Monday, August 24, 2009

Welcome Message of CHED OIC-RD, Dr. Virginia D. AKiate

3rd CREATE (Caraga Region Engineering, Architecture and Technology Educators) Congress, July 31, 2009

….distinguished guests, fellow government workers, deans, program heads, faculty members, engineers, inventors, architects and technologist, students….Madyaw na buntag! Maganda umaga sa inyong lahat!

40 years ago, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon and said “That’s a small step of a man, a giant leap for mankind.” Since then man’s quest to improve life in this planet never stopped. Technology has become the engine of development, and technology education has been the greatest equalizer.

Globalization and knowledge revolution driven by technology leveled the playing field. Thomas L. Friedman, foreign correspondent of The New York Times who won the Pulitzer Prize three times, even wrote the bestseller book, “The World is Flat”. Friedman argued that the flattening forces are empowering more and more individuals today to reach farther, faster, deeper and cheaper than even before, and that is equalizing power-and equalizing opportunity, by giving so many more people the tools and ability to connect, complete and collaborate. This flattening in the world is a great window of opportunity for all of us, especially for the would –be engineers, architects, technologist and technopreneurs.

Cognizant of the intense competition in the global arena, our government is very serious in developing the Philippines as preferred global provider in business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing. In order to be more competent, we need to strengthen our research and development (R&D), motivate creativity and innovative measures so we can build our own technology base.

The Commission on Higher Education is very grateful of the support extended by the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology and of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines, to our engineering, architecture and technology education in the region, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as the Chair of the president Coordinating Council on Research and Development (PCCRD) has recently instructed CHED to strengthen scholarship for engineers and scientist and to double the country’s engineers and scientist involved in research and development. CHED was also tasked to handle and rationalize all domestic and foreign scholarships to maximize R&D linkages. R&D is a great determinant for competitiveness in this area of creativity and innovation; in fact countries at the top of the World Competitiveness Ranking don’t even have natural resources like ours. They are very good at mining the brains of their people.

As for CHED’s commitment, we shall continue to work with other government agencies and the industry in pursuing the needed reforms an intervention for quality higher education that will be responsive to the needs of the region and of opportunities outside of the country. Our presence today must inspire us to collaborate more at even higher levels, in order to improve the quality of life in Caraga Region.

Finally, we congratulate and thank CREATE, the organizers headed by Dr. Levita B. Grana for organizing this forum that bring educators and students, professionals and life-long learners to a regional venue to hear distinguished local, national and international speakers talk on very important matters affecting the development of our region and of our country like this year’s topics: Intellectual Property (IP), quality assurance, and technology commercialization. The presence Caraga’s winning inventor is an added opportunity, especially for the creative geniuses of the younger generation. We are very sure this activity, including tomorrow’s organization and planning of IP industry cluster, will go along way in your individual professional development and of the Caraga Region’s development too.

May this convergence become an integral part of that giant leap towards sustainable development of Caraga Region.

Welcome to the 3rd CREATE Congress!