April 14, 2012
150 Political Scientists Say Climate Change a Pressing Issue
Climate change and the Mindanao peace process were among the important issues discussed in the 50th anniversary conference of the Philippine Political Science Association (PPSA) held from April 12 to 14, 2012 at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro City. Founded in 1962, the PPSA is the country's only professional organization that brings together political scientists from all as well as similar fields of inquiry and practice both within and outside the academic setting in order to expand awareness and understanding of the politics of Asia and the study of all issues in the field of political science by Filipino political scientists.
The PPSA, through its activities in general and its annual conferences in particular, has continuously and critically engaged fellow academics, policy-makers, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and social movement players as well as public intellectuals on topics touching on day-to-day political realities at the local, regional and international arenas. To celebrate its 50th founding anniversary, the organization explored the theme "Building on the Past, Reflecting on the Present and Charting Future Directions in Studies on Philippine Politics." More than 150 local and international participants attended the conference with a total of 35 panels and more than 80 paper presenters. Noted American political scientist and Philippine specialist, Professor David Wurfel, gave the keynote address.
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) served as one of the major sponsors of the international conference, particularly the panel on "Cagayan de Oro in the Aftermath of Typhoon Sendong: Lessons to be Learned." The plenary panel probed into the nature and extent of the damage caused by typhoon Sendong, the reasons why the typhoon caused so much devastation, and the capability and effectiveness of both local government units (LGUs) and the national government in conducting relief and rehabilitation operations. This was done with a view to coming up with policy recommendations and strategies that would help mitigate the destructive effects of typhoons of the likes of Sendong and improve the conduct of relief efforts in their aftermath. The panel was chaired by independent scholar, Dr. George Aseniero, and was composed of the following speakers: Fr. Peter Walpole, S.J., Executive Director, Environmental Science of Social Change of the Ateneo de Manila University; Dr. Roel Ravanera, Dean, College of Agriculture of Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan; Almarim CentiTillah, President, Islamic Society of the Philippines; and, Dr. Maria Juanita Montalvan, President of the Bukidnon Heritage Foundation.