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Presentation on theme: "8 MAJOR CHALLENGES OF RESEARCH MANAGEMENT IN THE PHILIPPINES Fernando A. Bernardo, PhD."— Presentation transcript:


2 8 Major Challenges (cont’d) “What should we do to advance research management for S&T productivity and sustainable development?”

3 8 Major Challenges (cont’d) I have come up with 8 major problems – nay challenges – of research management in the Philippines. We should make sure we all recognize existing problems. Recognition and acceptance of a problem is the first step toward finding possible solutions.

4 Major Problem No 1. Need for research-oriented governance and leaderships of SUCs All SUCs must have a strong mandate to promote research, but in many cases, there are problems in governance and leadership. The governing boards of SUCs, in most cases, are not research-oriented. In most cases, no Board member has a strong background and interest in R&D.

5 Major Problem No. 1 (cont’d) Most presidents of SUCs are not research- oriented. Very few of them have strong background and interest in R&D. Strength in R&D is not a major criterion in selecting SUC presidents. Deans of colleges play a crucial role in instruction, research and extension, yet they tolerate large enrolments, which cause teaching overloads. This robs the faculty of time for R&D.

6 Major Problem No 2. Lack of research culture and tradition of excellence in most SUCs It takes decades to develop a culture of research and tradition of excellence in a college or university – and this requires a strong leadership that ensures the following practices: Adopting a strong and continuing policy of search for truth and pursuit of excellence, which must be ingrained in the minds of university constituents Requiring thesis for most, if not all, undergraduate degree programs

7 Major Problem No. 2 (cont’d) Ensuring low teaching loads so that faculty members could undertake R&D projects Encouraging and supporting weekly seminars for sharing research findings and new information Encouraging and supporting frequent symposia/R&D conferences Inviting visiting professors and scientists to give collegewide/universitywide seminars

8 Major Problem No. 2 (cont’d) Supporting at least one refereed scientific journal Supporting many faculty members to present papers in national/international scientific conferences Recognizing and giving awards for outstanding research outputs and publications of faculty members and students

9 Major Problem No 3. Lack of flagship research program in each college This depends largely on the dean of the college who is responsible for purposeful staff and facilities development, and the direction of growth of the college. This problem may be broken down as follows: Inability to formulate, with the help of a task force, an exciting and relevant major research thrust or flagship research program of the college

10 Major Problem No. 3 (cont’d) Inability to attract R&D support from the government Inability to develop external donor relationship Inability to get the faculty members and students to participate in a large and meaningful research program

11 Major Problem No 4. Challenges in the environment are ignored Let me give only 3 examples: Just next door to UPLB is the Laguna Lake, the largest lake in the country, with hundreds of thousands of fisherfolks, duckraisers, and farmers along the lake shores.

12 Major Problem No. 4 (cont’d) There are many bare hills and mountainsides, or cogonal areas in the country begging for agroforestry in combination with small ruminants (goats and sheeps). The Philippines is endowed with vast marine resources and over 30,000 kilometers of sea coasts, waiting for meaningful R&D programs for development.

13 Major Problem No 5. Need for market- driven R&D with linkage to industries There is a need for SUC-industry R&D collaboration in the development of quality products that command a high price in the market, such as: Biofertilizer and biopesticides Herbal-based medicines and dietary supplements Vaccines for livestock High-value products and by-products of coconut, abaca, rice, corn, sugarcane, fruits, and vegetables Tools and machines to increase efficiency and reduce cost of labor

14 Major Problem No. 5 (cont’d) There is also a need for market-oriented R&D linked to industries in: Textile engineering Furniture making Handicrafts Packaging of high-value products

15 Major Problem No. 6. Lack of integrated R&D approach in area development Agriculture is location-specific. New technologies developed through R&D must fit the environment. SUCs have produced hundreds of agricultural technologies, but there are only a few organized researches on the environment.

16 Major Problem No. 6 (cont’d) Use GIS and remote sensing to determine areas in the country that often suffer from typhoons, floods and drought. Change the schedules of planting and management systems in these areas. More systematic soil fertility tests in each province will determine appropriate fertilizers and amounts needed in different areas.

17 Major Problem No. 6 (cont’d) A package of technologies and agronomic management practices for large areas should be determined. Clearly defined recommendations for each geographic area is more easily disseminated through mass media, and more easily remembered by farmers.

18 Major Problem No. 7. Policy research and advocacy have no impact Three examples are worth mentioning: Philippine government investment on R&D remains low at 0.5% of GDP, yet most of us know that in many developing countries in Asia, R&D investment is greater than 1.0% of GDP. Filipino farmers apply much less fertilizer on rice and corn compared to those in Asian neighbors because fertilizers in the Philippines are much more expensive. Our fertilizer industry remains underdeveloped.

19 Major Problem No. 7 (cont’d) Agricultural extension has been devolved to the municipal governments, which do not have the economies of scale. This devolved extension system is not viable. Agricultural extension should be devolved to provincial levels only, with realistic counterpart funding from national government.

20 Major Problem No. 7 (cont’d) Obviously, there is a need to improve our advocacy procedures and management system to more effectively influence policy decision-makers.

21 Major Problem No. 8. Lack of external program & management review (EPMR) for res. centers Many research institutes are old and have funding problems, perhaps because of these real problems: Lack of dynamism and adjustments to changing times and new challenges No implementation of redundancy program, and retraining and redeployment of staff to new and exciting R&D programs

22 Major Problem No. 8 (cont’d) How could there be S&T productivity and sustainable development if R&D programs and management structures are obsolete and unable to adjust to changing times? SUCs should adopt a policy that requires EPMR of research centers/programs every three years.

23 Concluding remarks Won’t it be better if you change PHILARM to PhilARM? I hope PhilARM will not only be a strong arm, but also the heart and soul of research management in the Philippines.



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