The UP Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development (UPD-CSWCD) held its first inter-agency conference on social development, on May 17, 2017 at the Bulwagang Tandang Sora, UPD.
Being a first, the conference had the theme of “defining the terrain and exploring the pathways” of the discipline, with speakers coming from leading universities in the Philippines and government, including Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo; and participants constituting of a network of social development students, educators and researchers, practitioners, and advocates in the country and in ASEAN.
By day’s end, the conference affirmed the “bottom-up” approach in theorizing for the discipline and endorsed a commitment to go beyond scientific rigor to the community. It stressed end-goals of people empowerment to tackle inequalities.
The four sessions discussed: contexts and directions of Philippine social development; trends and challenges in formal degree programs on social development and academic extension services; and challenges and playing fields for social development in the country and ASEAN.
In her keynote speech, Robredo said, “Help doesn’t have to be grandiose.” She said that more important was the people’s sense of ownership of and participation in social development programs. She also said that her office’s flagship program, Angat-buhay, relies on listening to what communities need in being a conduit between communities, people and groups that could help, and the public.
The resource persons in the plenary sessions were: National Anti-Poverty Commission Undersecretary Maria Corazon Jimenez-Tan; National Economic Development Authority social development specialist Ramon Falcon; Professor Emeritus Amaryllis Torres of the CSWCD; Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Vice President for Social Development Jaime Hofileña; CSWCD Doctor of Social Development (DSD) Program Director Emmanuel Luna; ADMU professor, Mary Racelis; ADMU professor, Emma Porio; Philippine Women’s University professor, Angelito Meneses; University of Santo Tomas professor, Mark Anthony Abenir; and De La Salle University professor, Ador Torneo.
The conference is one of the golden anniversary activities of CSWCD. It was organized by the DSD program and students of the college. (Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc, UP MPRO)