DOST seeks budget hike vs disasters



CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Department of Science and Technology is seeking a P10.09-billion budget for 2013, which is 8 percent higher than the P9.248 billion that the agency used this year, to increase government’s ability to reduce the risk of seasonal disasters.

The budget will support the operations and programs of the DOST national office and 16 regional offices as well as 19 attached institutes, councils and units, Undersecretary Carol Yorobe said  after the opening of the South Luzon cluster science and technology (S&T) fair and exhibits here.

At least P1.6 billion has been earmarked for climate change and disaster management research and technological buildup, with the Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) and Phivolcs (Philippine Institute for Volcanology and Seismology) set to receive P1.4 billion and P237 million, respectively, according to Juan Reyes, DOST budget and finance director.

Reyes said the agency’s educational scholarship budget was increased to P1.3 billion.

Yorobe said the budget for technology and product upgrading assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has increased from P400 million to P500 million.

She said the agency is helping 2,800 registered SMEs engaged in food production, metals and engineering, agriculture, aquamarine, information and communication technology, and pharmaceuticals. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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