The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) convened its 64th Governing Board Meeting (GBM) on 26 – 28 October 2016 at Dusit Thani, Makati City, Philippines.
The guest of honor during the opening ceremonies was Atty. Alberto T. Muyot, Undersecretary for Legal Service of the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) who was represented by his Chief of Staff Atty. Jemirose R. Luot. In his message, Atty. Muyot emphasized the alignment of SEARCA's programs and activities with the SEAMEO Seven Priority Areas, particularly in addressing barriers to inclusion, promoting harmonization in higher education and research, developing curriculum that responds to the competency requirements of the 21st century, and promoting technical and vocational education and training as it relates to agriculture.
Comprised of representatives from the 11 SEAMEO member countries, the GB serves as SEARCA's highest policymaking body, which provides general directions and strategies to the Center in promoting Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD) in Southeast Asia.
In the meeting, Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director and ex-officio member of the GB, presented SEARCA's accomplishments in the immediate past fiscal year, which were lauded by the GB members and the representative from DepEd.
This year's GBM was attended by representatives from seven countries including Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Dr. Tinsiri Sirbodhi, Deputy Director for Administration and Communication of SEAMEO Secretariat (SEAMES), also attended the meeting as ex-officio member of the SEARCA GB.
SEARCA GB members stood behind their country flags. From left to right: Dr. Tran Van Dien, Rector of the Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, Vietnam; Mrs. Kanittha Duangpattra representing Dr. Sathit Puttachaiyong, President of Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep, Thailand; Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., Chancellor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and Chair of the 64th GBM; Dr. Somphong Chanthavong, Acting Dean of Agriculture and Environment at Savannakhet University, Lao PDR; Dr. Ocky Karna Radjasa, Director, Strengthening Research and Development, Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education, Indonesia; Dr. Ngo Bunthan, Rector of the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), Cambodia; Dr. Haji Mohd Zamri Bin Haji Sabli, Assistant Director of the Institute of Brunei Technical Education, Ministry of Education, Brunei Darussalam; Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director, and Dr. Tinsiri Siribodhi, SEAMES Deputy Director for Administration and Communication, both ex-officio members of the SEARCA GBM.