MANILA — The House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology on Tuesday approved a proposed measure that will amend Republic Act 8439, also known as the “Magna Carta for Scientists, Engineers, Researchers and Other Science and Technology Personnel in Government.”
Albay Rep. Fernando V. Gonzales authored House Bill 5155, or An Act Amending R.A. No. 8439 by extending the services of a scientist who is due for compulsory retirement for a maximum of five years.
”It is a well-known fact that even at the age of 65, scientists are still at the peak of the mental capabilities. Hence, they are still very capable of working on scientific projects that they had been working on prior to their retirement,” said Gonzales in his introductory note.
By allowing a maximum of five years extension, Gonzales said, a scientist will have been able to satisfactorily finish whatever projects needed to be completed.
The legislator also pointed out during the hearing chaired by Zamboanga del Sur Rep. Victor J. Yu that compulsory retiring the scientists will deprive the country and the people of knowledge, ideas, skills, and even leadership abilities that the scientists had acquired over the years.
The extension of services is subject to the following conditions:
— The research project is within the priority research and development programs of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and is identified as strategic to the national development as certified by the DOST Secretary;
— The scientist is still mentally and physically fit to complete the project; and
— The request for extension of services shall be submitted to the Civil Service Commission for approval at least three months prior to the date of the compulsory retirement of the scientist.
Co-authors of the bill were Reps. Mariano U. Piamonte Jr. (A TACHER Party-list), Mariano Michael M. Velarde, Jr. (BUHAY Party-list), Roman T. Romulo (Pasig City), Edgardo Masongsong (1-CARE Party-list), Francis Gerald Abaya (1st District, Cavite), Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado (2nd District, Bohol), and Evelina G. Escudero (1st District, Sorsogon).