Bakit tayo ‘baliw na baliw’ sa research?

To our dismay, Senator Cynthia Villar’s comment on the Department of Agriculture’s proposed budget for research reflects many people’s poor understanding of the value of research in policy making and in the country’s quest for sustainable development.

Research produces valuable impact on society. It provides evidence to support or improve practice, in this case, farming. Research offers our policy makers an evidence-based perspective on various aspects of farming and even in addressing societal issues. However, evidences generated by research are often not utilized by the government in the development of policies and standards. This understanding of the current state of policy research in our country warrants us to broaden our focus to include research that addresses problems at the system level.

The problem really lies within the government itself. The government has poor appreciation of evidence gathered through research. Studies can actually help our farmers if the government can translate these findings into polices that support farming in the Philippines. There are many innovations developed through research that are not utilized because the government is not keen on investing in these projects. Our policy makers tend to invest more on projects that are readily palpable to the people, as these projects attract more votes. But for research, it is sometimes difficult to feel its direct impact on society. And this is where the government should step in. It is crucial for the government to recognize and value research by allocating funds ​for it ​and creating a mechanism on how to utilize evidence in the development of sound policies supporting the advancement of farming in the country.

Without research, the promises of the 21st century agricultural revolution cannot be realized. And yes, Senator Villar, this is why we’re “baliw na baliw sa research”.

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