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On January 15, 2012, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) gathered members of the Centrist Democratic Movement Federation of the Philippines (CDM) at the Mandarin Oriental, Makati City to have a dialogue with Mr. Washington SyCip. Mr. SyCip, for long considered as one of Asia’s esteemed entrepreneurs and visionaries sat down together with Dr. Jose Abueva, former President of the University of the Philippines, Mr. Lito Monico Lorenzana, President of the Centrist Democratic Political Institute (CDPI) and Dr. Peter Koeppinger, Country Representative of the (KAS) to interact with the CDM, a political movement composed of young professionals guided by centrist democratic principles. The dialogue focused on Mr. SyCip’s insights on poverty alleviation strategies that can contribute to Philippine growth and development.
The Philippines’ poverty incidence rate is one of the highest in the region. According to the latest statistics from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), poverty incidence in the country is at 20.9% in 2009. Throughout the interaction, the importance of good quality basic education was a recurring theme. Mr. SyCip believes that although poverty is a complex problem, it can be alleviated by improving and investing in basic education. For him, education and other investments in human development capacitates individuals , allowing them to harness and fully use their potential to improve themselves, their families and their communities. Mr. Sycip also highlighted his work and involvement in Synergeia as a concrete manifestation of his philosophy. Synergeia is an alliance of individuals and organizations whose main goal is to improve the quality of basic education in the Philippines.
Members of the CDM also shared their personal insights on these as well as the Centrist Democratic Movement’s contribution towards resolving the Philippine development impasse. The dialogue was an opportunity for the Centrist Democrats to share their passion and hopefulness in contributing to nation-building.