Does the Philippines have too many lawyers and not enough scientists? This seems to be the common perception in this country where hotshot legal eagles are treated like rock stars, while scientists are mostly ignored and relegated in the dark corners of their laboratories.
Two days from now, the legal profession will be on the spotlight once more as the results of the 2009 Bar exams will be released by the Supreme Court. Like in the years past, the topnotchers will again be the toast of the town.
This kind of royal, over-the-top treatment of lawyers is something that you can't expect to be accorded on topnotchers of engineering examinations or health science courses. While it is said that the Bar is the toughest government exam in the country, there's just something amiss in our practice of giving all the limelight and accolade to lawyers.
I'm a law student and someday, too, I'd want to join the roll of attorneys. But I also cover the technology beat, and I've noticed that even in the media, scientists and their works are rarely given the exposure usually allotted to lawyers.
About three weeks ago, I was part of a media contingent that took part in a plant tour of Epson in Matsumoto City in Nagano prefecture and Sapporo City in Hokkaido Island, both in Japan. I amazed at how the Japanese people are so into technology; it is as if everyone is involved with anything related to science and technology (S&T).
They eat and breathe S&T and have made it an integral way of life. It's no wonder their country is an economic superhouse. I've been to Japan twice, but I have yet to meet a Japanese lawyer.
Just to answer the question above, there are actually not many lawyers in the Philippines. I don't have the numbers, but there is a high probability that graduates of science and engineering courses are greater in number than those that have law degrees. But, why is it then that lawyers seem to be the only professionals we have in this country?
It could be that our people are easily impressed by sweet-talking lawyers than by those shy scientists who keep to themselves and work silently in their laboratories. The reasons are varied.
It may take a while but I'm hoping that, just like in Japan, our culture would learn to appreciate scientists and engineers more and they'd be accorded the importance that they deserve.
Industry Update Outsourcing giant Accenture has announced that its long-time country managing director, Beth Lui, has retired from the company. Lui, who spent 31 years at Accenture, is reportedly joining SPI Global Solutions, the PLDT Group's BPO arm.
Accenture has appointed Manolito "Lito" Tayag as Lui's replacement. The company also bared the appointment of George Son Keng Po as its Philippines lead for the Delivery Center Network for Technology, a post which Lui also held in concurrent capacity. Tayag and Keng Po, along with Benedict Hernandez, BPO services delivery operations lead, comprise Accenture's top leadership in the Philippines.