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History of S&T in the Phils

S&T in the Philippines
represents the wide scientific and technological
advances the Philippines has made.
The main managing agency responsible is the
Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The science department has consulting agencies for
Forestry, Agriculture and Aquaculture, Metal Industry,
Nuclear Research, Food and Nutrition, Health,
Meteorological and the Volcanology and Seismology.
National Scientists
who have made notable contributions in
different scientific fields:
Fe del Mundo - Pediatrics
Eduardo Quisumbing - Plant Taxonomy
Gavin Trono - tropical marine Phycology
Maria Orosa - Food Technology
Archeological findings show that modern
man from Asian mainland first came over
land on across narrow channels to live in
Batangas and Palawan about 48,000 B.C.
Subsequently they formed settlement in Sulu,
Davao, Zamboanga, Samar, Negros,
Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan and
They made simple tools and weapons of stone flakes and later
developed method of sawing and polishing stones around 40,000 B.C.
By around 3,000 B.C. they were producing adzes ornaments of
seashells and pottery.
Pottery flourished for the next 2,000 years until they imported Chinese
porcelain. What has survived of this ancient technology is the present
manufacture of the ordinary cooking pot among several local
Soon they learned to produce copper, bronze, iron, and gold metal
tools and ornaments.
Iron Age
The Iron Age lasted from the third century
B.C. to 11th century A.D.
During this period Filipinos were engaged in
the extraction smelting and refining of iron
from ores until the importation of cast iron
from Sarawak and later from China.
They learned to weave cotton, make glass ornaments, and
cultivate lowland rice and diked fields of terraced fields
utilizing spring water in mountain regions.
They also learned to build boats for trading purposes.
Spanish chronicles noted refined plank built warships called
caracoa suited for inter-island trade raids.
The Spaniards later utilized Filipino expertise in boat-building
and seamanship to fight the raiding Dutch, Portuguese,
Muslims and the Chinese pirate Limahong as well as to build
and man the galleons that sailed to Mexico.
century A.D.
Filipinos from the Butuan were trading with
Champa (Vietnam) and those from Ma-I
(Mindoro) with China as noted in Chinese records
containing several references to the Philippines.
These archaeological findings indicated that
regular trade relations between the Philippines,
China and Vietnam had been well established
from the 10th century to the 15th century A.D.
The people of Ma-I and San-Hsu (Palawan)
traded bee wax, cotton, pearls, coconut heart
mats, tortoise shell and medicinal betelnuts,
yu-ta cloth (probably jute or ramie?) for
Chinese porcelain, leads fishnets sinker,
colored glass beads, iron pots, iron needles
and tin.
Before the Spaniards
Filipinos were already engage in activities and practices related
to science forming primitive or first wave technology. They were
curative values of some plant on how to extract medicine from
They had an alphabet, a system of writing, a method of
counting and weights and measure.
They had no calendar but counted the years by the period of the
moon and from one harvest to another.
The Banaue Rice Terraces are among the sophisticated products
of engineering by pre-Spanish era Filipinos.
Spanish Colonial Period
contributed to growth of science and technology in the country.
The Spanish introduced formal education and founded scientific
Early years of Spanish rule, Parish schools were established where
religion, reading, writing, arithmetic and music were taught.
Sanitation and more advanced methods of agriculture were
taught to the natives.
Colleges and universities in the archipelago including the
University of Sto. Tomas were established.
Study of medicine was given priority in the Spanish era,
especially in the later years.
The Spanish also contributed to the field of engineering
by constructing government buildings, churches, roads,
bridges and forts.
Biology is given focus.
Contributors to science in the archipelago during the 19th
century were botanists, Fr. Ignacio Mercado., Dr. Trinidad
Pardo de Tavera and Dr. Leon Ma Guerrero, chemist
Anaclento del Rosario, and medicine scholars Dr. Manuel
Guerrero, Dr, Jose Montes and Dr. Elrodario Mercado.
The Galleon Trade have accounted in the Philippine
colonial economy.
Trade was given more focus by the Spaniard colonial
authorities due to the prospects of big profits.
Agriculture and industrial development on the other
hand were relatively neglected.
The opening of the Suez Canal saw the influx of
European visitors to the Spanish colony and some
Filipinos were able to study in Europe influenced by
the rapid development of scientific ideals brought
about by the Age of Enlightenment.
Spanish Regime
Later part of the 16 Century
Development of schools
Colegio de San Ildefonso-Cebu-1595
Colegio de San Ignacio-Manila-1595
Colegio De Nuestra Senora del RosarioManila-1597
Colegio De San Jose-Manila-1601
Spanish Regime
Development of Hospitals
San Juan Lazaro Hospital - the oldest in the Far East was
founded in 1578.
•17 and 18 Century•
Successive shipwrecks of and attacks of pirates on the galleons
led to declining profits from the trade that led to economic
depression in Manila during the later part of the 17 century.
Spanish Regime
The Real Sociedad Economica de los Amigos Del
Pais de Filipinas founded by Governador Jose Basco
y Vargas in 1780 encouraged research in agriculture
and industry. The society promoted cultivation of
indigo, cotton, cinnamon, and silk industry.
