May 31, 2023

A total of 48 participants from 11 Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Region I and Region III gathered online on May 25 and 26, 2023 to talk about how they could inspire entrepreneurship among college students. The two-day webinar is the second installment of the Benguet State University-Pathway team’s training titled “Drawing PATHWAYs to Employability and Entrepreneurship through University Enterprise Cooperation.”

The opening program was graced by BSU President Felipe Salaing Comila. He challenged the participants, whom he dubbed as the engine of development, to make graduates not only look for employment after graduation but also seek entrepreneurial opportunities for the progress of the country. 

Renowned local entrepreneurs were among the invited resource speakers of the training including Elmer B. Macalingay of Health Restoreant and EcoLodge, Pramila E. Marsan of the Cosmic Farm, Dan A. Saclangan of the Living Gifts Nursery, Mirafel T. Afuyog of Kai Cafe and Tayao Farms and Grail P. Labutan of the Polig’s Farm. 

After the entrepreneurs’ inspiring presentations, Marsha C. Pasong of the Department of Trade and Industry-CAR shared the services of the department that supports Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs). This was followed by presentations of people from the academe on how they implement programs and activities to guide students from starting to appreciate entrepreneurship to ideation, conceptualization and planning. The resource speakers were Jeftee Ben B. Pinos-an of the BSU-CHET Department of Entrepreneurship, Samuel L. Duyan of the BSU-CA Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Ruth C. Diego of the BSU-Agri-based Technology Business Incubator/Innovation Center and Cristina Beans of the University of Alicante in Spain. Sonia Tiong-Aquino of the Commission on Higher Education also talked about entrepreneurship education in the Philippines.

Workshops on stakeholders mapping, structuring business encounter activities and sharing of best practices were facilitated among the participants. Most of the participants listed their alumni and former colleagues who ventured into entrepreneurship and government agencies including the DTI, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and TESDA as the stakeholders they could tap into for their entrepreneurship programs. 

In the open forums, the participants and speakers had a consensus that most entrepreneurial skills are not learned in the classroom and that experiential learning is one of the primary avenues of developing entrepreneurs. The participants and facilitators hoped that the training will become one of the beginnings of a vigorous relationship between the academe, entrepreneurs and government agencies in terms of encouraging and providing an entrepreneurial path among students. 

The training was participated by faculty and staff representing the University of Abra or Abra State Institute of Sciences and Technology, Apayao State College, Ifugao State University, Mountain Province State Polytechnic College, Benguet State University, Baguio Central University, Cordillera Career Development College, Kings College of the Philippines, Don Mariano Marcos State University, Central Luzon State University and Saint Louis University. 

The third and last installment of the training will focus on soft skills and observatories. The schedule will be announced at the Pathway Facebook page. 

The Pathway Project, co-funded by the European Union, aims at enhancing the entrepreneurship and employability culture of Higher Education Institutions in the Philippines, to meet labor market needs and government reforms.