Pursuant to the provisions of Section 6 of Executive Order No. 130, the following revised rules and regulations implementing the Balik Scientist Program are hereby issued and promulgated.
Science and Technology experts who are Filipinos, or foreigners of Filipino descent shall be encouraged to return or reside in the Philippines, and share their expertise in order to accelerate the scientific, agro-industrial and economic development of the country.
The Balik Scientist Program aims to strengthen the scientific and technological human resources of academic, public and private institutions in order to accelerate the flow of technologies and stimulate the development of new or strategically important technologies that are vital to national development and progress.
This IRR shall cover all Scientists and New Graduates who are actually residing abroad and have the intention of returning to the Philippines for work. A Scientist/New Graduate, who arrives in the Philippines and already residing here for 6 months or less prior to his/her filing of application with the Balik Scientist Program, may avail of the program.
However, the Balik Scientist Program may not cover Scientist who is considered as resident citizen of the Philippines and a New Graduate who resides here for a period exceeding six (6) months counting from the time of arrival in the Philippines up to the time of filing an application during the implementation of the aforesaid program.
For the purpose of this Implementing Rules and Regulations, the following terms are defined as follows:
A Balik Scientist shall refer to a science and technology expert who is a Filipino citizen or a foreigner of Filipino descent, residing abroad and contracted by the Government to return and work in the Philippines along his/her field of expertise.
A Nonresident Citizen shall refer to an individual who leaves the Philippines to reside abroad, either as an immigrant or for employment on a permanent basis and whose employment thereat requires him/her to be physically present abroad most of the time.
A Resident Citizen shall refer to an individual who is physically/actually residing in the Philippines since birth or for a period exceeding 6 months counting from the time of arrival in the Philippines.
A New Graduate is a Scientist who has obtained his/her doctorate degree for not more than two years prior to filing of application to the Program, graduated from DOST-recognized science and technology foreign institutions and contracted to return and work in the Philippines along his/her field of specialization for a period of at least three (3) years.
V. TYPES OF PROGRAMS
A Balik Scientist Applicant may apply under any of the following programs:
- Long-Term Program – It is a program utilizing the expertise of expatriate Filipino Scientist and Technologist with a duration of at least two (2) years in the case of Balik Scientist and three (3) years in the case of New Graduates.
Under exceptional circumstances, the program duration of two (2) years or three (3) years may be served by the Scientist and New Graduate, as the case may be, on a “noncontinuous/staggered basis” provided that it shall be completed within the period of five (5) years from the date of its approval. Provided further that the availment of the concerned Scientist or New Graduate on the “noncontinuous/ staggered” basis shall be subject to approval by the Secretary.
- Short-Term Program - It is a program utilizing the expertise of expatriate Filipino Scientist and Technologist with a duration of at least (1) one month. The program can be availed of by the Scientist several times with graduated incentives subject to the approval of the Secretary.
Under exceptional circumstances, the program duration of one (1) month maybeerved by the Scientist on a “non-continuous/staggered” basis provided that it shall be completed within the period of one (1) year from the date of its approval. Provided further that the availment of the Balik Scientist concerned on the “non-continuous/staggered” basis shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary.
VI. QUALIFICATIONS OF BALIK SCIENTIST APPLICANTS
- The qualifications of a Balik Scientist Applicant to the program are as follows:
- He/She must be in good health, physically and mentally.
- He/She must be a holder of a graduate degree and must have practised his/her profession for not less than three (3) years after obtaining his/her masteral or doctorate degree and preferably working with the private sector, a reputable R & D institution and/or in the academe.
- He/She must have made an outstanding contribution in his/her field of specialization.
- Provided however that a Balik Scientist Applicant with a highly specialized skill without a graduate degree may be qualified on special cases as long as his/her field of expertise must be consistent with the science and technology (S&T) priorities promulgated by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
- A Balik Scientist Applicant categorized as New Graduate shall have the following qualifications:
- He/She must be in good health, physically and mentally;
- He/She must be a holder of doctorate degree; no experience required; and
- His/Her field of study must be consistent with the S & T priorities promulgated by DOST.
- As a rule, a Balik Scientist Applicant who is a recipient of any grant (scholarship or fellowship and other similar grants) that requires him/her to come back to the country may not qualify under the two (2) programs except when such applicant holds an exchange visitor’s visa (i.e. J-1 of USA) and whose training was self-solicited with no financial or service obligation with any public or private institution in the Philippines.
