The Philippines Society for Public Administration (PSPA) and its partners convened an international conference in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, from 13 – 15 November 2018. Participants focused on the rising complexities of a rapidly evolving society confronted by challenges of a transforming environment gripped by turbulence and uncertainties. Over 500 people mostly from the Philippines, and international participants from Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Thailand participated in the first day of the conference. Denis Nkala, the UN office for South-South Cooperation Regional Coordinator for Asia-Pacific delivered a keynote address at the opening along with Mr. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, Jr., a former President of the Senate in the Philippines; and the Mayor of Cagayan de Oro City, the Honourable Oscar Moreno. In an impassioned speech, the revered former Senate President called out on public administrators to address problems of migrants, the poor and endorsed the principle of solidarity under South-South Cooperation. Later in the day, the Philippines Secretary for Education delivered a reverting presentation on the Fourth Revolution and the disruption it is causing in technology, biology, the concept of education and the humanness of humans.
The invitation and speech to over 500 participants, a lot of whom expressed having had no prior knowledge of South-South cooperation, marks another landmark in the advocacy for South-South Cooperation in Asia-Pacific. This collaboration was facilitated by Dr. Alex Brilliantes Jr., President of Philippine Society for Public Administration and President of the Asian Public Administration Association (APAA). Dr Brilliantes is also an Advisory Board Member of the South-South Network for Public Service Innovation.