PHL, Korea to collaborate on science, R&D

The Philippines will collaborate with Korea in various areas, especially in research and development (R&D), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.

Dela Peña was part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s delegation in his visit to South Korea earlier this month.

“There are many areas of collaboration that we will enter into, such as R&D, exchange of visits, human resources development,” he said.

Dela Peña shared he signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT. The MOU, he said, serves as an umbrella agreement that the two parties will explore many opportunities for collaboration.

“We have to agree with the terms and conditions (for each collaboration we will do),” he explained.

The DOST chief narrated that the Korean government was excited about this partnership, and that the Korean Ambassador even visited him right after he returned home.

“Korea considers the Philippines as a friendly neighbor. According to them, the Philippines is the first ASEAN country with diplomatic relations with them,” Dela Peña remarked.

He said the Korean government highlighted its interest in areas of forecasting, disaster-risk reduction, and smart agriculture.

“They also mentioned the use of ICT in the delivery of health services, which we do here in the Philippines. For their part, they said they’re good in nuclear technology,” he narrated.

Earlier, China had also expressed its desire for various science and technology collaborations with the Philippines.

Dela Peña, who was with President Duterte at the Boao Forum in China last April, earlier told the PNA that the Chinese government has asked the Philippine delegation to send Filipino researchers and holders of PhDs to China for scholarships in universities there.

He also said about nine or 10 private firms have signed a letter of intent to invest in different sectors here, and also in terms of R&D. PNA