In 1789 Manila was opened to Asian shipping,
inaugurating an era of increase in export of rice,
hemp, tobacco, sugar, and indigo, and imports of
manufacturing goods.
Spanish Regime
The 19 Century
In 1863 the colonial authorities issued a royal
degree to reform the existing educational
In 1871 the school of medicine and pharmacy
were opened in UST. After 15 years it granted
the degree of Licenciado en Medicina to 62
Spanish Regime
The licentiate degree equivalent to a Master degree was
granted Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy to its 1 six
graduates who included Leon Ma. Guerrero
considered was the father of Philippine Pharmacy due to
his works on Medicinal Plants of the Philippines.
There were no school for engineering but they offered
nautical four year course for pilot of merchant marine
that includes the subjects: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry,
Trigonometry, Physics, Hydrography, Meteorology,
Navigation and Pilotage.
Spanish Regime
Higher education was generally viewed with suspicion as
encouraging rebellion among native Filipinos and thus only
few daring students were able to undertake higher studies.
The expanded world trade and commerce in the later part
of the 19 century led to the rapid development of Manila
as cosmopolitan center.
Modern amenities such as steam tramways, waterworks,
newspaper, electric lights, banking system were introduce
in 19 century.
Spanish Regime
Jesuits promoted meteorological studies
founding Manila observatory at the Ateneo
Municipal de Manila in 1865.
American Period and
Post-Commonwealth Era
The progress of S&T in the Philippines continued under the American rule.
On July 1, 1901 The Philippine Commission established the Bureau of
Government Laboratories which was placed under the Department of
Interior. The Bureau replaced the Laboratorio Municipal, which was
established under the Spanish colonial era. The Bureau dealt with the
study of tropical diseases and laboratory projects.
On October 26, 1905, the Bureau of Government Laboratories was replaced
by the Bureau of Science.
On December 8, 1933, the National Research Council of the Philippines
was established. The Bureau of Science became the primary research
center of the Philippines until World War II.
Science, during the American period, was
inclined towards agriculture, food
processing, forestry, medicine and pharmacy.
Not much focus was given on the
development of industrial technology due to
free trade policy with the United States which
nurtured an economy geared towards
agriculture and trade.
In 1946, the Bureau of Science was replaced by the
Institute of Science.
In a report by the US Economic Survey to the
Philippines in 1950, there is a lack of basic
information which were necessities to the country's
industries, lack of support of experimental work and
minimal budget for scientific research and low
salaries of scientists employed by the government.
In 1958, under President Carlos P. Garcia, the
Philippine Congress passed the Science Act of 1958
which established the National Science Development
Marcos Era and Martial Law
the importance given to science grew.
In the amended 1973 Philippine Constitution,
Article XV, Section 9 (1), he declared that the
"advancement of science and technology shall
have priority in the national development.”
In his two terms of presidency and during
Martial Law, he enacted many laws promoting
Notable S&T Accomplishments of
the Marcos Regime
the Department of Education was directed to revitalize science courses in
public high schools.
additional funds were channeled to support projects in applied sciences
and science education.
a big part of the war damage fund was given to private universities to
encourage them to create courses in science and technology and research.
upgrade of the science curricula and teaching equipment.
establishment of research and development schools, technical institutes,
science education centers, and agricultural colleges and vocational high
creation of the National Grains Authority
establishment of the Philippine Council for
Agricultural Research to support the progressive
development of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries
promotion of scientific research and invention
establishment of the Philippine Atmospheric
Geophysical and Astronomical Services
Administration (PAGASA) under the Department
of National Defense.
creation of the Philippine National Oil Company
establishment of the National Academy of Science and
Technology composed of scientists as a reservoir of
scientific and technological expertise for the country.
creation of a Task Force on the formulation of a
national action program to assess S&T policies and
invested funds and time in organizations for scientific
research, such as the NSDB, the Philippine Council for
Agricultural Research and Resources, the Plant
Breeding Institute, the International Rice Research
Institute, the Bureau of Plant Industry, and the Bureau
of Forest Products.
instituted the Health Sciences Center
creation of the National Committee on Geological Sciences
reorganization of the National Science Development Board and
its agencies into a National Science and Technology Authority
granting of salary increases to teachers in the Philippine
Science High School
enactment of a law for the completion of the National
Agriculture and Life Sciences Research Complex at the
University of the Philippines at Los Baños
establishment of Mindanao and Visayas campuses of the
Philippine Science High School
The Fifth Republic
under President Corazon C. Aquino
The National Science and Technology Authority was replaced
by the Department of Science and Technology, giving S&T a
representation in the cabinet.
Under the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan for the
years 1987-1992, S&T’s role in economic recovery and sustained
economic growth was highlighted.
In the 1990 SONA, Aquino announced that S&T development
shall be one of the top three priorities of the government
towards an economic recovery.
In 1988, Aquino created the Presidential Task Force
for Science and Technology which came up with the
first Science and Technology Master Plan or STMP.
The goal of STMP was for the Philippines to achieve
newly industrialized country status by the year 2000.
