Dr. Guiraldo Fernandez Jr., assistant professor and head of the Visayas State University Department of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences (DLABS), participated in the 35th Annual Seminar of the McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values at the Catholic University of America (CUA) from August 19 to September 20, 2019, at Washington D.C., U.S.A.

In a special session, Fernandez presented his research paper entitled, “The Role of Democratic Governance in the Philippines Today: An Island Municipality’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Conservation Initiative through Rainforestation”.

The study highlights the result of democratic governance of Pilar town in Camotes, Cebu, to benefit its constituents while putting a focus on environmental conservation to mainstream gender involvement through which equal opportunity principle will manifest—an important element in a democracy.

With the theme “The Meaning of Democracy: Foundations and Contemporary Challenges”, the seminar aimed to “understand the socio-ontological interaction of an individual and its society, personality and institutionalization, citizen and state in order to derive both theoretical and pragmatic considerations about socio-political configurations on which are capable of granting consistency democratic forms of government.”

This year, CUA also aimed to reach out to its neighboring countries, especially in Asia and Africa.

Prof. Fernandez was the sole representative of the Philippines to the month-long activity. He says his participation in the seminar allowed DLABS to form international links among participating countries. 

“This will truly help the department to push through with its proposal to offer an undergraduate degree program in Philosophy in the future. In fact, through DLABS’ participation, CUA already expects and encourages VSU to send participants annually and contribute to its Council for Research in Values and Philosophy (RVP) publication series,” he said.

To learn more about American democracy, the organizers arranged for some of its participants to visit Philadelphia, considered to be the birthplace of the United States as a nation.

The seminar was organized by the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy and CUA’s McLean Center for the Study of Culture and Values. 

Representatives came from these countries: Chad, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, The Philippines, United States, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.