LAKAS Kampi CMD vice presidential candidate Edu Manzano is pushing for the immediate restoration of a special fund to enable more aggressive government spending for science and technology (S&T), and boost the country’s competitiveness in the global economy.

“We have to quickly step up public spending for S&T if we are to effectively provide the advanced bodies of knowledge required by major sectors and build up our economic productivity,” said Manzano, former chairman of the Optical Media Board and one-time vice mayor of Makati City.

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“The next administration has to establish a long-lasting supplemental fund to sustain new S&T programs and projects. We cannot just rely on the meager annual budget of the Department of Science and Technology,” he added.

Manzano proposed the reinstallation of the Special Science Fund that was put up in 1968 but abolished in 1975.

In 1968, Congress passed Republic Act (RA) 5448, which created the Special Science Fund. Income generated by a science stamp tax, among other sources, supported the fund.

However, RA 5448 was repealed in 1975 by Presidential Decree 711, which established the one-fund concept.

All special funds were abolished, and all national government revenues had to accrue directly to the National Treasury under the one-fund concept.

Manzano said the new S&T Fund should finance the modernization of production sectors. (PR)