Filipino scholars share their journey and insights of the 4-year long Patriot Project

by Admin-Phmp

By Caryl Maria Minette I. Ulay

“We are not only scholars of the nation. We are here to serve the nation” [patriot scholars]

Filipino patriot scholars share their journey as they empower key participants in a learning table session on the evaluation study of patriot project (2017-2021) held on 21 July 2023 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Pasay City.

The learning event anchored its discussion on how to revitalize the vision of the youth to the country as the land of milk and honey. According to a statistics report of, the brain drain index shot up to 5.1 mark in 2022 indicating a medium level threat to the country’s economy and welfare.

Furthermore, the Department of Labor and Employment recently reported that the Philippines is experiencing scarcity of healthcare professionals, despite the increase in the number of degree holders through the years.

Despite the weakening local labor force, there springs a hint of hope with the management by the Department of Science and Technology- Science Education and Institute (DOST-SEI) of the Filipino Patriot Scholars Project (FPSP) nationwide. This program was initiated by SEI director Dr. Josette T. Biyo together with seven (7) S&T fellows and regional coordinators.

“This learning event is our channel to showcase to our stakeholders the project’s relevance, effectiveness, and sustainability in nation building” said director Biyo.

By virtue of the Scholarship Act (R.A. 7897), the DOST-SEI mobilized the patriot project to offer full set of opportunities on Science and Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering (STEM) to breed well-rounded Filipino professionals with a heart to contribute to inclusive development and engagement in national service that will uplift vulnerable sectors.

“Being part of the patriot project is like hitting two birds with one stone. We are helping scholars to obtain education to help themselves and their families and eventually serve at the community level,” said Director Biyo in her remarks.

The director merrily shared that the patriot project adjusted its requirements for scholarship grants for Muslims in combat areas and members of the indigenous people to promote education for all, thereby leveling the playing field in education.

“We have to merge our mind and heart to create impactful innovation and service for the people,” said DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. who also gave a slice for the learning event by sharing how DOST will contribute to developing smart and sustainable communities through #ONEDOST4U advocacy.

“Culture and arts and STEM are neglected sectors, but it is the hope of the Philippines to instill the love and passion to serve the country,” stated Rep. Roman T. Romulo of Pasig City in his support message. The policymaker confessed his deep interest in focusing his service on the education sector in his fifth term in congress.

The most anticipated part was cascading the evaluation process and project results presented by the external evaluators from AFFIRM Center for Research and Professional Learning Inc. headed by Atty. Rolly Francis C. Peoro.

Overall, 1,647 surveyed scholars gave a high assessment of the relevance and effectivity of the Filipino Patriot Scholarship Project (FPSP) in addressing the issue of “brain-drain” with its clear goals and program design to cater to current needs and issues especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the project, patriot scholars actively participated in volunteering activities such as assisting in research surveys, donation drives, and distribution of goods and health kits amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Scholars also successfully pull off micro-projects such as the #PailaJuan (rural electrification project) that lit up the homes of 41 indigent families in Ilocos, including the establishment of urban gardening to supply community pantries as an outcome of a series of virtual trainings in agriculture.

Aside from maintaining excellence in academic areas, being a patriot scholar also enabled them to influence others in participating in school and community organizing. They were also able to hone their niche and master other skill sets with exposure to various training, modernized technologies, and innovative and accessible knowledge resources.

As part of the FPSP, community immersions help the scholars to identify and provide solutions for the present societal needs and issues. The field experiences were realized to form a sense of leadership and deep connection to communities and fellow scholars encouraging them to develop desires in staying and serving the country.

When there are positive responses, there is also room for improvement, deboned by the evaluators in congruence with the findings. The fundamental recommendations covered the following: (1) creating clear descriptors for each core value to measure specific attributes gained by scholars who have completed the program, (2) creating a framework with milestone and clearly defined attributes aligned to the program values, and (3) creation of sustained and functional networks despite geographical locations.

Several scholars came forward to express their gratitude to the steering committee of the FPSP during the open forum. Almost all the questions boiled down to how DOST addresses the underemployment or lack of job opportunities for volumes of professionals in the science field.

According to Director Biyo, even if job placement is out of DOST-SEI’s mandates, they can assure that scholars recommended by the DOST can secure jobs, especially in the government. As they go beyond boundary, DOST-SEI is in active pursuit of partnership with other agencies, institutions, and private entities in the Philippines and overseas to tie up investments that will create local employment.

The learning event was sealed with inspiring takeaways from selected patriot scholars.

“Singaporean Math teachers set the minds of their students that for Singapore to survive, they must end up as the company’s chief executive or the top officers in the different parts of the world,” shared Dr. Rose Diaz from the Philippine Normal University about her takeaways from a foreign immersion.

As a small country with limited resources, Singapore manages to attain a quality life because of competitive leadership. Furthermore, Dr. Diaz encouraged scholars to set in their minds that they should not just excel in their field but also to become effective and compassionate leaders in leading our people towards inclusive development. (DOST-STII)

Photo captions:

1. Evaluators from the AFFIRM Center for Research and Professional Learning Inc. with DOST-SEI director Dr. Josette T. Biyo during the open forum session.

2. Pasig City solon, Rep. Roman T. Romulo delivering his support message.

3. Dr. Alvin B. Barcelona delivering the results and recommendations of the FPSP.

4. Dr. Rose Diaz from the Philippine Normal University

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