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Contributed by Sr. Flordeliza Deza, SPC

Date: March 1, 2017Posted by: Marionette Martinez

(ASJA–Asia-Japan Alumni, ASCOJA–Asian Council of Japan Alumni,
PHIL FEJA-Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni)
20 February 2017, AIM Conference Hall, Makati

The event gathered JAPAN ALUMNI/SCHOLARS from the ASEAN–with some invited guests from a few universities (like SPU Manila) which have faculty/alumni who are members of the organizations above. The group was composed of ASEAN alumni (from Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam). Alumni from the Philippines came mostly from UP Diliman, UP Los Baños, and other SUCs, and Ateneo and La Salle. Programs/studies were along STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and Japanese Language Learning. Dr. Portia Vitug was the only alumna/scholar from SPU Manila.

Keynote Speaker for the Symposium was Mr. Susumu Ito, Chief Representative of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency, who spoke on “Japan Development Assistance: Trends, Patterns, Issues, and Prospects for Education and Human Resource Development.” Presentations/papers/reports from chosen speakers and alumni featured their experiences and benefits that accrued to their country (such as infrastructure), to their home school (value-added manpower quality) and to their personal life/family (employment opportunities, economic gains, personal prestige) as a result of the assistance provided by the ODA (Official Development Aid of Japan) channeled through the organizations above.

The “internationalization” aspect focused on the above efforts of Japan to assist in developing highly skilled human resources in this time of internationalization and ASEAN integration.

Two noteworthy inputs were “ASEAN Integration and New Generation Trade Agreements: Implications for Human Resource Development” by Dr. Cielito Habito, Professor-Economics, Ateneo, former Philippine Secretary for Socio-Economic Planning, and Director General of NEDA; and “Internationalization of HEIs in the midst of ASEAN Integration” by Dr. Caesar Saloma, Professor, National Institute of Physics, UP Diliman and Member, National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines.

What does the symposium mean for SPU Manila?
1. It is good to learn about Japan’s efforts and willingness to invest material resources for building and establishing goodwill in Asia and ultimately to help ASEAN countries in their development through human resource development.
2. For SPU Manila to participate and be part of this circle, it has to a) give attention to building its STEM programs (if any); b) explore possible programs where its people (faculty, staff, students) can participate in human resource development programs; and c) to undertake research, which is always a rich area for cooperation.

Photo shows Dr. Portia Vitug, Sr. Flordeliza Deza, SPC, and Dr. Marichen Dychangco at the conference.