Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles has filed a resolution seeking to provide annual appropriations in the government’s budget for the training of Filipino scientists and experts abroad.
Nograles, a vice chairperson of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, recently filed House Resolution No. 1380, a Resolution Urging the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education to Advocate the Training of More Filipino Scientists and Experts Abroad through Annual Appropriations for this Purpose, and stressed that “we need to provide our scientists and experts with opportunities to learn from the best across the world, and for them to apply what they have learned in our own setting.”
“It is in the government’s interest to send our best and brightest where they can maximize their learning, whether here or abroad.”
“Many other countries, and even our ASEAN neighbors, have benefitted from this kind of setup. If we do not act, we will be left behind.”
Nograles, a Harvard-trained lawyer, said experts could benefit not only from the theoretical knowledge they could acquire, but also from being exposed to other cultures and being able to view events in the country from a distance.
“Distance provides proper perspective. Sometimes when we are too close or too immersed in what we love we fail to see how we may improve,” the neophyte lawmaker added.
The resolution cited data from the Commission on Higher Education that reveals that there are only around 16,000 Filipino students studying abroad.
While the number of Filipinos studying abroad had doubled in the last ten years, the resolution argued, other countries from Southeast Asia are sending more than triple the Philippines’ number of students for foreign studies. Vietnam, for example, had more than 60,000 students abroad in 2016.
The resolution stated that the country currently lacks a coherent strategy on sending Filipinos abroad for further training, or even a government-led funding effort to match the level of outbound students to that of leading ASEAN counterparts.
It added that the country should not rely on foreign and private assistance to fund the training of Filipino experts; rather, the government should lead the way in funding its own citizens.
While the number of Filipinos studying abroad had doubled in the last ten years, the resolution argued, other countries from Southeast Asia are sending more than triple the Philippines’ number of students for foreign studies.
The resolution also said that the country’s return service structures must be streamlined, and rules and regulations on the implementation must be made progressive, to ensure that the Philippines benefits from investing in its people.
“This is not a knock on our local learning institutions, because I believe that our schools are competitive and can go toe-to-toe with the rest of the world. However, it is in the government’s interest to send our best and brightest where they can maximize their learning, whether here or abroad,” said Nograles.
“I hope that my colleagues will support this call for more funding for foreign scholarship, and for research in general,” Nograles added.