialization in pursuit of socio-economic development.

The S4CP portfolio shows that NICER and CRADLE have made significant progress in distributing R&D funds among the regions. There are now 42 NICERs established in 17 regions with funding totaling to PhP2.94 Billion while CRADLE has provided PhP339.5 Million for 76 industry-academe collaborations. The BIST has 4 approved projects for a total financial assistance of PhP43.3M. The RDLead has engaged 65 local experts and capacitated 46 institutions with PhP59.91Million grants awarded.

This effort for inclusive innovation must be sustained and this could be done through the institutionalization of the Program. The pending S4CP bill in the Senate once passed, will secure the grant of more funds for R&D and ensure the sustainability and provide more opportunities for academic institutions and private companies to be globally competitive.

To know more about the S4CP, you may contact the DOST-Science for Change Project Management Office at 2/F ADMATEL Bldg., DOST Compound, Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig City, with telephone numbers (02) 8837-2943/ 8837-2930. You may also send an email to s4c.ousecrd@dost.gov.ph. or view their website at www.s4cp.dost.gov.ph.

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