Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC)

The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) and SEARCA, with the Ateneo de Manila University School of Government (ASoG), University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) School of Management, and University of the Philippines Diliman UPEcon Foundation, Inc. (UPEcon) inked an agreement to implement an "Umbrella Capacity Development Program on Strategic Management and Policy for Agriculture Professionals and Executives."

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing took place at the DA Office of the Secretary on 10 July 2009. Signatories include Hon. Arthur C. Yap, DA Secretary; Dr. Arsenio M. Balisacan, SEARCA Director; Dr. Antonio G.M. La Viña, ASoG Dean; Dr. Rolando Dy, UA&P School of Management Dean; and Dr. Emmanuel S. de Dios, UPEcon Foundation, Inc. Chairman and Dean of the UP School of Economics.

This five-year initiative (2009-2014) recognizes that excellence and relevance in government service, particularly at DA, requires a strong work force equipped by proactive professional development program. Continuing education at DA becomes even more imperative where turnover at the senior and mid-level managerial levels tends to be high. Towards excellence in leadership and management at DA, the Department needs to deliberately strengthen its pool of professionals who can competently backstop on a sustained basis whoever steers the Philippine agriculture program.

The program aims to provide DA executives and professionals with a global, 21st century perspective attuned to contemporary challenges in food security and rural poverty alleviation. It focuses on equipping and reinforcing participants with proactive leadership frameworks and mindsets informed by contemporary worldviews and theories, substantiated by real cases and science-based evidence.

A total of 51 (48 MS and 3 PhD) scholarships will be given to junior and mid-level professional staff of the DA. They can enroll in degree program offerings and certificate executive courses of the three participating higher education institutions (HEIs). Program thrusts and corresponding academic institutions include:

  1. Strategic leadership and public management (ASoG);
  2. Agricultural business, trade and investment (UA&P School of Management);
  3. Development economics and agricultural policy (UPEcon through the UP School of Economics)

Aside from graduate scholarships, another program modality is an executive program comprising of 20 two-hour lecture fora, eight three-day learning forums, and certificate executive courses or visits to institutions, industries, or private sector initiatives. These learning events will focus on policy issues, agricultural development challenges, and science-based solutions aimed to equip DA participants to stay on top of new developments and issues for planning and decision-making.

By the end of the program, it is hoped that a cadre of homegrown, world-class career bureaucrats will steer the government’s agriculture program in synergy with local governments, the private sector and external markets, civil society, small producers and their communities, and other national and international partners through the years.

SEARCA will administer the proposed umbrella program and provide a virtual program base for the collaborative undertakings with the participating HEIs. SEARCA will further take lead in providing Southeast Asian regional perspectives and linkages.

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Contact Us

  • UC Secretariat
  • Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)
  • College, Los Baños, Laguna 4031 Philippines
  • Email:,
  • Tel:
    • Manila Line: +63 2 8657 1300 to 02
    • Laguna Line: +63 49 554 9330 to 39
      +63 49 536 2290 local 2200 to 2203
  • Fax: +63 49 536 7097