The Science Career System (SCS) held its 2020 Oath Taking of the Newly Conferred and Upgraded Scientists on December 9, 2020 via Zoom Webinar and was streamed on SCS FB Page. The Oath Taking was co-hosted by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL).

The newly conferred and upgraded scientists were sworn in by Scientific Career Council (SCC) Chairperson Alicia dela Rosa-Bala of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and Co-Chair Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Members of the Council include NAST PHL President Academician Rhodora V. Azanza, National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) President Dr. Gregorio E.H. Del Pilar, and University of the Philippines President Atty. Danilo L. Concepcion.

For 2020, the newly conferred and upgraded scientists are:

Dr. Elmer G. Bautista, Scientist I from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), who has significant works related to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of rice production in the Philippines, published in SCS-accredited journals, one of which was awarded with Gold Poster Award of 2014 during the 11th International Eco-Balance Conference held on 27-30 October 2014 in Tsukuba, Japan.

Dr. Aurora M. Corales, Scientist I, also from PhilRice, engages in collaborative and community-based research activities to facilitate transfer of technologies using pilot and demonstration actions using existing networks to encourage receptiveness to technologies, assist potential participants, and reinforce channels to maintain high level of technology use beyond project cycles.

Dr. Angel B. Encarnacion, Scientist I from Department of Agriculture (DA) Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Office No. 02 has been doing related studies on edible plant and seaweeds extracts as natural anti-melanosis and anti-oxidants in foods alongside product development, commercialization and adoption by local fisherfolk associations and women groups in addition to possible application in aquaculture. Furthermore, he has been conceptualizing innovations on various postharvest fisheries technologies for adoption of fisherfolk clientele.

Dr. Fe Esperanza Caridad J. Espino, Scientist I from the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) of the Department of Health (DOH) works on researches focused on molecular diagnostic and serological services for malaria and molecular assays in other parasitic NTDs. She oversees the WHO Collaborating Center for Malaria Diagnosis and maintains the global QC laboratory for malaria RDTs and global malaria slide bank. She also has a major role in the National External Quality Assurance Scheme (NEQAS) for malaria and other parasites. Her researches are involved on the current and anticipated needs of parasitic disease control and elimination programs of the DOH, specifically malaria and parasitic neglected tropical disease.

Dr. Leny C. Galvez, Scientist I from the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) of the Department of Agriculture, works on researches that address the major problem of the abaca industry – prevalence of virus diseases. She developed protocols for the diagnosis of four (4) abaca viruses both serological and nucleic acid techniques. She pioneered the development and packaging of LAMP assays as rapid detection and point-of-care diagnostics for abaca viruses.

Dr. Charita S. Kwan, Scientist I from the Natural Sciences Research Institute (NSRI) of the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Science, specializes in the field of environmental and analytical chemistry focusing on the distribution, fate and transport of organic micropollutants, majority of which are classified as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and/or endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs). She has 20 years of experience on trace measurements of a number of POPs and EDCs such as organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides, phenolic substances such as biphenol A and nonylphenol, phthalates, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and perfluorinated compounds in various compartments of the Philippine environment.

Dr. Maria Luz J. Sison, Scientist I from Institute of Plant breeding (IPB) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), is a seasoned entomologist with proven expertise in insect pests of legumes, vegetables, banana, and coconut. She has significantly contributed in the development of varieties of economically important crops with resistance to major insect pests.

Dr. Pierangeli G. Vital, Scientist I from the NSRI of the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Science, contributes to the improvement of country's sustainable development and enhancing the community's way of life by translating microbial food safety research to science-based policies. She is the first scientist in the Philippines to document pieces of evidences for bacterial and viral produce outbreaks. Dr. Vital is also one of the few scientists working on microalgal research with application on biodiversity and renewable energy.

Dr. Merdelyn T. Caasi-Lit, Scientist II from UPLB-IPB, works mainly on Host Plant Resistance (HPR) encompassing basic aspects, from screening and bio efficacy testing to studies of insect pest life cycle, ecology of host plant-insect herbivore interactions, and insect behavior. She also actively takes part in the native corn team under the project funded by DA-BAR Corn Germplasm Utilization through Advance Research and Development (CGUARD), where her group is in charge of evaluating hundreds of traditional maize accessions for resistance against the Asian corn borer (ACB), and breeding promising maize accessions with resistance to the ACB, as well as elucidating the mechanism of resistance against this pest.

Dr. Norvie L. Manigbas, Scientist II from PhilRice, is the breeder of the first direct wet-seeded rice variety, NSIC Rc 298 and pioneered breeding for heat tolerance in irrigated lowland rice. He leads in the development of climate-resilient rice varieties using conventional and molecular techniques. Two (2) elite lines he helped develop were released as varieties in Indonesia through an ASEAN collaborative project. His projects generated substantial funding for rice production and mechanization that benefited farmers and their cooperatives.

Dr. Mudjekeewis D. Santos, Scientist IV, from the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) is a fisheries scientist and marine biologist widely recognized for his work on aquatic species genetics, assessment and policy studies to support fisheries management and aquaculture for food security, biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation. In 2015, a marine fish was named after him (Chelidoperca santosi,Pogi perchlet) by two of the world’s authorities in fish taxonomy, Dr. Jeffrey Williams and Dr. Kent Carpenter (Zootaxa, 2015), in recognition of his numerous scientific contributions in the country. In the same year, an Islet in Zamboanga City was named in his honor, “Mudjie Wise Key Islet,” by the people of Barangay Dita, Zamboanga City. In 2017, he was recognized by the City of Zamboanga as one of the prime movers of the sardine fishing closure in the Peninsula that not only benefitted the City but the entire country as well. As such, he is sometimes called “Mr. Fisheries Research” or the “Fisherfolk’s Scientist.”

These conferred Scientists are ranked to receive the corresponding salary grade: Scientist I - SG 26; Scientist II - SG 27; Scientist III - SG 28; Scientist IV - SG 29; and Scientist V - SG 30. They are also entitled to representation and travel allowance; Magna Carta benefits; membership in international scientific organization and/or subscription to scientific journals; publication assistance; and foreign travel assistance for oral paper presentation of 3,000USD per scientist every two years.

Nominees both for Admission and Upgrading are evaluated based on their scientific outputs, which in the Merit System are divided into (a) scientific productivity (80%) that covers the discoveries and inventions, utility models, and scientific publications and (b) scientific and professional standing (20%) that includes prestigious scientific awards, paper presentations, etc.

Chairman of Special Technical Committee on Natural Sciences, Acd. Fabian M. Dayrit, Chairman of Special Technical Committee on Agricultural Sciences, Acd. Eufemio T. Rasco, Jr., Chairman of Special Technical Committee on Engineering and Technology, Acd. Estrella F. Alabastro, and Chairman of Special Technical Committee on Health Sciences, Acd. Edward H.M. Wang made the necessary evaluation and recommendations to the SCC.

With this development, the number of scientists conferred under the System is now 176.

The SCS is a system of recruitment, career progression, recognition, and reward of scientists in the public service as means of developing a pool of highly qualified and productive scientific personnel. The system is co-implemented by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with the CSC Chairman and DOST Secretary serving as Co-chairs of the Scientific Career Council. The SCS program is now administered by the NAST PHL.