VII. PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION
- Qualified Balik Scientist Applicant/host institution shall submit the following requirements:
- Accomplished Balik Scientist Program (BSP) Form, with 2”x 2” photo and detailed curriculum vitae of the Balik Scientist Applicant;
- Photocopy of the Balik Scientist Applicant’s diploma or transcript of academic record or a certification of academic achievements from a credible local or international public/private institution/association;
- Endorsement/Invitation letter from a credible local public/private institution/association (if application is submitted directly by the Balik Scientist Applicant);
- Copy of a valid certificate of registration, valid professional license or a temporary special permit or any foreign license, or any valid documents for identification;
- When applicable, a Balik Scientist Applicant under the Long Term Program (including New Graduate), in addition to the aforesaid requirements, must submit a detailed Statement of Research and/or Activity Plan with “conformance” of the Host Institution.
On the other hand, a Balik Scientist Applicant under the Short Term Program, in addition to the aforementioned requirement, must submit a specific Term of Reference/Work Plan and expected output indicating the concurrence of the Host Institution.
- All application and requirements of the Balik Scientist Applicant shall be addressed to:
Balik Scientist Program
Office of the Assistant Secretary
Department of Science and Technology
Gen. Santos Avenue, Bicutan
Taguig City, Philippines
P.O. Box 3596 Manila, Philippines
Telefax No. (632) 837-2940
VIII. CRITERIA FOR SELECTION OF AWARDEES
The Balik Scientist Evaluation Committee (BSEC), created by the Secretary shall evaluate the qualifications of all Balik Scientist Applicants on the basis of information submitted. Prioritization will be based on the following factors:
- Expertise of a Balik Scientist Applicant which should be consistent with the S & T priorities promulgated by DOST;
- Acceptance of the offer/program of the Balik Scientist Applicant from a locally-based private firm or academic institution, or government agency which is engaged in priority R&D projects and S & T services. Such private firm or academic institution or government agency shall be committed to provide necessary resources and counterpart incentive for the Balik Scientist Applicant;
- Relevance of the proposed activities relative to the expertise or field of specialization of the Balik Scientist Applicant;
- Concurrence of the Host Institution on the proposed activities of the Balik Scientist Applicant; and
- Well-defined proposed work program, schedule of activities, target beneficiaries and outcomes of the Balik Scientist Applicant which are mutually acceptable to all parties including DOST.
IX. OBLIGATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARTIES
- A Balik Scientist Awardee under the program shall have the following obligations and responsibilities:
Carry out the enumerated activities contained in the approved work plan/agenda/terms of reference;
Submit a report of his/her activities to DOST and Host Institution immediately after the engagement for proper evaluation;
Recommend other activities/programs to enhance his/her engagement and other relevant undertakings to help achieve the objectives of the BSP;
Submit to DOST discovery, innovation, design, model or process relating to or arising from work on a research project funded by DOST while on engagement as Balik Scientist Awardee and abide by the rules governing intellectual property rights as observed by DOST and the Host Institution;
Secure prior approval by DOST of any intent to leave the country before the expiration of his/her stay as covered by the contract;
Conduct himself/herself in a manner befitting his/her stature and submit himself/herself to the jurisdiction of duly constituted authorities, and existing laws of the Philippines; and
Refund in full or proportionately, if he/she has rendered at least 50% of the service obligation to the Host Institution, for failure to comply with the terms and conditions and to meet the target output(s) through his/her own fault or willful neglect, resignation or other causes within his/her control, all expenses incurred by the BSP incident to the award as determined by the Inter-Agency Implementing Committee of the Balik Scientist Program.
- The Host Institution shall have the following obligations and responsibilities:
Adhere to the responsibilities indicated in the approved workplan/agenda/terms of reference;
Monitor and evaluate the activities of the Balik Scientist Awardee and make proper recommendations to DOST as warranted;
Commit to provide adequate and available equipment and facilities to ensure a productive stay of the Balik Scientist Awardee; and
Retain the Balik Scientist Awardee as part of its organization under mutually acceptable terms and under existing labor laws and regulations in the Philippines, when feasible.
- The DOST shall have the following obligations and responsibilities:
Grant the Balik Scientist Awardee all the incentives, support, privileges and exemptions as applicable to him/her under the Program;
Monitor and evaluate the activities of the Balik Scientist Awardee to ensure the successful implementation of his/her workplan/agenda/terms of reference;
Coordinate with the Host Institution on the areas/aspects where the expertise of the Balik Scientist Awardee can be tapped optimally; and
Recommend/Arrange other related activities as may be accommodated other than those pre-identified by the host institution to ensure optimum benefits from the Balik Scientist Awardee’s presence and engagement under the Program.
X. INCENTIVES FOR AWARDEES
A Balik Scientist Awardee shall be given incentives under any of the following Program:
- Long Term Program
Provision of the peso equivalent of a one-way economy airfare for the Balik Scientist Awardee, spouse and only two direct minor dependents. For this purpose, minor dependents shall include children who are below 18 years old and those who are 18 years old and above but suffering from congenital disability, either physical or mental or any disability acquired before the age of 18 that renders them totally dependent on the Balik Scientist Awardee for support;
Pre-paid return airfare for the Balik Scientist Awardee, spouse and only two direct minor dependents after satisfactorily serving his/her contract;
Duty-free importation of professional instruments and implements, tools of trade, occupation or employment, wearing apparel, domestic animals, and personal and household effects in quantities and of the class suitable to the profession, rank or position of the persons importing them, for their own use and not for barter or sale, in accordance with Section 105 of the Tariff and Customs Code;
No dollar importation of motor vehicle shall be allowed to Balik Scientist Awardee except in pursuance with the provision of the Board of Investments’ Guidelines on No Dollar Importation of Second Hand Motor Vehicles of Returning Residents/Immigrants, and such other guidelines as may be issued by the Bureau of Importation Service and the Department of Trade and Industry;
Exemption from payment of travel tax in accordance with Section 2 of Presidential Decree No. 1183. However, for those not falling under the exempted categories of Section 2 of Presidential Decree No. 1183, they may be exempted under Section 3 of Republic Act No. 6768 approved on 3 November 1989, otherwise known as the Balikbayan Program;
Housing may be arranged through pre-determined institutions;
The family of the Balik Scientist Awardee/New Graduate shall be entitled to a reimbursement of the freight expenses for 2 1/2 tons volume weight for surface shipment of a car and personal effect. In addition when traveling by air, the expert/new graduate is entitled to reimbursement for excess baggage not exceeding 20 kgs. per adult and 10 kgs. per minor dependent. Any excess shall be borne by the Balik Scientist Awardee/New Graduate;
Grants-in-aid for research and development projects approved by the DOST Secretary;
In line with the above, payment of the salary of the Balik Scientist Awardee under the long term program shall be the responsibility of the requesting institution. In the case of a DOST institution wishing to avail of the expertise of Balik Scientist Awardee but, is unable to do so due to unavailability of an appropriate position, said DOST agency, in consultation with the Balik Scientist Awardee, may propose a project within the priorities of DOST, where the salary rate of the Balik Scientist Awardee could be charged. The Balik Scientist Awardee working in a DOSTfunded project shall receive a salary rate commensurate to his/her qualifications, nature of work involved and as may be deemed appropriate by DOST. The performance of the Balik Scientist Awardee shall be evaluated annually by the DOST.
Participants under the Program, including their dependents, as certified by the Department of Science and Technology, shall be granted by the Secretary of Justice special nonimmigrant visas under Section 47 (a) (2) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended, after compliance with the requirements therefor. Said participants including their dependents shall be exempted from the payment of visa, immigration and registration fees in accordance with existing laws and regulations.
The length of the validity of said visas and their extension should be in accordance with the policy determined by the Secretary of Justice. The Secretary of Justice may refuse to grant a 47 (a) (2) visa to restricted aliens; and Assistance in securing a certificate of registration without examination or exemption from the licensure requirement of the Professional Regulation Commission to practice of profession, expertise or skill in the Philippines, in accordance with Section 5 of Presidential Decree No. 223 dated 22 June 1973, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 657 dated 19 February 1975.
- Short-Term Program
Free roundtrip economy airfare originating from a foreign country to the Philippines by direct route. Computation shall be based on the currency rate prevailing on the date when the airline ticket was purchased; and
Daily subsistence allowance of 150 US dollar per day or as may be recommended by DOST Executive Committee (DOST EXECOM) and approved by the Secretary;
The aforementioned incentives shall be granted upon mutual consent by both parties (DOST and the Balik Scientist Awardee); In some instances, the incentives stated above may be increased upon approval by the Secretary based on the recommendation of the DOST EXECOM.
XI. IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING AND EVALUATION
An Inter-Agency Implementing Committee composed of representatives of the different agencies involved in the Program shall be created by the Secretary. This Committee shall provide technical assistance and support to the program on matters pertaining to effective implementation, policy review/enunciation and/or strategy formulation.
XII. LIMITATION TO THE AWARD
- An award shall become final upon approval/signing of the contract of service by parties involved;
- The privileges approved for the Balik Scientist Awardee shall be availed of only within the period specified in the terms of the award.However, the period of the contract may be extended or shortened on a case by case basis upon favorable recommendation of the DOST EXECOM and approval of the Secretary; and
- In claiming for the reimbursement of allowable expenses, only original official receipts (ORs) and/or used plane ticket(s) shall be honored, unless otherwise specified.
XIII. MISCELLANEOUS ITEM
In exceptional or meritorious cases where substantial benefits will accrue to the receiving institution and to the national government, the basic educational requirement for a Balik Scientist Applicant to the Program may be waived.
XIV. REPEALING CLAUSE
DOST Administrative Order No. 008 Series of 2001and Administrative Order No. 003, Series official2007 and all other issuances inconsistent with the provisions of these Rules are hereby amended, modified or repealed accordingly.
These rules and regulations shall take effect immediately.
ESTRELLA F. ALABASTRO