20 March 2020

Servant Leaders. DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, S&T Services Usec. Renato Solidum, Jr., DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo, and DOST-SEI Deputy Director Albert Mariño encourage graduating science scholars to lead in serving the public at the 2020 Exit Conference for NCR-based scholars. Photo courtesy of Mr. Teddy Amante. 

“When you signed up for the DOST Scholarship Program, you know that there is a patriotic reason behind it,” said Science Chief Fortunato de la Peña.

This message was addressed to more than 800 Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholars who attended the 2020 Exit Conference for DOST-SEI NCR Scholars held on February 21, 2020 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. 

The event, now on its third year of implementation, is organized to keep graduating scholars in the loop of their scholarship obligation.

“The main rationale is, of course, to produce more science and technology professionals to help us meet the demands of the country and the world. But beyond that, we envision you to become instrumental figures in nation building,” de la Peña added.

The DOST has been providing science and technology scholarships, through the DOST-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), to increase S&T workforce in the country. 

After a refresher on the terms of scholarship agreement, scholars were given the opportunity to ask questions, especially on service obligation which requires scholars to render service equivalent to the length of time the scholar enjoyed the scholarship. 

Top DOST officials including Sec. de la Peña, S&T Services Usec. Renato Solidum, Jr., DOST-SEI Director Josette Biyo and Deputy Director Albert Mariño joined the Q&A session to further enlighten scholars on their responsibilities.

The Exit Conference also served as venue to provide scholars with information about the DOST-SEI graduate scholarship programs.

“Looking for jobs is always a rational choice. But you can also continue nurturing your capabilities by studying some more,” said Usec. Solidum in his inspirational message.

DOST-SEI offers local graduate scholarships such as the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development Program (ASTHRDP) for those who want to take their master’s or doctoral degrees in priority S&T areas; the Capacity Building Program in Science and Mathematics Education (CBPSME) for students pursuing graduate degrees in science and mathematics education; and the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) for graduate students in various fields of engineering.

The Institute has also partnered with international organizations and academic institutions to provide foreign graduate scholarships to qualified Filipino scientists and engineers. 

The whole-day exit conference likewise featured talks by notable guest speakers from both government and private sectors, and successful graduate scholars. Mr. Reggie Obos, former scholar and now Senior IT Manager at Procter & Gamble Philippines and Ms. Hilda Gaurino, Chief of the Human Resource Management Division at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), shared career tips to help scholars start their S&T careers.

“We hope to continue doing the Exit Conference as part of our commitment to our scholars,” Dr. Biyo said. Other DOST regional offices have started conducting similar event for DOST scholars in the regions. (30)