The office of Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV sponsored a consultation seminar-workshop that had university officials, faculty, student leaders, and alumni of West Visayas State University in attendance. The event which was held at the Center for Teaching Excellence on May 4, 2017 is a nationwide movement targeting the top 10 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

Legislative officer Anna C. Venturina explained how this works: “We travel all over the country and visit the top 10 State Universities and Colleges to conduct this consultation seminar. Senator Bam Aquino is in relentless pursuit of vital reforms in the education sector and we believe that by going to each institution, we will be able to hear challenges and problems firsthand which are faced by our educational institutions. So as you can see today, we are adopting the grassroots approach by hearing from university officials, faculty, students, and the alumni”. Ms. Venturina further discussed that having Sen. Bam Aquino championing for Education in the Senate, he was able to push for two major bills which are currently in the pipeline. These are: (1) the Free Higher Education Act, and the (2) Pagkaing Pinoy para sa Batang Pinoy Act. “Through this seminar, we will be hearing imperative inputs from stakeholders which will push our office to craft any law or policy related to education”.

The workshop which was conducted by Service Design Unit Officer Mr. Luke Buniel involves points taken from the concept of Liberating Structures wherein five conventional structures guide the way we organize routine interactions and how groups work together through presentations, managed discussions, open discussions, status reports and brainstorm sessions. The activity had Mr. Buniel encouraging every participant to an open dialogue where everybody recognizes the university’s list of needs. He introduced the activity called “Rose-Thorn-Bud”. In this activity, the participants have to list the good things about the school (Rose), list the problems, challenges, and concerns faced by the school (Thorn), and then list down the wishes, dream and specific needs of the school (Bud). “Our ever changing society today demands adaptability and innovation in each of our institutions to stay relevant and competitive. With all these development, the right to quality education of the country remains to be fundamentally important. Senator Bam believes that with quality education, our people has a good shot to make their lives better – that’s why we are here because we want to help in making that happen”.