Aquino encouraged scientists and inventors to bring
the Philippines to its former position as second to
Japan in the field of S&T.
Aquino encouraged the private research sector to
form a stronger bond with public research to help
jump-start the progress in the area of Philippine
Research and Development.
Free Public Secondary Education Act of 1988,
Science for the Masses Program
Funding for the S&T sector was tripled
The Science and Technology Master Plan was
A Research and Development Plan was also
Under Pres. Fidel V. Ramos
significant increase in personnel specializing in the
S&T field.
3,500 scholarships were given to students taking up
S&T-related courses - Science and Technology
Scholarship Law of 1994
modernization and update of science classrooms.
Health care services were promoted through local
programs - "Doctors to the Barrio Program.”
Magna Carta for Science and Technology
National Program for Gifted Filipino Children
in Science and Technology
Science and Technology Agenda for National
Development (STAND)
Inventors and Inventions Incentives Act
The Intellectual Property Code of the
Under Pres. Joseph Estrada
Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 (Republic Act
No. 8749 ) - to protect and preserve the
environment and ensure the sustainable
development of the country’s natural resources
Electronic Commerce Act of 2000 (Republic Act
No. 8792) which outlaws computer hacking and
provides opportunities for new businesses
emerging from the Internet-driven New Economy
launch of a full-scale program based on costeffective irrigation technologies
Basic health care, basic nutrition, and useful
Speed up the program for establishing one science
high school in every province
pushed for the advancement of industries and
schools into the Internet age
announcement of the passage of the e-Commerce
Under Pres. Gloria Arroyo
dubbed as the "golden age" of science and technology
Numerous laws and projects concerning the environment
and science helped push STI
The term "Filipinnovation" was coined to promote the
Philippines to be an innovation hub in Asia
strengthening the schools and education system to focus
more in science, technology and mathematics
passage of the Biofuels Act
Under Pres. Benigno Aquino
conferment of 4 new National Scientist for their scientific contribution.
Gavino C. Trono - extensive studies made on seaweed species helped
families in the coastal areas.
Angel C. Alcala - served as the pioneer scientist and advocate of coral
reefs aside from his contribution in the fields of systematics, secology
and herpetology
Ramon C. Barba - all year round availability of mangoes was made
possible through his studies on the induction of flowering of mango
and micropropagation of important crop species.
Edgardo D. Gomez - steered the national-scale assessment of damage
coral reefs which led to a national conservation program.
Philippine S&T Plans
1. Science and Technology Master Plan (STMP)
2. Science and Technology Agenda for National
Development (STAND) 1993-1998
3. DOST Medium-Term Plan (DMTP) 1999-2004
4. National Science & Technology Plan (NSTP)
Science and Technology
Master Plan (STMP)
10-year (1991-2000) plan formulated during the administration of President
represented the first attempt by the government of the Philippines -- in particular,
the DOST-- at comprehensive and long-term planning in S&T.
The Plan correctly diagnosed the problems plaguing Philippine S&T
low investment in R&D
poor S&T education
lack of private sector participation in R&D
inadequate attention to market demand as a basis for R&D and innovation
lack of technology transfer and commercialization.
To address these problems, the STMP proposed
bold measures like
global search of technology
programs to attract expatriate scientists
greater private sector involvement in R&D
closer collaboration among the private
sector, academe and government.
The programs proposed under the STMP
were basically sound.
However, the resources to carry out the
proposed reforms were lacking.
Target appears to have been overly
Science and Technology Agenda for
National Development (STAND)
the medium-term S&T plan (1993-1998)
under President Ramos
employed the strategy of targeting specific
industries as “export winners”
13 “winners” identified for government
support or special treatment
1. computer software
8. marble
2. fashion accessories
9. electronic products
3. marine products
10. garments and textiles
4. fruits (fresh and processed)
11. construction services
5. gifts, toys and housewares
6. furniture
7. metals fabrication
12. professional services
13. ornamental and
horticulture products
STAND may have targeted too many industries,
spreading scarce private and public-sector
resources very thinly.
The identification of industries was not the result
of a scientific, objective method but of rounds of
consultation with industry and sectoral
representatives whose predictable result was to
keep adding to the list of targeted industries.
DOST Medium-Term Plan (DMTP)
The DMTP for 1999-2004 was basically an agency or
departmental plan of DOST.
was more limited in scope than the previous plans.
tried to avoid the temptation to target specific
industries or “pick winners”.
focused on a few “flagship programs”, while at the
same time making sure not to neglect the regular or
recurring programs of DOST.
The DMTP was torn between the need to build the
country’s long-term capability in S&T and the need to
address the short-term problem of poverty alleviation.
The former strategy suggests a focus on building
human resource capability, and in particular the
capacity to do R&D, while the latter strategy makes
do with, or even puts a premium on low-technology,
labor-intensive and livelihood-type programs and
National Science & Technology
Plan 2002-2020 (NSTP 2020)
a long- term indicative plan which defines the direction
of science and technology (S&T) development in the
Philippines for 18 years.
It is the S&T community’s response to the national
leadership’s call for S&T to be the foundation of future
economic development in the country.
The Plan is supportive of the visions and goals stated
in the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan