Science chief welcomes bill hiking pay of provincial tech center heads
Science Secretary Fortunato dela Peña welcomed on Wednesday a bill that would not only provide better compensation for heads of his agency’s provincial science and technology centers (PSTCs), but also set aside a separate funding mechanism for the centers that would allow it to better extend services for those in the countryside.
Once enacted into law, House Bill No. 1205, or the Provincial Science and Technology Directors Act of 2016, would raise the monthly salaries of PSTC directors from at least P39,000 to around P87,000. It would also increase to at least seven the number of staff working at the PST office from the current two employees.
The measure, filed by Zamboanga del Sur First District Rep. Divina Grace Yu, would also allow the PSTC to get separate funding from the Department of Budget and Management. Currently, PSTCs get its budget from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
Dela Peña said that this piece of legislation would be a big push to the science community in the provinces, especially that PSTCs are in charge of implementing DOST programs such as Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program for livelihood, RxBox for healthcare and scholarship programs.
Formed through Republic Act No. 6959, PSTCs are extension offices of the DOST’s regional divisions that are primarily tasked to identify the needs and opportunities in science and technology in the provinces, as well as implement projects such as technology demonstration and transfer, among others.
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