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UPD, Korean institutions promote regional prosperity

Seated, from left: Dir. Wonbae Kim, Dir. Seung-Chan Yang, Vice President JaeYong Cha, President Hyung-Tae Kim, President Sang-Chul Jung, Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma, Mayor Herbert Bautista, Mayor Hong-Chul Yum, Vice President Prospero de Vera III, Vice President Deog-Seong Oh, Vice Chancellor Ronald Banzon, Dean Edna Estifania Co, Dean Byung-Joo Kang, Dean Mary Ann Espina, Director Tae-Ho La, Ms. Mi-Ha Park. Standing, from left: Dr. Aldrin Lee, Sol O. Angkaw, Dr. Meliton Juanico, Dr. Darlene Gutierrez, Dr. Cristine Villagonzalo

(August 22)—Two city mayors—Herbert C. Bautista of Quezon City and Hong-Chul Yum of Deajeon Metropolitan City (DMC) of South Korea—led participants in an international conference on the “Role of Local Governments, Industries and Universities in the Promotion of Regional Prosperity” held August 16 at the National Engineering Center.

In his keynote speech, Mayor Yum said the conference seeks “to encourage international cooperation and sharing of scientific and technical knowledge by establishing a partnership between Chungnam University and Hannam University of Korea and the UPD,” which will be “mutually beneficial to everyone involved.”

In addition to the city mayors, the conference featured officials from Chungnam University, led by its president Prof. Sang-Chul Jung, Hannam University represented by its president Prof. Hyung-Tae Kim, Dr. Prospero de Vera, vice president for public affairs of the UP System, UPD chancellor Dr. Caesar A. Saloma and faculty members of several UPD colleges. The event was sponsored by the World Technopolis Association (WTA).

Yum noted the role of universities in regional development, stressing that “capable human resource is now the center of social capital, universities should take the responsibility to make capable of playing a pivotal role in the city’s industries, services and administration.” Yum is also the president of WTA.

Bautista, on the other hand, noted the significance of the conference. “This collaboration between prestigious universities plays an important role in the advancement of science and technology and local development by promoting exchanges information and human resources. International cooperation among universities, research institutes and local governments encourage the sharing of knowledge and technology thereby enhancing competitiveness,” he said.

According to Bautista, Quezon City is one of the fastest-growing cities in Metro Manila and “is geared towards the same direction as DMC.”  Quezon City is recognized by the national government and the business sector as the ICT (information and communication technology) Capital of the country because of concentration of ICT companies in the city.

Daejeon is South Korea’s fifth largest city and the provincial capital of Chungnam. It is also the hub of science, technology, transportation, government and education in Korea.

Chancellor Saloma opened the conference by welcoming the participants. Setting the tone for the activity, he noted the role of universities in such an undertaking. “Universities are a nation’s premier generator of knowledge, which is essential to technological innovation and economic progress and must therefore interact with various institutions for research and public service,” he said.

Prof. Jung and Prof. Kim also spoke briefly at the opening ceremonies. Jung spoke of the WTA, which he described as “a multilateral international organization created with the purpose of connecting the advancement of science and technology with local development in order to achieve shared development through cooperation and exchanges among cities.”

Meanwhile, Kim spoke of Hannam University’ linkages with 168 universities in 40 countries, with UPD as one of these universities.  “We have maintained a close bond with UPD over the past two decades, based on an agreement signed in 1989. Their unwavering devotion to academic excellence is always a source of inspiration to our academic community.”

Among the conference speakers were four UPD professors, namely: Dr. Jonathan Sale, dean of the School of Labor and Industrial Relations (SOLAIR); Dr. Edna Estifania Co, dean of the National College of Public Administration and Governance; Dr. Rene Ofreneo of SOLAIR and Dr. Remigio Ocenar of the Center for Local and Regional Governance.—Chi A. Ibay