DOST Memorandum Circular No.006

DOST Memorandum Circular No. 006

Series of 2018  

Subject:Rules and Regulations on the Grant of Benefits, Incentives and Privileges to Balik Scientists

ARTICLE I
BACKGROUND

Section 1. Republic Act (RA) No. 11035, An Act Institutionalizing the Balik Scientist Program, Appropriating Funds Therefor, and For Other Purposes, was approved on June 15, 2018. Section 15 of said Act provides that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in consultation with concerned agencies and other relevant stakeholders, shall promulgate necessary rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the Act.
Section 2. Section 3.d of said Act provides that the DOST shall issue the appropriate rules and regulations for the efficient provision of benefits and incentives, which shall include the clarification of pertinent rules and regulations promulgated and administered by other government agencies.
Section 3. Furthermore, under Section 13 of RA No. 11035, the DOST may draw up other benefits and privileges that may be extended to the Balik Scientist, in the rules and regulations to be issued to implement the Act in accordance with other existing laws, codes, ยท presidential decrees, executive orders, department orders, rules, regulations and other issuances promulgated for the purpose of accelerating the industrial development of the country. Said rules and regulations may include a one-time incentive bonus and such additional incentives, benefits, and privileges that may be necessary to attract the Balik Scientists to come home and contribute to the scientific and technological advancement of the country.

ARTICLE II
PURPOSE

This Memorandum Circular (MC) is issued to prescribe the rules and regulations on the grant of benefits, incentives and privileges to Balik Scientists provided in RA 11035 and those drawn up by DOST as authorized under Section 13 of the said law.

ARTICLE III
COVERAGE

This MC shall cover all science, technology or innovation experts whose engagements are approved by DOST under the Balik Scientist Program, herein referred to as the "Program".

ARTICLE IV
DEFINITION OF TERMS

Section 1. Balik Scientist โ€“ a science, technology or innovation expert or professional, as certified by the Department, who is a Filipino citizen or a foreigner of Filipino descent, engaged under the Program to undertake science and technology activities along the Balik Scientist's field of expertise with host institution(s) under short-term, medium-term or long-term engagement, and who may either be:
1.1.1 A resident of another country at the time of application; or,
1.1.2 A Philippine-resident for not more than three (3) years at the time of application, beginning from the most recent date of arrival from overseas education or employment along his or her field of expertise.
Section 2. Host Institution โ€“ refers to a government agency, public or private academic institution, or a Filipino-owned enterprise/organization in the Philippines registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that will undertake science, technology or innovation activities, or research and development initiatives with a Balik Scientist.
Section 3. Sectoral Council/Council โ€“ refers to the three (3) Councils attached to the Department, namely: 1) Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD); 2) Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD); and 3) Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).

ARTICLE V
TYPES OF ENGAGEMENT

Section 1. The short-term engagement under the Program shall cover a minimum duration of fifteen (15) days to a maximum duration of six (6) months per award to be served within one (1) year from the date of award.
Section 2. The medium-term engagement under the Program shall cover a minimum duration of more than six (6) months but not' to exceed one (1) year per award to be served within two (2) years from the date of the award.
Section 3. The long-term engagement under the Program shall cover a duration of more than one (1) year to three (3). years, subject to renewal to be determined by the DOST and to be served within five (5) years from the date of the award.

