President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law granting incentives and assistance to overseas Filipino experts, scientists, inventors, and engineers who will return to serve the country. The Republic Act No. 11035, also known as the Balik Scientist Act, would address the Philippines’ research and development needs.
Senator Paulo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, the law’s principal author, said that the country is trailing behind its Asian neighbors with only 189 scientists per million. The suggested ratio of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is 380 scientists per million population.
The law has also mandated the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to oversee the approval and awarding of short, medium, or long-term engagements of the returning scientists such as free accident and medical insurance within the award period, tax and duty exemptions in the importation of professional equipment and materials, special working and non-working visas, and DOST-subsidized visa application.
Other benefits for returning scientists include support in securing job opportunities for their spouses and admitting their children into preferred schools, monthly housing or accommodation allowance, and funding for the establishment and development of a facility or laboratory.
See original story in Rappler.