To celebrate its 55 years of advocacy, the Philippine Social Science Council (PSSC) — the country’s largest network of social science organizations — will hold on 7 December 2023 a roundtable discussion (RTD) to tackle the past, present, and future of social science disciplines in the Philippines and their contribution to nation-building amid the crucial post-pandemic era.
“All successful plans start with a critical self-examination. As we celebrate our 55th anniversary, we want to reflect on our past milestones, appraise our present actions, and chart our path forward in achieving our mission of One Social Science in solidarity with other disciplines for Filipinos and the global community,” said Dr. Lourdes M. Portus, a veteran communication research expert, educator, and executive director of PSSC.
“This year’s theme Pamana at Panata: Limampu’t Limang Taon ng Kahusayan sa Agham Panlinpunan highlights PSSC’s legacy in and commitment to advancing disciplinal excellence in the Philippine social sciences. Malayo pa, pero malayo na. Now more than ever, we are inspired to continue PSSC’s programs and activities that have affected the lives not just of social scientists and academics but also of Filipinos and communities,” added Dr. Portus.
The RTD was held on-site on 7 December 2023 at 2:00 PM at the auditorium of the Philippine Social Science Center (PSSCenter) along Commonwealth Avenue.
Mr. Wilson C. Villones, head of PSSC’s Programs Development and Management Section (PDMS), said “PSSC has identified selected social scientists to share their insights on the key shifts, continuities, and future directions of social sciences in the Philippines, alongside their reflections and remembrances of their involvement with the PSSC and how they have shared their expertise to the society at large.”
Political scientist Dr. Aries A. Arugay, statistician Dr. Lisa Grace S. Bersales, Health sociologist Dr. Nina Castillo-Carandang, and economist Dr. Lawrence Dacuycuy have joined the RTD, which was moderated by Dr. Jeremiah M. Opiniano, executive director at the Institute for Migration and Development Issues, and Director of the UST Research Center for Social Sciences and Education.
Dr. Arugay is the Professor and Chair of the University of the Philippines Diliman Department of Political Science and a member of editorial boards in various social science journals in the country. Dr. Castillo-Carandang is a health social scientist and health policy advocate, a member of the World Health Organization’s Technical Working Group on Social Science in Health Emergencies; and the only social scientist member of the newly created DOH Scientific Group of Experts for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases (EREID SAGE).
Meanwhile, Dr. Bersales is an Undersecretary and Executive Director of the Commission on Population and Development. She is the first national statistician of the Philippine Statistics Authority, a former Vice President of the University of the Philippines and former Dean of the School of Statistics. Dr. Dacuycuy is the Chair of the Social Science Division of the National Research Council of the Philippines and a former President of the Philippine Economic Society. He is a Professor at the School of Economics, De La Salle University, Manila.
“The RTD aims to generate meaningful discussions and actions on the social sciences and contribute to the discourse in understanding and finding solutions to the country’s problems. Being an umbrella organization for the social sciences, PSSC’s mission has been to advance Philippine social sciences and at the same time, serve as a platform for interdisciplinary dialogue and activities,” Mr. Villones said. “We hope to spark more discussions and collaborations through this RTD.”
Established in 1968 through the efforts of social science stalwarts, Dr. Mercedes Concepcion, Fr. Frank Lynch, Dr. Cristina Parel, Dr. Eufronio Alip and Dr. Armand Fabella, PSSC remains one of the country’s longest-running and financially viable non-profit organizations. It has carved its niche as a base for developing social science scholarship and training, and a repository of social science resources in the country. It has 14 regular and 43 associate members. Some of PSSC’s regular members are the Psychological Association of the Philippines, the Philippine Economic Society, Ugnayang Pang-AghamTao, and the Philippine Historical Association.