The Partido Institute of Economics (PIE) headed by Mr. Rolan Jon G. Bulao of the College of Business and Management (CBM), organized the 1st Economics Kick-Off and Alternative Class Offering (EKONACO) held on August 19, 2019 with Mr. Noel B. Del Castillo, Senior Lecturer of the University of the Philippines School of Economics (UP-SE) as the resource person.
EKONACO is among the academic activities planned by the PIE for the enrichment of the Bachelor of Science in Economics (BSEcon) curriculum. Such activities are aligned with the university’s vision and mission as well as the Philippines’ long-term vision, dubbed Ambisyon Natin 2040, that “by 2040, Filipinos enjoy a strongly rooted, comfortable, and a secure life.”
This year’s ECONAKO aims to: (a) enrich the BS Economics curriculum by inviting an economics practitioner as a lecturer-trainer; (b) expose Economics and other ParSU faculty to the science and art of economics; (c) encourage academic discussion on relevant economic issues and concerns; and (d) provide a forum for Economics and ParSU faculty to engage in meaningful conversations and discussions with economics professional(s).
In the morning of the activity, a faculty training on economics education in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution was conducted. Prof. Del Castillo shared various forms and functions based on the latest literature and evidence. He introduced the use of Edmodo (www.edmodo.com), “a global education network that helps connect all learners with the people and resources needed to reach their full potential,” which allows economics teachers to use a platform for virtual classes, assignments, quizzes, and projects.
He also taught the faculty members on how to use Gapminder (www.gapminder.org), an independent Swedish foundation that develop data visualization tools to let people explore the vast treasure of global statistics. The training was participated in by faculty members of CBM, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Graduate Studies, and PSU Salogon Campus.
The afternoon session focused on how the Philippines could learn from the experiences of select Asian Miracle Economies. At least 50 BSEcon freshman students and faculty actively participated in the lecture and discussion on “What have they have done right? The industrialization and growth of South Korea and Singapore.” The students learned about how the Philippines used to be richer than the economies of both Korea and Singapore and how the latter eventually overtook the Philippines. The discussion that ensued after the lecture was fueled by the curiosity of the economics students, which even included questions on the economics of the West Philippine Sea issue, to which the resource speaker generously responded.
The activity’s master of ceremony was Economics instructor Enrique Pilapil III. Fellow economics instructors Catherine Francia and Kevin Baltar took charge of the program, registration, logistics, and documentation. Emmanuel Onsay, an Economics shared faculty and an Accountancy core faculty, assisted in the registration and logistics needs. PIE Director and BS Economics Program Director Rolan Jon Bulao expressed his profoundest gratitude to Del Castillo, the PSU administration, his colleagues, economics students, and other individuals who had made the activity a success. He underscored the importance of the activity in the university’s pursuit of excellence in both instruction and research, especially in the BSEcon program.
EKONACO is part of the university celebrations on the 52nd founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is a co-curricular project of the BSEcon program of the university. The Board of Regents (BOR) of PSU issued Resolution No. 07, s. 2019, which approves the offering of Bachelor of Science in Economics starting the first semester of Academic Year 2019-2020. The new baccalaureate degree program is envisioned to directly contribute to the equitable and sustainable development of the Bicol Region in general and Partido District in particular.