Partners for Education for Sustainable Development Goals

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas - The Freeman

Starting yesterday, December 7, more than a hundred local and global participants gathered together for the 11th Global RCE Conference at the University of the Philippines Cebu that focused on the theme: Education for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The United Nations University-Institute for Advanced Studies and the Regional Center of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE-Cebu) hosted the event with the University of the Philippines System and UP Cebu.

RCE Cebu embarked on a leap of faith for this conference that truly was a celebration of partnerships!

Gratefully, God delivered as always, and sent partners who readily shared their resources or funds.

Kyocera kindly lent laptops and business computers with toner and paper, SM, Salon de Rose shared funds, together with Senator Sonny Angara and Ms. Fely Silva. The offices of the Cebu Provincial Governor, Vice Governor, and the Cebu City Mayor, with the Cebu City of Tourism, generously took care of dinner, the cultural presentation, and transportation. The Department of Education-7 promptly shared canned fruit juice. Several university members of the Cebu Academic Network kindly provided student volunteers and vehicles. The Apostleship of the Sea also lent their vehicle, mobilized volunteers to serve as guides. OCEANA Philippines promptly shared materials and tumblers. Thank you to all these conference partners!

Snacks came from the Drug Recoverees Livelihood Program of Subangdaku kindly facilitated for us by Ms. Nina Estenzo. She explained that “as part of their reintegration to society, they are given learning tools, part of which are kitchen skills for their livelihood and reintegration.” The biko they shared with the Global Conference participants was the work of their hands. They have started small business from this and are given entrepreneurship classes to grow their projects. Some opt for employment and they are also trained for that. There are also other technical vocation skills they can apply as well as the alternative learning system of DepEd should they opt to go back to school.

Thank you, Ms. N and your dad and your wonderful group of drug recoverees!

The Cebu Farmers' Organic Market prepared stevia tea and special halal, vegan, and vegetarian lunch. Thank you!

Miss Grace Paulino deserves so much thanks and credit for a very well-appreciated coordinated welcome at the airport for our foreign guests in for the Ubuntu Committee meeting. She and Kimo also coordinated the river tour of the delegates in Alonguisan. We also have to mention the invaluable assistance of Heart Rizarri of Cebu City Tourism and Lorie of Cebu City Hall. To all of them, daghang salamat. Our partners, Bimbo Fernandez, Paul Villarete, and Alvin Dizon, especially deserve our continuing gratitude.

We also want to thank UP Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Cynthia Rose Banzon-Bautista for sharing her beautiful welcome message to the conference participants. Thank you also to UP Cebu Chancellor Liza Corro who sent Prof. Jonnie Sinogaya, Dean of College of Science, to welcome the conference guests. Dr. Gretchen Chavez, thank you!

Our gratitude to Vice President Leni Robredo for her video message and to Bimbo Fernandez who represented Mayor Tomas Osmeña and shared Cebu City's experience with multi-stakeholder partners in the implementation of SDGs.

Thank you to our RCE-Cebu officers for their wonderful time and assistance: Architect Bajing Atega, Prof. Tess Rodriguez, Annie Manzano, Zeny Tabucanon, Hubert Zanoria, Chuchi Flores-Caballes, and our trustees, Mayor Al Arquillano, Atty. Gloria Ramos, and Dr. Doray Bucoy!

To all the student volunteers from RCE Youth, UP Cebu, UC, and MCC, thank you for your invaluable presence and assistance, thank you!

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