SEG and NEDA hold open forum in line with DLSU Ambisyon 2017

The School of Economics Government (SEG), in partnership with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) held an open forum last June 17 in line with the competition entitled “Ambisyon: An Innovation Case Challenge for a Better Philippines” or “DLSU Ambisyon 2017”. The two guest speakers were DLSU alumnus Gregg Tolentino and former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas.

In the opening remarks, SEG College President Chloe Cheng stated that the competition aimed to promote the government and NEDA’s AmBisyon Natin 2040, a long-term vision and plan that highlights the aspirations and standards of living that the Filipinos aim to achieve by 2040. The vision has three main pillars: matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay (a stable, comfortable, and peaceful life). Among the priority sectors of the plan include housing and urban development, manufacturing, connectivity, education, tourism, agriculture, health, and finance.

DLSU Ambisyon 2017 was specifically created to highlight the objectives of AmBisyon Natin 2040 through innovation case challenges prepared by NEDA. Cheng added that the competition was composed of 32 participants from different colleges and were divided into seven teams. Participants were required to attend plenary sessions conducted by the National Development Office for Policy and Planning, Youth Force of the United Nations, and Department of Finance.

The winner of the case competition was Team Werk with the following members: Camille Andrea Escalante, Timothy Joseph Henares, Lance Rodrigo Trillanes, and Jeremiah Roel Domingo.

Photo by Ian Benedict Mia.
Photo by Ian Benedict Mia.

Lasallians and society

For the forum proper, the first speaker was DLSU alumnus Gregg Tolentino who is now working as a management associate for a multinational bank. He discussed how Lasallians can contribute to society with three main points that he gathered from his experience in the academe, religious life, government, and corporate setting.

In his first point, he tackled two kinds of Lasallians: the nominal and authentic Lasallian. Nominal Lasallians are merely Lasallians by name, while authentic Lasallians are those who he claims to embody the vision and mission of DLSU.

For his second point, Tolentino shared that Lasallians can contribute to society by practicing the core values of faith, service, and communion in various ways. He adds that these values can be applied in the academe, religious life, government, and corporate setting.

Lastly, Tolentino stressed that a Lasallian should consider if their contribution would be beneficial for the country. His three main points constitute an idea which he believes every Lasallian should live by–how a Lasallian can contribute to society. “Ngayon palang, simulan mo na. Naniniwala ako na kung sama-sama tayong magtrabaho, sa ganitong paraan ay magiging matagumpay tayo sa pagkamit ng ambisyon na magkaroon ng matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na pamumuhay,” Tolentino concluded.

(Start as early as now. I believe that if we work together, in this way we will be successful in achieving that ambition of having a stable, comfortable, and peaceful life.)

Insights on the economy

For the second part of the forum, former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas discussed the world economic trends for the last century, specifically the economic situation in the Philippines. “In 1938, before the Second World War, the Philippines had the highest per capita income in the whole of Asia,” Roxas illustrated. He added that the Philippines was considered a rising star as an economy, which was why many international organizations such as the World Health Organization were located in the country.

In comparison, present-day economic tigers Taiwan and South Korea were deemed to be economic basket cases by the World Bank in 1954. In 2000, the two countries reached first world country status and became part of the top ten economies in the world, similar to the rise of Singapore as an economic tiger.

“Destinies of nations are not preordained. Nations rise, nations fall. Those who were ahead can fall behind, those who were behind can run ahead,” Roxas stated, in light of the economic situation of the Philippines. “The destinies of nations are up to the people and the societies that constitute that nation.”

After Roxas’ talk, an open forum was held which lasted for about an hour. Various questions related to the Philippine economy and its interrelations with the world economy were highlighted.

“Our economy is roughly about P15 trillion in GDP (gross domestic product). Roughly 60 percent of that is services, about 30 percent is industry, and ten percent is agriculture. Just in that statistic, you can already develop your action plan. What are some of the things you can extract from that?” Roxas cited.

To sustain the growth of the services and industry sector, Roxas explained that the country needs a well-trained and educated population. However, he emphasized that the challenge with this economic mix is that the agriculture sector, which is only ten percent of GDP, is being shared by roughly half of the country’s entire population. “That means they are extremely poor. We have to focus on that. One way to help them is through infrastructure,” he added. “Those are two things we should focus on: infrastructure and education.”

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By Angelo Chupeco

Bea Francia

By Bea Francia

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