‘The government should look after its S&T (science and technology) workers.’
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By MARYA SALAMAT
MANILA — Joey Matias, an engineer and president of the employees association at Information and Communications Technology, said, at the electoral agenda forum organized by AGHAM, that the government seems to pat itself on the back whenever it happens to provide employment, but it doesn’t seem to see that in these jobs the employed are underpaid.
“The government should look after its S&T (science and technology) workers. Right now whatever benefits we get through the Magna Carta for scientists are in danger of being taken away from us,” said Matias.
Matias said ‘brain drain’ is happening because the government is scrimping on wages. He noted that many employees including those in S & T are working in hazardous areas, without commensurate pay and benefits. He gave tribute to the skills and knowledge of Filipinos in technology, saying that they can be at par with others in different countries, but only other countries are gaining from this whenever Filipinos are pushed to work abroad instead.
He deplored the government’s new system of employing people, in which it only issues “job orders,” circumventing the legal requirement to later declare the employee as regular on the job.
The increasingly prevalent contractualization in hiring is another pitfall that prevents budding scientists from fully engaging in the field of science and technology, said JM Ayuste, spokesperson of Agham Youth-PUP. Given today’s high tuition and difficulties of pursuing science and technology courses, he said, the bleak prospect of eventually finding jobs that pay decently is scaring off future scientists. Or, they are considering migrating into other countries that could pay them better than in the Philippines.