The newly created Academe-Industry Linkages Special Committee led by its Chairperson, Pres. Emerson Atanacio of the National College of Science and Technology (NCST) conducted its organizational meeting on 23 September  at  NCST, Dasmarinas City, Cavite.In his presentation of the draft Terms of Reference, Pres. Atanacio identified the functions of the committee: (a) propose policies and mechanisms on strengthening academe-industry linkages; (b) organize continuing dialogue between the academe and the industry; (c) facilitate partnership building between the academe and industry; and (d) monitor the implementation of established partnerships. He also mentioned that the Committee members is initially composed of 8 regional line agencies, 6 state university and colleges (SUCs) and 12 private sector representatives and academe. Pres. Atanacio also said  that the committee will identify industry representatives, as members of the Committee, through DTI Region IV-A. Pres. Atanacio, one of the awardees’ of the  Ten Outstanding Young Men in 2013 and current private sector representative of the RDC was chosen to lead the group, considering his organization’s extensive partnership experience.Meanwhile, Regional Director  Luis Banua of the  NEDA Regional Office (NRO) IV-A  and the Committee Vice Chairperson,  explained the Committee’s Roadmap,  focused on achieving four desired results as follows: (a)  mapped existing AIL initiatives in the region; (b)  increased awareness on the benefits of AIL; (c)  identified and implemented AIL initiatives beyond apprenticeship programs; and (d) sustained commitment of stakeholders on strengthening AIL. He also encouraged the members to provide their comments and suggestions to further improve the Roadmap of the committee.

RD  Banua said that the RDC approved the creation of the Committee to provide a platform to discuss  the issue on the mismatch of skills produced by the higher education learning institutions with the needs of the industry and also  identify possible partnerships. He said that producing the required manpower for the industry’s labor is important for the region because it  has the biggest student population size, it is the second biggest economy as well as   first on industry gross value added in the country. He also mentioned  that  the  RDC  recently  adopted  a  tagline for the region: “Calabarzon: The STAR Region of the Philippines.”

Director  Ericson Atanacio of NCST, on the other hand,  presented the NCST’s experiences in partnership with different industries. He mentioned  that  they  are   gathering information   on  what the industry needs as a training partner, thinking of ways on how they can  continuously  adapt  through  changing  times  and  technology,  and acting in good faith towards the common good.  He  also  reminded  the  academe  to  be careful in choosing partners  because  they  might also be used as accessories in  exploitation. Thus, he advised the academe to register all  partnerships.

The state universities and higher education institutions such as the  Batangas State University, Cavite State University, Laguna State Polytechnic University, University of Rizal System, Southern Luzon State University, De La Salle University Dasmariñas, Lyceum of the Philippines Laguna and Manuel S. Enverga University as well as the representative of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities shared their insights on the creation of the Special Committee on Academe-Industry Linkages. On the other hand, the Cavite Export Processing Zone, DOLE Region IV-A, DOST Region IV-A, PIA Region IV-A and TESDA Region IV-A expressed their support to the Committee.

Present in the meeting were officials of 7 regional line agencies, 9 universities and colleges and higher education institutions, and 2 members from  Technical and Vocational Educators, Inc. The industry members are still  to be identified. The Committee is co-chaired by CHED’s Regional Director, Dr. Emmylou Yanga who was represented by Ms. Delia Rodriguez. RD  Luis Banua is the ex-officio Vice chairperson.

At the end of the meeting, Pres. Atanacio announced that the first quarterly meeting of the committee will be on 29 October  to be hosted by the  Cavite State University.