IMPROVED RANKING. DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña at the sidelines of the GII High-Level Conference held in Manila on Tuesday (Feb.18, 2020) says he is hopeful the Philippines would rank 42nd in the Global Innovation Index (GII) ranking by 2022. The country ranked 54th last year, a significant improvement from its previous ranking of 73 in 2018 and 2017. (PNA photo by Cristina Arayata)  

MANILA — Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato dela Peña eyes the Philippines to rank 42nd in the Global Innovation Index (GII) by 2022, three years after placing 54th in 2019.

GII is a ranking of world economies based on innovative capabilities. The country’s 2019 ranking was up 19 notches from its previous ranking of 73 in 2018 and 2017.

In an exclusive interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday, dela Peña said he is hopeful such ranking would improve in three years.

“I am hopeful. But just like what the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) representative said (yesterday), it is okay if the ranking stays on the same level, or if it goes down a little bit,” he said.

Dela Peña said he is positive that the ranking improvement is possible, considering the DOST has enlarged its research pool and has been doing more collaborations with industries and enterprises.

“(I) don’t expect that the ranking would go up every year,” he clarified.

Dela Peña said he realized that his goal of having the country rank 42nd from the 54th may not be impossible. “Rank 42 also means being included in the top 33 percent of world economies. That is my goal,” he added.

On Monday, the DOST held a closed-door meeting with other government agencies as well as with WIPO to discuss the GII.

The 19 notches leap from the previous ranking was not just due to DOST’s efforts, he noted.

Apart from agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic and Development Authority, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, dela Peña noted that export companies have also contributed to the rise in GII ranking.

Specifically, these companies include those that export electronics, he said.

“The DTI Secretary and I have agreed to present to the Cabinet the observations of WIPO, which it presented during our closed-door meeting yesterday,” he shared.

Dela Peña reiterated that the GII ranking does not just rely on the efforts of DOST, but of other agencies as well.

“Among WIPO’s observations was that the expenditure on education and science was very low. (Increasing the expenditure) does not only rely on the DOST and DepEd (Department of Education). There is also the Department of Finance and NEDA,” he explained.

“We (officials present in the closed-door meeting) will jointly make the presentation to the Cabinet, so we could better discuss the things that need to be addressed,” he said. (PNA)