Manila, Philippines – The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), through the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians (PRBFL), successfully held the "2nd Southeast Asian Librarians’ Leadership Convergence" last December 13–15, 2022, at The Bellevue Manila Hotel.
After almost two years of strict precautions due to the COVID-19 surge, the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians (PRBFL), together with its accredited integrated professional organization (AIPO), the Philippine Librarians Association, Inc. (PLAI), and in coordination with the PRC International Affairs Office (IAO) – International Development Division (IDD), once again opened its doors for delegates from the ASEAN countries. The different delegations included the president and vice president of library associations, the director of the national library and/or his or her representative, the dean and/or coordinator of a library and information science (LIS) school or program, and other national library associations.
Relevant to this year’s theme "Towards Mutual Recognition Arrangement among ASEAN Countries," the two-day conference acquired outputs from shared best practices, collaborative research, environmental advocacies, and regular annual conferences on themes relevant to LIS education, practice, and ethics. Collaborative actions were initiated for the establishment of professional linkages between and among librarians in the Southeast Asian Region, particularly in Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Thailand, through the signing of a Commitment of Collaboration.
After these significant initiatives, the Congress of Southeast Asian Librarians (CONSAL) pledged to serve as an avenue for facilitating the progress of establishing Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications (MRPQ) for librarians that may be identified as common and comparable among Southeast Asian countries, definitely leading to more significant accomplishments.
Meanwhile, the PRC, as the Philippines' leading government body on professional trade services, vows to continue its support for exchanges and greater mobility within the ASEAN region, ensuring that collaborative efforts toward LIS profession development are bolstered and sustained.
On a related note, this convergence wraps up the series of international conferences hosted under the International Conference Fund (ICF) for the fiscal year 2022.