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Legarda explores other areas of cooperation between PH and Ruhr University

October 19, 2019

In addition to the signing of an academic agreement with Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) and a lecture on the Introduction of the Piña-Seda, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda also held a roundtable discussion last October 15 with the faculty and researchers of the German university on other possible areas of cooperation.

“I am hoping that these interactions will result in enhanced partnership between the Philippines and the University most especially in the areas of cultural and heritage preservation, biodiversity conservation, climate change and sustainable development, among many others,” Legarda said.

During the discussion, the RUB professors introduced to Legarda their respective specialties and study focus. Among the main interests discussed are on biodiversity conservation, emerging issues on migration, Spanish colonialism, and multilingualism.

On the topic of Spanish migration from Europe to Philippines to Spain, life of Rizal, and Spanish colonialism, Legarda suggested that the University partner with the Philippine Embassy in Lisbon to conduct substantial research focused on such topics.

“Topics on Spanish colonialism and migration are very timely given that in 2021 we will mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Magellan, which resulted in the introduction of Christianity to the Philippines. During my stint as the Senate Chairman of the Committee on Finance, I provided funds to the Philippine Embassy in Lisbon for the conduct of research and lectures. You can coordinate with them to have access and make your researches possible,” Legarda advised the professors.

Legarda also welcomed the idea of studying multilingualism and the effects of Filipino migration to its local language.

“The Philippines has more than one hundred languages and it is interesting to really find out what happens to the local language in the process migration. I will link up the University with the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino, headed by National Artist and Chair Virgilio Almario, a commission that documents the history of Filipino languages,” Legarda said.

“Aside from the effects of migration, it will also be great to see similarities and dissimilarities between the Philippines and German language. We also welcome further collaboration, through skills trainings and other capacity enhancement activities, in order to comprehensively document all endangered languages of our ethno-linguistic groups in the country,” Legarda added.

Moreover, Dr. Eberhard Curio mentioned about the successful cooperation between the RUB scientists and the Philippines, which can be traced back to 1997 when Dr. Curio set up a research station in North West Panay Peninsula and founded the Philippine Initiative for Conservation (PhilinCon) in Pandan, Antique.

“I first met Dr. Curio 20 years ago when I was new in the Philippine Senate. At that time, the North West Panay Peninsula was not yet a protected area but I considered it so important that just last year, my law was enacted into law. It is now part of the 94 protected areas in the Philippines, known as the E-NIPAS Law,” Legarda recalled.

As the former Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, Legarda provided support to the PhilinCon through a partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). As part of Philincon’s output, a book containing the report of Philincon’s initiative will be published next year.

Legarda further encouraged Dr. Curio to provide a proposal on the continuing work of Philincon in Pandan and pledged to continue providing support for the project. For his part, Dr. Curio expressed his gratitude for all the help and assistance provided by Deputy Speaker Legarda.

“I want Philincon to be active. I want it to be the premiere NGO in Northern Panay. I want to partner with Philincon to take care of the protected areas in Panay,” Legarda said.

“I am thankful for this very interactive discussion with professors and researchers of the RUB. Aside from academic cooperation, I look forward to doing a project with the University on climate change and biodiversity conservation, two other advocacies that are really close to my heart,” Legarda concluded.***