Manila-Philippines, this year marks a significant feat for the Philippine Library and Information Science (LIS) profession as the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians (PRBFL), in partnership with the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI), hosted the first-ever Southeast Asian Librarians Leadership Convergence last November 10-11, 2020, via Zoom and Facebook live.
Over one hundred eighty (180) international and local practicing LIS delegates from various library associations, including education leaders, gathered in the two-day virtual event with the theme “A Prelude to the Establishment of Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications among ASEAN Countries”.
Aimed at revisiting the LIS education and practice in the Southeast Asian region, this notable international collaboration beheld into finding out commonalities and gaps in the professional practice of librarianship that may lead to the possible establishment of the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) and signing of the MRPQ Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among these participating ASEAN countries.
Day 1 highlights include insightful messages from PRBFL Honorable Chairperson Yolanda C. Granda, Honorable Commissioners Yolanda D. Reyes and Jose Y. Cueto, Jr., and relevant Keynote Address from PRC Honorable Chairman, Atty. Teofilo S. Pilando, Jr. Representatives from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam gave their country reports on LIS education and practices, while the Philippines’ report was delivered by PRBFL Honorable Member Lourdes T. David, together with Assistant Director Edgardo B. Quiros of the National Library of the Philippines (NLP), Prof. Mary Grace Golfo-Barcelona, Dean of School of Library and Information Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and PLAI President Ms. Emma M. Rey.
Day 2 ended with the blast with the virtual presentation and signing of Resolution and Manifesto of Commitment, which practically covers the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2015, formulation of ASEAN Librarian standards, execution of bilateral or multilateral arrangements between or among the library associations in the region through MoU and the establishment of Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), in response to the ASEAN Economic Integration.
With all successful efforts in place, the PRBFL is optimistic that concerned institutions will seal the MRA for Librarians’ Professional Qualifications among ASEAN Countries on the anticipated 2nd Southeast Asian Librarians Leadership Convergence in 2021. Indeed, this first-ever remarkable convergence has become an avenue in the progression of institutional policies for the benefit of the Librarian profession.