Dr. Maria Monina Cecilia A. Villena, Special Projects Coordinator and Network Administrator of SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center (BIC) under the Knowledge Management Department, and Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, Program Head for SEARCA’s Graduate Education and Institutional Development (GEIDD), introduced top officials of private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Philippines to the agricultural biotechnology landscape and its latest course offerings in the country and Southeast Asia during the Top Management Program for Private Higher Education Institution (HEI) Presidents and Chancellors: Crafting New Strategies for the K-to-12 Transition Years (2016-2021) organized by the Asian Institute of Management through the Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management (AIM-ZSDM) on January 12, 2017 at AIM in Makati City.
Dr. Cuaresma first discussed the mandate and activities of SEARCA and the SEAsian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources, including the program offerings of the Consortium in biotechnology. Dr. Villena then presented the global and local status of biotech crop adoption, as well as its potential and documented benefits, and introduced the BS Agricultural Biotechnology Program in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). She also briefed the participants about the activities of BIC, which aims to address the needs of the region for a highly credible, sound, and factual source of biotechnology information accessible to various stakeholders.
The training program sought to develop the participants as transformational leaders in three areas: Institution Building, Academic Management, and Resource Mobilization. It was funded by the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED).