THE ACADEME, THE GOVERNMENT AND THE INDUSTRY – Synergies for a Better Philippines

Let me greet and welcome the following speakers to this Academe, Government and Industry Forum, who graciously accepted our invitation:

For the Academe – USC President Fr. Dionisio Miranda and CHED Regional Director, Dr. Freddie T. Bernal; Local Government – DTI Reg. Dir. Asteria C. Caberte and Cebu Prov. Admin. Atty. Mark C. Tolentino; for the Industry – Cebu Business Chamber of Commerce Inc. Pres., Ms. Melanie T. Ng; and our Panel Reactors – USPF Dean of School of Business, Dr. Venus Empuerto & Mandaue Chamber of Commerce Inc. Pres., Mr. Glenn Anthony Soco, Colleagues, Faculty, Students and Staff, a pleasant afternoon.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the efforts of all those who contributed in making this forum possible, especially the students and faculty of the School of Management, one of the 4 recently created colleges of UP Cebu.

This event is in line with our 18 month run-up to UP Cebu’s 100 years of existence, since its founding on May 3, 2018, as a junior college of UP Diliman. Practically, UP Cebu is both the youngest and the oldest among UP units. Oldest, because UP Cebu is the oldest regional unit outside of UP Diliman. But youngest in the UP System at the same time, for we had just been granted our constituent university status last 27 October 2016, resulting into the conversion of 4 of our academic clusters into 4 colleges, one of which is the School of Management, the host college for this event.

We have chosen for the 18 month run-up various activities, with the uniting theme of: UP Cebu in its 100 Years of Public Service. This is just appropriate, as a national university, whose function is not solely on teaching and research, but likewise on public service and extension.

Right now, UP Cebu is home to various shared services facilities which do not only serve as research centers and laboratories for our students and faculty, but are likewise here to serve the public and the community as a whole. We have the DOST-UP Cebu Technology Business Incubation facility, which was just recently awarded by the UP President with the Gawad Pangulo Excellence in Public Service. We are host to the second ever here in the Visayas region, the Digital Fabrication Laboratory or FABLAB, thru the initial support of the Department of Trade and Industry, and which recently, got an approved funding support from the DOST. Likewise, DTI had located here inside UP Cebu its first academe based GNCPlus, which consists of its Go Negosyo Center with a co-working space. But aside from that, we are also home to the Digital Media Production Center, through the DTI’s grant to a cooperative called ARTISTKO, where musicians can find very affordable means of producing their musical compositions. We likewise have with us, the Innovation Technology Support Office or ITSO, which provides support to intellectual property right protection. Aside from the Shared Services Facilities I had mentioned, we have 2 LIDAR Centers awarded by the DOST, for hazard mapping and resource assessment in Western Visayas.

And this is not to mention the various support that the Commission on Higher Education consistently is providing us. By the way, just last Monday, we launched a new graduate program on Master of Arts in Applied Arts and Design, which we are hosting for Shu-Te University, of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, as our way of supporting the creative economy of Cebu.

All those facilities and activities I just mentioned, are clear manifestations of academe, government and industry synergy. In those facilities and activities I just mentioned, these 3 pillars of academe, government and industry are in strong collaboration and cooperation. These support we in UP Cebu had been getting from these different government agencies, through this enabling ecosystem located in one place, like a one-stop shop, we know, is not just for us but in order for us to provide better service to the public.

Today’s forum gives the 3 pillars opportunity to converse on how to forge common beneficial direction for a better Philippines. But what will make us better? Is it a green Philippines, at the expense of the loss of livelihood of the workers in the mining industry? Can an economy anchored on its culture and creativity ever be scaled up? With the industry continuously growing, changing and ever more demanding, will our graduates be fully equipped to meet these demands? Is it equitable to provide free tuition across the board, regardless of their parents’ income? And how will this solution impact on private HEIs? How can the Philippines ever continue to be globally competitive and be at par with the current trends in the global market? Are we producing the right graduates, that will result into good jobs or better businesses, for strong and sustainable growth?

Stepping up our game, providing new pathways, be it in the academe, the industry or the government, and us working together and collaborating closely, is sure one way for us to reach our goal of a better Philippines. As we say in UP Cebu, let us CREATE, INNOVATE and SERVE.

And everything starts with a dialogue. Let us talk, which is what we will do today, in this Forum.