Assoc. Professor Manolo B. Loreto Jr., Dean of Students; together with Ms. Chona A. Brit, Guidance Counselor of the University Student Services Office (USSO); Ms. Gina A. Ellorimo, Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Head of VSU Villaba; Ms. Marilou B. Peñeda, OSA Head-VSU Tolosa; and Ms. Eppie N. Katangkatang, OSA Head-VSU Alangalang, attended the 18th Annual National Convention of the Philippine Association of Administrators of Student Affairs (PAASA), Inc.


This year's convergence of student affairs administrators throughout the country was held on April 24-27, 2013 at Sarrosa International Hotel and Residential Suite in Cebu City. The convention was hinged on the theme, "The ASEAN Integration and the Prospect of Inclusive Growth."

Prof. Loreto revealed that the keynote speaker, Dr. George Manzano, Research Director of the University of Asia and the Pacific, stressed the meaning, reasons, and opportunities regarding the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) phenomenon which will take effect in 2015. He quoted the speaker saying, "AEC demands for the Filipinos at large and student service providers to meet the challenges of this phenomenon." Dr. Manzano further said that it won't be a surprise to us if investors, technical people, and laborers from other ASEAN member countries will come easily to the Philippines and work since our doors will not be opened for all of us.

The PAASA President, Dr. Ma. Paquita Bonnet, on the other hand, said that we must know the skills needed in ASEAN market and integrate Filipino values to our students. "Through this, we will have our own identity and strong commitment for things and processes that would distinguish Filipinos from the rest even with this process of ASEAN integration," Dr. Bonnet stressed.

The gathering also revisited the K-12 curriculum in consonance with the different programs and services offered by student affairs offices nationwide. To facilitate the discussion, papers such as "K-12 and College Preparation" and "ASEAN Integration: The Challenge to Philippine Higher Education" were presented by Dr. Carmelita Dulangon and Dr. Amelia Biglete, respectively.

Moreover, Dr. Isabel Inlayon presented the "Enhanced Policies and Guidelines on Student Affairs and Services.

The different sessions were directed towards the forthcoming integration of the ASEAN-member countries and its implications to Philippine education, competencies of student affairs practitioners and management of student affairs.

PAASA is a non-stock, non-profit organization composed of student affairs practitioners in the country.

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