LONDON 04 January 2019 – The Philippine Government will boost the existing Philippine studies project in the U.K., particularly at the prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London, by providing a new grant in the amount of PhP8 million.
This was formalized as the Philippine Embassy in London and the SOAS signed another Gift Agreement to strengthen the SOAS Philippines studies program on 06 December 2018 at the newly established Sentro Rizal of the Philippine Embassy in London.
Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo and SOAS Pro-Director Professor Stephen Hopgood signed the said gift agreement on behalf of the Philippine Government and SOAS University of London, respectively.
The signing ceremony was also attended by SOAS School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics Head Dr. Ben Murtagh, SOAS Philippine Studies Executive Officer Dr. Cristina Juan, Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General Senen Mangalile and Second Secretary and Consul Rommel Romato of the Embassy.
This new grant will now augment the PhP5 million initial funding that was donated to SOAS by Philippine government in October 2017.
Ambassador Lagdameo remarked that “the Philippine Embassy is a committed partner in developing the Philippine studies initiatives in SOAS and in the U.K. We are delighted to help in finding opportunities for mutually beneficial people-to-people exchanges between the Philippines and the United Kingdom.”
The SOAS Philippine Studies Project has successfully organized academic programs including intensive summer course on language learning, modular lectures on Jose Rizal’s novels, conferences on HIV/AIDS awareness, digitization of SOAS Filipiniana collections, and writing workshops. It organized UK’s first academic conference on the Cordillera for its first annual Philippine Studies Conference in London last July 2018.
The project plans to organize a major academic conference on Mindanao and the Bangsamoro in July 2019. This major event will feature film screenings and book launch of Philippine books on Mindanao.
The Philippine Government’s financial grants for the SOAS Philippine Studies Project were allocated under the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) budget at the initiative of Senator Loren Legarda, who is also a staunch proponent of the project.