ARTICLE VI
INCENTIVES, BENEFITS, AND PRIVILEGES

Section 1. Balik Scientists under the short-term engagement shall be eligible for the following benefits, incentives, and privileges:
1.1 Accident/travel insurance with PhP3 Million coverage, a comprehensive health and medical (including dental) insurance (PhP250,000 per illness) covering the duration of the engagement awarded by the DOST.
1.2 Reimbursement of expenses for excess baggage allowance, to a maximum of 25 kilograms, related to scientific project or activities.
1.3 One (1) round-trip airfare originating from a foreign country to the Philippines at actual cost, exempt from Philippine travel tax.
1.4 When applicable, application for a visa duly subsidized and facilitated by the DOST, whose validity shall cover the duration of the awarded engagement.
1.5 Tax exempt daily allowance of 200 USD or based on the prevailing UNDP rate, whichever is higher.
1.6 Under a staggered rendition of service, the Balik Scientist shall be entitled to only one (1) international round-trip airfare throughout the engagement, to be shouldered by the Program.
1.7 A Balik Scientist may participate in local conferences/symposiums relevant to his/her engagement, one of which may be provided with round-trip domestic airfare (at actual cost), registration fee and hotel accommodation subject to approval by the host institution/concerned DOST Sectoral Council, where appropriate.
1.8 All currently engaged Balik Scientists who will participate in the annual BSP Convention shall be provided by their host institution/concerned DOST Sectoral Council, where appropriate, with one round-trip domestic airfare (at actual cost) and hotel accommodation.
1.9 The Balik Scientist shall be endorsed for membership in the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) and one (1) professional local society/organization.
1.10 A Balik Scientist shall be provided a one-time incentive of five hundred thousand pesos (PhP 500,000), to be given upon outstanding completion of the engagement as evaluated by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
Section 2. Balik Scientists under the medium-term engagement shall be eligible for the following general benefits, incentives, and privileges:
2.1 Accident/travel insurance with PhP3 Million coverage, a comprehensive health and medical (including dental) insurance (PhP250,000 per illness) covering the duration of the engagement awarded by the DOST.
2.2 Reimbursement of expenses for excess baggage allowance, to a maximum of 25 kilograms, related to scientific project or activities.
2.3 One (1) round-trip airfare originating from a foreign country to the Philippines at actual cost, exempt from Philippine travel tax.
2.4 When applicable, application for a visa duly subsidized and facilitated by the DOST, whose validity shall cover the duration of the awarded engagement.
2.5 Tax exempt daily allowance of 200 USD or the prevailing UNDP rate, whichever is higher.
2.6 Under a staggered rendition of service, the Balik Scientist shall be entitled to only one (1) international round-trip airfare throughout the engagement, to be shouldered by the Program.
2.7 A Balik Scientist may participate in local conferences/symposiums relevant to his/her engagement, two (2) of which may be provided with round-trip domestic airfare (at actual cost), registration fee and hotel accommodation subject to approval by the host institution/concerned DOST Sectoral Council, where appropriate.
2.8 All currently engaged Balik Scientists who will participate in the annual BSP Convention shall be provided by their host institution/concerned DOST Sectoral Council, where appropriate, with one round-trip domestic airfare (at actual cost) and hotel accommodation.
2.9 The Balik Scientist shall be endorsed for membership in the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) and one (1) professional local society/organization.
2.10 A Balik Scientist shall be provided a one-time incentive of five hundred thousand pesos (PhP 500,000), to be given upon outstanding completion of the engagement as evaluated by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
Section 3. Balik Scientists under the long-term engagement shall be eligible for the following general benefits, incentives, and privileges:
2.1 Individual accident/travel insurance with PhP3 Million coverage and a comprehensive health and medical (including dental) insurance (PhP250,000 per illness), covering the duration of the engagement awarded by the DOST, for each of the Balik Scientist, his/her spouse and dependent(s).
3.2 Reimbursement of expenses for excess baggage allowance, to a maximum of 25 kilograms, related to scientific project or activities.
3.3 One (1) international round-trip airfare, at actual cost (return airfare to be provided after satisfactorily serving the contract), for the Balik Scientist, his/her spouse and dependent(s) originating from a foreign country to the Philippines, exempt from Philippine travel tax.
3.4 Special non-immigrant visa, for the Balik Scientist Awardee, his/her spouse and dependent(s), provided, that the validity of the visa shall cover the duration of the engagement.
3.5 One-time relocation allowance of two hundred fifty thousand pesos (PhP 250, 000).
3.6 Monthly housing or accommodation allowance at actual cost with a maximum amount of PhP40,000 per month.
3.7 A monthly transportation allowance of five thousand pesos (Php 5,000).
3.8 Salary equivalent to at least salary grade 24 to be covered by the host institution or charged to a DOST-funded project, where appropriate.
3.9 A Balik Scientist Awardee may participate in local conferences/symposiums relevant to his/her engagement, three (3) of which may be provided with round-trip domestic airfare (at actual cost), registration fee and hotel accommodation subject to approval by the host institution/concerned DOST Sectoral Council, where appropriate.
3.10 All currently engaged Balik Scientists who will participate in the annual BSP Convention shall be provided by their host institution/concerned DOST Sectoral Council, where appropriate, with one round-trip domestic airfare (at actual cost) and hotel accommodation.
3.11 A Balik Scientist shall be provided a one-time incentive of five hundred thousand pesos (PhP 500,000), to be given upon outstanding completion of the engagement as evaluated by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
3.12 The Balik Scientist shall be endorsed for membership in the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) and 1 professional local society/organization.

ARTICLE VII
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SECTORAL COUNCIL

Section 1. Ensure proper implementation of the provisions of this MC.
Section 2. Ensure that grants of benefits, incentives and privileges to Balik Scientist are in accordance with the provisions of this MC.

ARTICLE VIII
MONITORING

Section 1. To ensure that the results of scientific and technological activities are properly applied and utilized, the DOST shall require the Balik Scientists to submit their respective accomplishment reports as follows:
1.1 One (1) exit report for short-term engagement of 15 days to one (1) month of engagement
1.2 Monthly report for short-term engagement of more than one month up to six (6) months of engagement, and for medium-term engagement
1.3 Quarterly report for long-term engagement.

ARTICLE IX
CASES FOR RESOLUTION

Section 1. Issues and concerns that may arise in the implementation of these rules and regulations shall be resolved by the DOST.

ARTICLE X
APPROPRIATION

Section 1. The funds needed to implement the benefits, incentives, privileges under this Program shall be included in the annual budgets of the DOST, DOST Sectoral Councils and the host institutions, where appropriate.

ARTICLE XI
EFFECTIVITY/ SEPARABILITY/ AMENDMENT/ REPEALING CLAUSE

Section 1. Effectivity. This MC shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines.
All Contracts of Award already entered into among the Department, the Host Institution/s and the Balik Scientist and still subsisting upon the effectivity of this Memorandum Circular, insofar as they are inconsistent with the provisions herein, are deemed amended and superseded.
Section 2. Separability. If any part or provision of this MC is held invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions not affected thereby shall remain in force and in effect.
Section 3. Amendment/Repealing. All existing provisions of circulars or issuances on the grant of benefits, incentives and privileges to Balik Scientists that are inconsistent with the provisions of this MC are repealed or superseded accordingly.