Press Release
November 29, 2010


Seoul, South Korea - Senator Edgardo J. Angara met on Saturday with 82 Filipino scholars in Korea, and ensured them that the Philippine government is closely monitoring the situation.

"I was surprised that when I arrived here there was no sign of panic, contrary to what is being reported in the Philippines," said Angara, who flew to Korea a day after North Korea's attack on the South.

Angara was in Korea to keynote the Korea-Philippines Multi-Industry Cluster (MIC) Development Cooperation Forum.

Angara recalls how the Philippine government in 1950 sent an expeditionary force to South Korea to help repel the communist aggression of the North. A total of 7,420 Filipino officers and men served in Korea, of which 116 were killed in action, 299 wounded and 57 missing (41 repatriated during POW exchanges).

This, he said, explains why South Korea is grateful to the Philippines and has extended considerable development aid to the country.

He added, "Your scholarship is a rare opportunity and a concrete result of our friendship with South Korea. It's a chance to be part of something that can help improve your home country and build a better society."

Angara urged the Filipino scholars to become catalysts for raising Philippine competitiveness and boosting development in the country.

"Devoting attention to education specially to research and development is probably the best way for the Philippines to catch up and increase its competitiveness. R&D lays the foundation for innovation which is imperative to development," said Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education and the Committee on Science and Technology.

He explained, "Globalization has shifted the focus from comparative advantage based on land, natural resources, financial capital and labor - to competitive advantage based on sophisticated knowledge, cutting-edge technologies and new products and services. We need to build up our technological capacity in order to innovate and become globally competitive. Learn as much as you can and bring that knowledge home so that you can help raise the living standards of our people."

There are currently more than 400 Filipino students in Korea, mostly majoring in Science and Technology, Wireless and Information Technology, International Relations, Business Administration, and Policy Development in the Seoul National University, Korea National University, Catholic University of Korea, EHWA, Hannam, Kyungpook, Korea Aero Space University, Sogang University, MJU, Trinity Graduate School, HUFS, Myongji, KFRI, ITCC, Sungkyungkwan, Kongku and Dengguk University.

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