Saturday, August 8, 2015

CHED and DOST to Hold APEC Conferences and Policy Talks on Science and Technology in Higher Education

Wazzup Pilipinas!

We were at the press conference organized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with regards to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 conferences scheduled on August 10 to 15 - a two-part series of conferences namely the Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) on August 10 to 12, and High Level Policy Dialogue on Science and Technology in Higher Education (HLPD-STHE) scheduled on August 13 to 15. This conferences will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

CHED and DOST combine forces to bring us a series of APEC conferences specific to policy talks highlighting Science and Technology in Higher Education. The DOST and CHED will host the talks.

The panelists during the press conference held on August 7, 2015 at the Sulo Riviera Hotel in Diliman, Quezon City was led by DOST Secretary Mario Montejo and CHED Secretary Patricia Licuanan. Other members of the panel were DOST Usec Amelia Guevarra, CHED Commissioner Minella Alarcon, and CHED Director Napoleon Juanillo. DOST Assistant Secretary Raymond Liboro was also there to moderate the panel, As well as DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevarra, and other personalities from both the DOST and CHED.

Yours truly was representing Vigattin Radio of Radyo Inquirer being one of the co-anchors of the radio show aired every Saturday from 10 to 11 am. I was with Elison Barcelo, CEO of Vigattin Inc. I noticed that there were no bloggers invited to this particular press conference which was surprising because we were actually listening to the initiatives of government agencies that were supposed to be embracing technology in full force.

The Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation (PPSTI) is an APEC working group that aims to intensify cooperation among the government, private sector and academe. This year's PPSTI annual theme would be "Science, Technology and Innovation for Inclusive Growth." Based on existing cooperation, PPSTI will encourage and support S&T industry, including SMEs through multiple channels and platforms to participate in the APEC STI cooperation on various levels and in different fields, which will give full play to the strong points of collaboration between government and academia and realize the goal of Asia-Pacific inclusive growth through joint efforts.

Highlight of the PPSTI is the Aspire annual awards that recognizes young scientists who have demonstrated a commitment towards excellence in scientific research and cooperation with scientists from other APEC member economies.The Philippines has the theme "Disaster Risk Reduction: Understanding the Role of Climate Change and Variability."

The High Level Policy Dialogue on Science and Technology in Higher Education (HLPD-STHE) is to highlight the role of S&T in fostering inclusive and regional economic growth, examine higher education mechanisms, modalities and strategies that can build human capital necessary to produce innovations in S&T and demonstrate the contributions of S&T in addressing common issues like food production and security, environment, disaster prevention, climate change and energy, marine economy such as biodiversity and conservation, smart analytics and Engineering innovations, and health systems.

Initiatives on cross border education, S&T mobility card for scientists and expert researchers, and capacity building through Twinning programs.

To add my personal views, I mentioned that there are a lot of youth that are more than inspired to engage in entrepreneurship immediately after college, and some are even already starting their initiatives even while they are still in school. Does the government have any specific budget allocated for these newly graduates who are interested to become startups or perhaps scientists if their interest is in Science.

Also apparent from the recent press conferences and events of the DOST that they still have not recognized online media/bloggers as the most effective way to disseminate information just as how traditional media of radio, print and television has established their own digital news portal to complement their own publication or network because they are accepting the fact that new media is the trend of the future.

But later after the presscon, somebody from DOST approached me and told me that they were already eyeing to include new media. Hopefully we would have a great partnership out of this opportunity. The country really needs to know what our government agencies are doing and it is up to all forms of media to work together and not chase after exclusivity or keep the news within. Our fellow Filipinos deserve to regularly know the news and updates from our government agencies at the fastest and must convenient way possible. Since we all know that almost everyone is now connected online mainly because of their smartphones, it is best for everyone to use the technology that is well accepted by the majority.

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