DOST provincial centers converted into offices as law takes effect
A new law that recently took effect converts the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)’s Provincial Science and Technology Centers (PSTCs) into Provincial Science and Technology Offices (PSTOs).
The law was among the dozen other measures that recently lapsed into law after being transmitted to Malacañang in June.
Under the law, PTSOs will be mandated to identify the needs and opportunities for science and technology in the provinces and implement DOST programs in the rural area.
Also part of its functions is the development of institutional linkages with provincial offices of other departments, local government units, academe, and nongovernmental offices for the effective implementation of science and technology programs in the provinces and the performance of other duties as may be determined by the DOST Secretary and its regional director.
Existing clustered area offices in Metro Manila will likewise be converted into PSTOs to be known as Clustered Area Science and Technology Offices, subject to the evaluation and approval of the Budget and Management Department and the civil service rules and regulations.
According to the law, the PSTOs will be led by a chief science research specialist with a salary grade (SG) 24. For this purpose, the position of senior science research specialist which currently is held by the head of PSTCs will be reclassified as a chief science research specialist.
A PSTO head will be in charge of formulation of Provincial Science and Technology Plan and other programs and projects to contribute to the development of provinces and clustered areas and implementation and monitoring of various technology promotion and commercialization program.
The promotion of the adoption of appropriate technologies by the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to improve their operational efficiency and increase productivity will also be under the PSTO head.
He or she will also take care of the dissemination of science and technology-related information and research and development results through the conduct of training, technology fora, and similar activities; coordination with local government units, academic institutions, public and private groups; and the promotion of science consciousness and appreciation among the people of the province and clustered areas.
The initial amount for the implementation of the law will be charged against the DOST’s current appropriations. Such an amount will be included in the annual General Appropriations Act thereafter.—LDF, GMA News