A PHILIPPINE DELEGATION IN A SEMINAR ON ESCUELAS TALLER IN COLOMBIA
Last March a Philippine Delegation went to Colombia to participate in the ACERCA Seminar “Escuelas Taller, a Tool for Social Transformation. Linkages among Urban Development, Youth Employment and Public Action”, co-organized by the Agencia Española de Cooperación para el Desarrollo (AECID), the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines and the Embassy of Spain in Colombia.
The Philippine Delegation was composed of the Director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), Adelina Suemith; the Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Guiller B. Asido and other TIEZA representatives; Imelda B. Taganas, Chief of Staff of the Office of the Director General of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and Carmen Bettina Silao-Bulaong, OIC-Executive Director of Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation Inc. (ETFFI).
From March 29 to April 3, the Philippine Delegation visited the cities of Popayán, Bogotá and Cartagena de Indias. There, they had meetings with the representatives of the Local Governments as well as the Heads of their Urban Planning Offices: the Director for Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of Colombia; the Coordinator of the Colombian National Program of Escuelas Taller and the Directors of the Escuelas Taller of Popayan, Bogota and Cartagena de Indias; and the Coordinator General of the Spanish Aid in this country.
Besides these visits and meetings, there was a 1-day Seminar on April 1 at the Centro de Formación de la Cooperación Española en Cartagena de Indias. There were round-table discussions with Colombian and Spanish experts being one of the topics, how heritage preservation in coordination with public policies and urban development have transformed the reality of hundreds of unemployed young people.
The Philippine Delegation also visited some relevant urban planning and rehabilitation projects in each city, whose heritage structures have been mainly restored by Escuelas Taller graduates and students, making their historical centers the focus of the cultural tourism.