Ateneo’s Cielito Habito laments lack of scientists in PH: So many lawyers, only a few chemists
Former socioeconomic planning secretary Cielito Habito is dismayed at the glaring gap in the number of scientists and engineers in the country compared to its Southeast Asian neighbors.
In his September 8 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Habito noted that only 559 passed the chemistry board examination last year while 3,747 hurdled the bar exams.
The economics professor at the Ateneo de Manila University believes the lack of workers in the science and engineering sectors has contributed to a lack of economic dynamism in the Philippines.
“Skilled human resources, especially in various fields of science and engineering, make up just one of them, and without meaning to unduly put down lawyers, the almost 7:1 ratio of lawyers to chemists that we get every year is symptomatic,” Habito said.
As a sign of lukewarm interest in the sciences, Habito quoted Unilab corporate vice president Limuel Razo as saying that the University of San Carlos in Cebu visits high schools to encourage students to take up chemistry in college.
Unilab, Razo added, also supports 15 chemistry scholars yearly so they can be employed by the company in the future.