UNITED States-based scientists and engineers with Filipino bloodline are now gathered at the National Institute of Physics, University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD), Quezon City.

They have come to the land of their descent apparently to honor their connection by helping catalyze national development through science, technology and innovation (STI).

They are members of the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE) who are here for a two-day conference — October 24-25 — to push STI as a major driver of national development.

Its theme is “PAASE Volunteerism to Promote Philippine Science, Engineering and Innovation.”

This was learned from Dr. Elena E. Pernia, professor of Communication and dean, UP College of Mass Communication, in a message to SDN — Scitech and Digital News.

She described PAASE a non-profit organization whose member scientists and  engineers are descended from the Philippines and “have distinguished themselves in scholarly and research-related activities.”

Pernia added:

“PAASE members are at the forefront of scientific research and technology development in the United States, the Philippines, and other countries.”

Established in the state of Indiana, U.S., PAASE’s ranks have now grown to more than 230 members since its birth in 1980.

They will push STI as catalyst for national development through a series of discussions and consultations with concerned stakeholders focusing on how best to promote STI as vehicle to improve Filipinos’ quality of life.

UP Dean Dr. Elena Pernia and NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia. (Photo: UPD & Wikipedia)

The scientists and engineers, who have either a doctorate or master’s degree, or both, will draft and present position papers aimed at contributing to the implementation of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 and the  long-term aspirations of Filipinos, Ambisyon Natin 2040.

Their meeting in the Philippines follows the one they conducted at the University of Arizona in the U.S. in April 2018.

Dr. Gisela P. Concepcion, the PAASE meeting chairperson, cited the event’s significance.

“In the spirit of constructive volunteerism, we would like to deliver how science, technology, and innovation can be the major driver for socio-economic development,” Concepcion, former UP vice president for Academic Affairs, said.

The event consists of two days of simultaneous meetings of funded research groups made of up of local and foreign collaborators.

Their topics will cover the empowerment of academics, and research and development (R&D) in universities as hubs of R&D and innovation ecosystems.

After the meeting, members of PAASE intend to submit position papers to the Executive and Legislative branches of government.

Invited to deliver a keynote speech during the opening of event is National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia, also a PAASE member.

PAASE president Dr. Joel Cuello noted the organization members’ linking with other scientists and engineers across the world.

“PAASE, as a scientific and engineering academy, was founded on the principle of intercontinental and global cooperation in science and engineering against a backdrop of national development. As such, PAASE members connect with minds globally, create value through impactful innovation, and contribute to improving lives through innovation,” he said.

PAASE is a 230-strong organization, counting members in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Asia.

The organization has been instrumental for some of the key science and technology legislations in the Philippines, including Executive Order 586, s. 2006, which establishes the National Science Complex at the UP Diliman.

Dr. Severino Koh, who passed away in 2004, co-founded PAASE.

After his demise, PAASE members re-named what Koh initiated as the Founders’ Lectureship Awards in Science and Engineering into the Severino and Paz Koh Lectureship Awards in Science and  Engineering.

PAASE has been holding meetings in the Philippines. (EKU)