August 13, 2020

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The Philippines and U.S. sign agreement on STEM education

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The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim signed an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation at the close of the 8th Bilateral Strategic Dialogue.

The Science and Technology agreement

According to a recent press release, the agreement covers potential cooperation in areas of STEM education, public health, marine sciences, environmental protection, disaster risk resilience, climate change, and renewable energy.

The agreement will be effective for 10 years and under it, the two countries commit to do the following:

  1. Promote scientific collaboration
  2. Build relationships between their respective scientific institutions and communities
  3. Provide opportunities for capacity building and exchange of ideas and information in order to advance common goals

The DOST Secretary recognised the importance of working collaboratively since there are so much to work on together, particularly the problems that affect the ordinary people.

He added that there is much to be gained by mutual cooperation, whether the topic of discussion is about the environment or innovation.

US Ambassador Kim, meanwhile, expressed that the United States is proud to partner with the Philippines to promote scientific advancement and cultivate relationships based on open collaboration.

According to him, they believe that the combined abilities of the scientists, the institutions, and the communities are more than a match for the shared challenges the countries we face.

The Bilateral Strategic Dialogue

The Science and Technology (S&T) agreement is considered a major output of this year’s Bilateral Strategic Dialogue.

The Bilateral Strategic Dialogue is an annual meeting of high-level government officials from the Philippines and the United States to tackle a full range of political, security, and economic cooperation between the two countries.

The signing also coincided with the opening of the 2019 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW), which celebrates the contributions of science to national development.

The Higher Education agreement

Furthermore, the Philippines and the United States have also signed an agreement that will strengthen cooperation in higher education.

As reported, the higher education agreement would serve as a way forward in expanding the educational ties between the two countries.

Commission on Higher Education Chairman Prospero De Vera III and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim signed the agreement.

The two sides also agreed to the creation of a new fellowship called the “Philippines-U.S. Alliance Fellowship” for Filipino scholars.

Under this fellowship, the United States Embassy will be sending two Filipino scholars to the US every year to study national security and international relations.

They intend to mould the alliance into one that gets ahead of the issues presented by the global environment. This way it is guaranteed that the alliance is proactive rather than reactive to sheer concerns.

Talks have also reportedly provided the two countries the opportunity to start the development of a project aimed at supporting Filipino teachers who go to the US on its “Exchange Visitors Program.”

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