Fostering knowledge exchange with its development partners, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) – Region VI welcomed the Korean Saemaul volunteers of Yeungnam University from the Republic of South Korea to the Seminar on Western Visayas Socio-Economic Situationer on August 24, 2016 at the Jalaur Conference Room, NEDA-VI Building, Fort San Pedro, Iloilo City.

NEDA-VI Assistant Regional Director Raul S. Anlocotan, along with the NEDA-VI staff, received the 28 Korean Saemaul volunteers of YU-Department of Saemaul Studies and International Development (YU-DSSID) led by their Department Head, Professor Yangsoo Yi.

Ms. Yvette G. Batacandolo, OIC-Division Chief of the Development Research Division of NEDA-VI officially welcomed the Korean volunteers while ARD Anlocotan presented the Western Visayas Socio-Economic Situationer for 2015 and highlighted Region VI as the second fastest growing region in the country in GRDP terms. Professor Yi discussed the YU-DSSID programs and projects on student and professor exchange and international development cooperation.

Meanwhile, Dr. Marilu B. Baculna, representing Dr. Victor E. Navarra, President of the University of Antique and Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) – Region VI, provided an overview on the state universities and colleges in Western Visayas and their links with international universities.

The Korean Saemaul volunteers later had dialogues with participants from Aklan State University, Capiz State University, Iloilo Science and Technology University, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (NISPC) and West Visayas State University to commence possible partnerships in the future.

The YU exchange project in Iloilo was made possible through the Philippine Saemaul Undong, Province of Iloilo and the NIPSC-Lemery Campus which served as the main country host organizations.

The visit to NEDA-VI was one of the activities of the Korean Saemaul volunteers in their annual Saemaul Spirits Student Exchange Project in Iloilo held on August 23-30, 2016.  It was an opportunity for the students to be immersed in rural communities in the Philippines, particularly in Iloilo province, and introduce Saemaul Undong – the Korean theory on rural development – anchored on the spirits of diligence, self-help and cooperation among communities. (RGCaspillo/NEDA).