Gov’t disregards importance of scientific research

Amid a novel coronavirus disease pandemic health crisis where scientific solutions are key, disregard for the importance of scientific research is common among government officials.

Recently, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told the Octa Research team, an independent body composed mainly of University of the Philippines faculty and alumni, to desist from making public its findings and COVID-19 quarantine recommendations.

Environment Undersecretary Benny Antiporda famously called UP marine scientists “bayaran” or (paid hacks)—for which he has since apologized—for their comments on the dolomite “beach nourishment” project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Manila Bay.

A year ago, in the middle of a budget hearing, Senator Cynthia Villar chided the Department of Agriculture for being “obsessed” with research and asked why most of its proposed appropriation was for research.

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