Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda (File photo)

MANILA – Funding for the Philippine Studies Program at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS)-Yusof Ishak Institute Singapore has been extended for three years, paving the way for a deeper understanding of the country among Filipino and foreign students.

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda witnessed the signing of the Deed of Donation Agreement between the Philippine Embassy in Singapore and the ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute at Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Singapore last Monday, according to a news release from Legarda’s office.

Legarda said the Philippine Studies Project (PSP) at ISEAS receives funding support from the Philippine government through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Under the agreement, the grant to the institute shall remain in force for three years, or until June 30, 2026.

She said the grant shall be used to support research, events, and other activities advancing the PSP under the Regional Strategic and Political Studies (RSPS) at ISEAS.

The Philippine Studies Project aims to support the research capabilities and coverage of Philippine studies at ISEAS through publications and events. It also offers opportunities for both established and young scholars and experts from the Philippines to share their views and perspectives on multifaceted developments in the country.

Choi Shing Kwok, the director and chief executive officer of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, said the institute “very much welcomes” the extension of the funding for the project and they are looking for other grant providers to supplement the same program.

He said that since the inception of the program in 2019, "there is quite intense interest in the subjects that have been researched by our people and the Philippines project.”

“And in fact, the readership is very high, (the) quality of researchers have been engaging, most exclusively Filipinos have all been quite high as well," he said.

Legarda initiated the Philippines Studies Program years ago to promote Philippine culture, arts, history, security, environment and economy, among others, in various prestigious international universities in pursuit of promoting a deeper understanding of the Philippines among Filipino and foreign students abroad.

She has also provided similar support for Philippine Studies in other universities including the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London; Universidad de Complutense in Madrid, Spain; New York University; Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany; Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany; University of Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany; University of Michigan and the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the USA; the Thammasat University in Thailand; Busan University of Foreign Studies in South Korea; La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia; York University in Canada; Universidad Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico, and the University of Namur in Belgium, among others. (PNA)