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National Scientist Among 23 UPPEJA Fellows; Top PH Scholars to Help in EDCOM 2 Reforms 


The University of the Philippines named 23 researchers as President Edgardo J. Angara (UPPEJA) Fellows in a ceremony held today, September 26, 2023, attended by UP President Angelo Jimenez, EDCOM 2 Co-Chairpersons Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Representative Roman Romulo, and EDCOM 2 Commissioners Senator Sonny Angara, Senator Pia Cayetano, Senator Joel Villanueva, and members of the Angara family, led by Mrs. Gloria Angara

“My father really wanted to recruit student leaders from all persuasions, from all sides of the political spectrum. He was really a believer in the power of research”, Senator Angara said, recalling his father, the Award’s namesake, Senate President Edgardo J. Angara. 

“The torch has been passed to all of us. It’s really up to us to carry that torch, to keep the flame burning, because we live in a time when pragmatism sometimes overcomes idealism. I think there is room for both”, Senator Angara continued.  

In June, the the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) inked an agreement with UP, supporting the Commission’s undertaking of a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the performance of the Philippine education sector. 

The 23 UPPEJA Fellows will be writing nineteen research studies tackling ten Priority Areas identified by the Commission. 

National Scientist, Former University Presidents among awardees

Among the awardees is National Scientist Dr. Carmencita Padilla, who intends to write on leveraging higher education to resolve healthcare constraints. According to EDCOM 2, “The study will assess human resource deficits in healthcare using data from the Department of Health, and juxtapose it against the current supply of healthcare practitioners produced by higher education institutions”. Dr. Padilla is also the Chancellor of the University of the Philippines – Manila. 

Dr. Michael Alba, immediate past president of Far Eastern University, will focus on “a normative regulation analysis of Philippine higher education”, which can be the basis to propose regulatory approaches and performance management mechanisms for the Commission on Higher Education and the higher education sector, as a whole. 

Dr. Lisa Grace Bersales, Executive Director of the Commission on Population and Development and previously National Statistician, will study the labor market outcomes of graduates in the informal economy. 

Other topics for research by the 23 fellows include aiming for seamless and integrated learning delivery, looking into Filipino Gen Z’s career values, empowering citizens to participate in improving education governance, and charting the course for higher education curricular reform in light of artificial intelligence. 

Among the 23 fellows include Dr. Elizabeth King, adjunct professor at Georgetown University and Former Director of Education at the World Bank; Dr. Rosario “Chat” Manasan, Senior Education Policy Economist at the Asian Development Bank; Dr. Dina Ocampo, former undersecretary of the Department of Education; and Dr. Luis Rey Velasco, former chancellor of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños and executive member of the National Innovation Council. 

“Through this partnership between UP and EDCOM, we believe that we will succeed in the challenges that have long prevented the Filipino youth from reaching a brighter future”, EDCOM 2 Executive Director Dr. Karol Mark Yee said in Filipino. 

In the plenary session, EDCOM 2 Commissioner Senator Joel Villanueva sponsored Resolution No. 812, co-sponsored by Commissioner Senator Pia Cayetano, congratulating and commending the UPPEJA Fellowship awardees. 

The UP Board of Regents established the PEJA Fellowship in 2008, with the intention of promoting high-level policy discussions and research that address national development goals and initiatives. Senator Edgardo Angara previously served as UP President from 1981 to 1987. 

Past awardees of the fellowship include Raul V. Fabella (2011), Raul P. Pangalangan (2011), Ramon Pedro Paterno (2011), Gerardo P. Sicat (2011), Herman Joseph Kraft (2013), Clarissa C. David (2015), Stella Luz A. Quimbo (2015), Caesar A. Saloma (2015), Lucia P. Tangi (2015), and Aileen San Pablo Baviera (2015).

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