Her Excellency Sara Z. Duterte, Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines and Secretary of the Department of Education, accompanied by Ms Sunshine Charry Fajarda, Assistant Secretary of Education, Republic of the Philippines, paid an official visit to TVET Regional Centre SEAMEO VOCTECH on 12 June 2023, in her capacity as the SEAMEO Council President.

In attendance to welcome the SEAMEO Council President to the Centre were Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Philippines to Brunei Darussalam, Ambassador Marian Jocelyn Tirol-Ignacio together with other officials from the embassy, Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Education Brunei Darussalam, Dr Shamsiah Zuraini Kanchanawati (for Core Education) and Dr Haji Azman bin Ahmad (for Higher Education), Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education (for Higher Education), Dr Chin Wei Keh with senior officials of the ministry, representatives from the SEAMEO Secretariat (SEAMES), headed by its Director, Datuk Dr Habibah binti Abdul Rahim, and SEAMEO VOCTECH Centre Director, Mr Alias Haji Abu Bakar, joined by the Centre’s management, officers and staff.

During the visit, Her Excellency and accompanying delegates were briefed on the TVET Centre’s achievements thus far for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023, which included 45 training programmes and workshops conducted; the on-going research led by the Centre on “The Readiness of TVET Institutions for IR 4.0 in Southeast Asia”; and the recent launch of the ASEAN TVET Council web page, powered by the regional knowledge hub SEA-VET.net and hosted by the TVET Regional Centre with the support of its partner, GIZ-RECOTVET.

In support of the Centre, Her Excellency also consented to launch the brand new SEAMEO VOCTECH website during the visit and to witness the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding, i.e. between SEAMEO VOCTECH and Universiti Brunei Darussalam, signed by the Vice Chancellor Dr Hazri Hj Kifle; and SEAMEO VOCTECH and Philippine Normal University, signed by the University’s Vice President of Academics, Dr Jenny V. Jocson.

“In conjunction with the momentous occasion of Her Excellency’s inaugural visit to SEAMEO VOCTECH, a signing of MOUs with Universiti Brunei Darussalam and the Philippines Normal University will accord us yet another milestone, this time to collaborate on developing and offering TVET teacher-training programmes to the SEAMEO region,” SEAMEO VOCTECH Centre Director, Mr Alias affirmed in his remarks.

The area of collaboration encompasses the conduct of training, including skills training and professional development programmes, and technical assistance on capacity building and other training activities for human resource development.

In commemoration of the momentous visit by Her Excellency Sara Duterte, a tree planting was also carried out at the SEAMEO VOCTECH Regional Centre.