15 February 2018 FRIBOURG – The University of the Philippines-National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) and the University of Fribourg’s Institute of Federalism (IFF) signed on 12 February 2018 a Memorandum of Understanding for Academic Cooperation and Exchange.
Dr. Maria Fe Mendoza, Dean of the UP-NCPAG, and Dr. Eva Maria Belser, Director of IFF, signed on behalf of their respective institutions.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Minister and Consul General Maria Theresa S.M. Lazaro, Chargė d’Affaires, a.i. of the Philippine Embassy in Switzerland.
Under the MOU, the two institutions agreed to facilitate academic cooperation and exchange of knowledge in the areas of federalism, decentralization and local governance, through exchange of faculty, researchers and academic materials; conduct of joint research activities; and hosting of lectures and symposia, among others.
Link between the NCPAG and the IFF was established several years back. NCPAG used to send a number of its students and researchers to the IFF to attend the Summer Training on Federalism, Decentralization and Conflict Resolution. However, no participants from the Philippines had attended the summer programme in recent past. In 2016, the Philippine Embassy in Berne, under former Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Joselito A. Jimeno, revived discussions with the IFF and worked on the conclusion of an MOU between the Institute and the NCPAG.
IFF is the only institute of federalism in Switzerland and is recognized both nationally and internationally as a center of expertise in the field of governance. The institute is regularly consulted by the Swiss government regarding constitutional amendments and other matters relating to federalism. It regularly conducts seminars for officials and lawmakers from other countries, including Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia, and other countries transitioning or planning to transition into a federal form of government.
UP-NCPAG, on the other hand, is the premier institution in public administration and governance instruction, research and extension in the Philippines, and one of the leading institutions in the field in the Asian region.
(Note: Reprinted with consent from the Media and Public Affairs Division, Department of Foreign Affairs. Original story can be found here)