Citing the Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU) as a significant Partner in the Development of the City and the Region, la Alcadeza de Zamboanga Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, credited the various engagements of ADZU in the City’s programs in her Message during the University Strategic Planning Conference held May 11-13, 2016 at the Garden Orchid Hotel.
The Mayor described how ADZU under the leadership of its President Fr Karel San Juan, SJ, has worked in collaboration with Government in the work towards re-building the city. She said ADZU helped improve the peace and order situation in the City through the conduct of a perception survey by its Research Center on the local police and overall security condition. She lists enhanced Security as one of her priority areas for development; improved Healthcare and inclusive quality Education, being the others.
She also highlighted the role played by ADZU in creating awareness and generating involvement in the issue of climate change by hosting the National Conference on Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness, together with various government agencies.
Other areas where the University can contribute substantially in the development of the city, she said, is in Capacity-Building and Human Resource Development, by providing the needed workforce in the city. She identified inclusive quality Education, as another area where ADZU can make a tremendous impact by making education accessible and available to the marginalized.
An Atenean herself, having graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1989, the Mayor also recounted how she tries to incorporate in her mission in politics the values she learned from ADZU: that of hard work (Magis), of reaching out and touching the lives of people (Cura personalis), and exercising inclusivity by creating opportunities for those in the peripheries such as the Indigenous Communities (ICs) to form part of mainstream society.
Other speakers during the first day of the planning conference include Fr Antonio Moreno, SJ, former ADZU president and Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus (SJ) in the Philippines, on ADZU as a Jesuit Mission; Dr Fernando Aldaba, dean of the School of Social Sciences of the Ateneo de Manila University, on the Philippine national situation and the challenges faced by the nation with a new president; Fr Roberto Yap, SJ, president of Xavier University/Ateneo de Cagayan, on the challenges and opportunities besetting Jesuit universities.
Challenges faced by the Region and the City were presented by the following resource persons on the second day: Pedro Rufo Soliven, member of the ADZU Board of Trustees and president of the Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry; via an audio-video presentation, Christopher Arnuco, chair of the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority; Engr. Efren Wee, chair of the ADZU Board of Trustees and director of the Movement for a Better Zamboanga; On the challenges confronting Zamboanga City and the City Government: Engr Rodrigo Sicat, City Planning and Development Coordinator and Angelique Go, Assistant City Administrator and Investment Promotions Head.
On the third day, some facts and figures and personal experiences on Muslim-Christian Dynamics were shared by Atty Laisa Masuhud-Alamia, Executive Secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and member of the ADZU Board of Trustees and Yusuf Morales, ADZU Peace Institute’s (API) Muslim Affairs Coordinator and Commissioner of the National Commission on Filipino Muslims. Fr Gil Donayre, SJ, also of API, gave his insights on the earlier presentations.
For the last session of the conference on Understanding the Youth, the following reported research studies and personal observations on the topic: Gerald Ebal, Research Associate of the Ateneo Research Center; Espiridion Atilano, Jr of the Ateneo Junior High School; Norma Baluca, Director of the College Guidance and Counselling Office, Judean Galvez, 2016 ADZU Accountancy graduate and Class Salutatorian, and Marco Alfino Miranda, Director of ADZU’s Center for Culture and Arts.
Part 2 of the University Strategic Planning Conference will be held next week.