Prepared for PAASE by: Dr. Carlos Primo C. David and Dr. Gisela P. Padilla-Concepcion, with contributions from: Dr. Ernesto M. Pernia, Dr. Sarah Lynne S. Daway-Ducanes, Dr. Alfredo E. Pascual, and National Scientist Dr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, S.J.

Research shows that the size of a nation's science and technology (S&T) labor force and training system have a positive effect on economic development (Schofer et al., 2000). Specifically, a highly skilled S&T workforce is considered one of four pillars required to transform into a knowledge-based economy (ADB, 2007). And within the last decade or so, there is a resurgence of efforts of various countries, including the Philippines, to quantify the contributions of its S&T workforce in creating positive impact in society towards nation building (DOST, 2019).

This paper deals with the Philippines' S&T human capital development (HCD) situation. It draws on the recent series of evidence-based email discussions and webinars facilitated by the Philippine American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE) and related research findings and supporting data. The paper aims to present a factual assessment of the S&T HCD situation, offer recommendations for improvements to the concerned government agencies, and propose strategies by which PAASE can help meet our country's S&T human capital needs.


This section addresses three questions pertinent to the quality and supply-demand scenario of S&T workers and provides the context for our intended goals and strategies. Does the country lack S&T graduates? Data indicate we have sufficient Bachelors of Science (BS) graduates to satisfy the local needs, but not enough Masters (MS), PhDs, and postdoctoral fellows to serve as high-skill researchers in academe, industry, and government. Many of our higher education institutions (HEIs), including state universities and colleges (SUCs), need well-qualified S&T faculty to undertake innovative research that supports the R&D needs of the country. This includes producing a growing breed of researchers who can sustain innovation required by various industries. We also lack formal training programs for preparing competent technical (or tech-voc) workers for companies in the growing technology industry. Our capacity to produce highly skilled researchers and proficient tech-voc workers is critical in building an innovation ecosystem that can spur industrial development on the back of our national endowments – rich natural resources and a large pool of human resources.