Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. (left), SEARCA Director, presents a replica of the Growth Monument, SEARCA’s institutional symbol, to H. E. Pham Vu Luan.
His Excellency Prof. Dr. Pham Vu Luan, Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam and President of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council, lauded Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) for its contributions to SEAMEO and to research and training in agriculture and forestry in the region during his visit to the Center on 26 January 2015.
H.E. Prof. Dr. Pham Vu Luan, Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam and President of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Council, delivers his message.Representatives of the Department of Education (DepEd), Philippines escorted H.E. Pham Vu Luan. DepEd Secretary Armin A. Luistro and the education ministers of the 10 other Southeast Asian countries constitute the SEAMEO Council.
H.E. Pham Vu Luan was also accompanied by Dr. Tinsiri Siribodhi, Deputy Director (Administration and Communication), SEAMEO Secretariat; Mr. Tran Ba Viet Dzung, Advisor to the Minister on SEAMEO and ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Education and Training (MOET); Mrs. Phung Thi Hong Van, Senior Officer at MOET’s International Co-operation Department; Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Nam, Editor in Chief of the Education and Times Journal; and Mr. Nguyen Dang Khue, Lecturer at Hanoi University of Foreign Studies.
H.E. Pham Vu Luan (right) presents a Vietnamese painting to Dr. Saguiguit as a token of appreciation.Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director, led the Center in welcoming the SEAMEO Council President and his entourage. Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., Chancellor, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and Philippine representative to the SEARCA Governing Board, also welcomed them to the university campus where SEARCA is hosted by the Philippine government.
Also at SEARCA to meet with the SEAMEO Council President were Dr. Romeo R. Quizon, Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Public Health, Hospital Administration, Environmental and Occupational Health (SEAMEO TROPMED-Philippines) based in the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila where he is also Dean of the College of Public Health (CPH), and Dr. Maria Carmen C. Tolabing, Assistant to the Dean for Academic Affairs of UP-CPH.
In a joint meeting attended by the guests as well as SEARCA staff and scholars, H.E. Pham Vu Luan was given a briefing about SEARCA, its accomplishments in FY 2013/2014, and its Tenth Five-Year Plan (FY 2014/2015-2018/2019), as well as the programs and activities of SEAMEO TROPMED-Philippines.
In response, the SEAMEO Council President thanked the two Centers for their warm welcome and for their “very informative presentations” on the programs and activities they implement in the past fiscal year.
He noted the success of SEARCA in its research studies on agriculture and forestry as well as “in training, and having many scholars who are well-known internationally and regionally.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks on behalf of the government of Vietnam, the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam for your support and assistance in building capacity, and training many Vietnamese scholars in agriculture and forestry sector of Vietnam in the past years,” H.E. Pham Vu Luan said.
“As President of the SEAMEO Council, I’d like to express my thanks and recognition of your contribution in supporting other SEAMEO centers in the region as well as contributing to SEAMEO operations in general,” he added.
H.E. Pham Vu Luan also expressed his appreciation for the efforts of SEAMEO TROPMED-Philippines in providing the public health training program for many experts in the region, which contributes to the improvement of public health in the region.
He disclosed that he and Secretary Luistro had a meeting earlier that day wherein they agreed that the Philippines and Vietnam will prioritize a number of areas for bilateral cooperation. He said they believe such an initiative will set “a bright example to other countries.” He expressed his hope that public health will be among said priority areas. On the other hand, he affirmed that agriculture and the core activities of SEARCA are priority areas.
The SEAMEO Council President’s visits to the SEAMEO centers in the Philippines and other countries in the region are expected to reinforce the strong ties among the members of the SEAMEO family.
In a souvenir photo with the SEARCA staff are (all seated) H. E. Pham Vu Luan (third from right) with Dr. Saguiguit (third from left); Dr. Tinsiri Siribodhi (second from left), SEAMEO Secretariat Deputy Director (Administration and Communication); Dr. Virginia R. Cardenas (second from right), SEARCA Deputy Director for Administration; Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma (rightmost), SEARCA Program Head for Graduate Education and Institutional Development; and Dr. Bessie M. Burgos (leftmost), SEARCA Acting Program Head for Research and Development.
The SEARCA scholars studying at the UPLB with the officials of SEAMEO and SEARCA (seated) and Mr. Nguyen Dang Khue (standing, sixth from right), interpreter of H.E. Pham Vu Luan.
The Vietnamese SEARCA scholars studying at UPLB with H.E. Pham Vu Luan (sixth from left), Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. (seventh from left), UPLB Chancellor and Philippine Representative to the SEARCA Governing Board; Dr. Saguiguit (eighth from left); Dr. Romeo R. Quizon (ninth from left), Director of SEAMEO TROPMED-Philippines and Dean of UP-CPH; Dr. Tinsiri (seventh from right); Mr. Tran Ba Viet Dzung (leftmost), Advisor to the Minister on SEAMEO and ASEAN Affairs, MOET; Dr. Maria Carmen C. Tolabing (sixth from right), Assistant to the Dean for Academic Affairs of UP-CPH; and Dr. Cardenas (fifth from right).