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Most Filipino Scientists Living and Working Abroad
« on: October 14, 2008, 10:45:47 AM »
The promise of higher salaries and a range of benefits are among the reasons why the country is fast losing its technical experts.

Overseas, scientists are not only accorded competitive salaries and work for big companies, they and their families are also given benefits like scholarships for their children, medical, car and house mortgage, paid vacations and processing of immigration papers, said Department of Science and Technology (Dost) Assistant Secretary Ma. Lourdes Orijola.

"Besides, they are already well-established there," Orijola said.

Professor Norberto Ison, who recently concluded the short-term program at the University of the Philippines (UP)-Baguio, said that side from coming to the Philippines for a vacation, he does not plan of coming back to the Philippines.

His family, friends and his source of living are all in the US, where he teaches in two universities.

Orijola said Australia, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom are among the countries, which offer the better salary packages to Filipino scientists.

Among its several programs, the Dost has instead asked scientists who are now based abroad to avail of short or long-term programs and teach future scientists of the country.

Through its Balik Scientist Program (BSP) incentives are given to grantees. For those awarded the long-term program, the Dost gives a roundtrip economy airfare for the awardee, his/her spouse and two minor dependents, reimbursement of freight expenses, housing and grants-in-aid for research and development projects approved by the DOST secretary.

For the short-term program, roundtrip economy airfare, daily subsistence allowance of US$150 per day for first time grantees and daily subsistence allowance of US$100 for subsequent visits.

The incentive package is separate from the salaries they will receive from host institutions.

The long-term program lasts for at least two years, while the short-term program lasts for a minimum of a month.

Priority programs of the Dost are for those scientists who specialize in alternative energy, biotechnology, information and communications, technology, environment and health and medical products.

The BSP was established in 1975 to encourage overseas Filipino scientists and technicians to return or reside in the country and share their expertise

The other Filipino scientists who availed of the BSP are Dr. Alfonso Alabano (Physics), a professor at Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania; Edsel Maurice Salva (Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine), Cleveland, Ohio and Dr. Leah Tolosa (Chemistry) a research associate professor in Maryland Baltimore County, Dr. Francis delos Reyes III (Environmental Engineering), an associate professor at the North Carolina State University and Dr. Amador Muriel (Theoretical Physics), president and founder of the Data Transport Systems, an IT consultancy firm in New York City. - source: Sun Star Daily

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