31 January 2020
ASEAN HELPING ASEAN. DOST and University Officials welcome new and ongoing DOST scholars from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar at a get-together event held on 22 January 2020 at the DOST Compound in Taguig City.
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) extends its scholarship program to the Southeast Asian community through the “DOST Scholarship Offerings for ASEAN Researchers at Cambodia – Lao PDR – Myanmar (CLM)”.
Under the program, graduate students from the three ASEAN member states may apply for scholarship and pursue their masters and doctorate degrees in various fields of science and engineering at partner universities (De La Salle University, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, UP Los Baños and UP Manila).
Current CLM scholars were welcomed by DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña in a get-together held on 22 January 2020 at the DOST-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) office in Taguig City. This was the second time DOST and partner university officials met with CLM scholarship recipients. The students thanked the DOST and the government and talked about their experiences as scholars in the country.
Secretary de la Peña emphasized the importance of friendship in the ASEAN and reminded scholars that they have a mission to fulfill.
“We are very happy that we continue to make an impact in the ASEAN Region by having this international scholarship program. This program is actually a pioneering one, maybe not just for the DOST, but for the Philippine government as well. We are happy to assist our ASEAN counterparts and exemplify what the mantra “ASEAN helping ASEAN” truly means,” the DOST Secretary said.
Also present in the event were DOST Undersecretary for Scientific and Technical Services, Dr. Renato Solidum, Jr.; Assistant Secretary for International Cooperation, Dr. Leah Buendia; Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) Executive Director, Dr. Reynaldo Ebora; Science Education Institute (SEI) Director, Dr. Josette Biyo, SEI Deputy Director, Engr. Albert Mariño, and representatives of the delivering universities.
For Dr. Solidum, science, technology and innovation are the three most important pillars that can drive our countries to achieving global competitiveness and sustainable growth. “To strengthen our efforts, we need all the help we can get from our people and our partners from the international scientific community,” he said.
Since the program’s inception in 2017, SEI acts as implementing agency and visits the three countries to hold applicant screening sessions.
On its first year of implementation, 14 masters students and 4 doctorate candidates passed. Now on its second year, the number of scholars increased to 25, with 20 taking their MS and 5 pursuing their Ph.D. in genetics, entomology, environmental science, environmental engineering, agronomy, public health, clinical medicine, electronics and communications engineering, civil engineering, energy engineering, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering, among others. Eleven scholars are citizens of Cambodia, 11 from Myanmar and 3 from Lao PDR.
Dr. Biyo encouraged scholars to finish the program and give back to their respective countries. “Be an inspiration to others who wish to pursue graduate studies in the Philippines. Hopefully, we’ll be able to accommodate more CLM scholars in the future.”