Partnership Inked with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO)
by Mahid M. Mangontarum
On April 17, 2018, the Mindanao State University and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) signed the Memorandum of Understanding for Institutional Cooperation on Tropical Environment and Related Fields at the Sam Arag Srinilta Room, SEARCA Headquarters, University of the Philippines – Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. SEAMEO is a regional intergovernmental organization among governments of Southeast Asian countries which promotes regional cooperation in education, science and culture. The MSU delegation was headed by no less than the MSU System President, Dr. Habib W. Macaayong. Other members of the group are Dr. Cesar A. dela Seña, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, Atty. Renato S. Pacaldo, PhD, Special Assistant for International Linkages, Dr. Evelyn V. Bigcas, Associate Professor of the College of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and Prof. Mahid M. Mangontarum, Special Assistant to the Office of the President and Assistant Professor of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. SEAMEO, on the other hand, was represented by Dr. Irdika Mansur, Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP, who was accompanied by Dr. Jesus C. Fernandez, the Programme Deputy Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP. Some of the highlights of the MOU are the joint implementation of research activities on tropical forests and related fields; the joint training programs, seminars, symposiums and conferences on tropical forest ecosystem and conservation, and other related fields; the joint publication of articles, reports and other scientific materials; and the exchange of academic information, publications, materials and knowledge.
The MSU-SEAMEO linkage firmed up with the signing of the MOU, leaving the MSU delegation sanguine about the benefits that stand to be gained from the partnership. SEAMEO is known to be an organization that continues to nurture human capacities and explore peoples’ fullest potential, and would be a very good partner in assisting the University in its vision of establishing itself as an internationally-recognized leading institution of higher learning.