Benilde’s first diplomacy and governance program batches graduate

The De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) has sent off its first batch of Diplomacy and International Affairs (DIA), and Governance and Public Affairs (GPA) graduates.

The programs were first offered during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, under the Benilde School of Diplomacy and Governance (SDG).

During the completion rites at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), summa cum laude Gabrielle Elijah Villareal shared how embracing the newly offered GPA allowed her to discover “not just an academic pursuit, but a transformative journey.”

“It became my crucible for understanding the intricate tapestry of society — the delicate balance of power and the profound responsibilities that come with it,” she explained.

The young achiever also stressed how the resilience of the Filipinos became a learning ground for the youth on the significance of good governance and the impact of accountability.

“It resounds with the empowering truth that our voices are not just heard but wield the potential to make a profound difference,” she stated.

“Our country needs a new generation of leaders, diplomats, lawyers, businessmen, and even artists who will implement a strong sense of duty to promote the interests and human rights of the disadvantaged in society,” she added. “It is our turn to be architects of positive change, stewards of justice, and extraordinary world changers.”

Benilde SDG Dean Gary Ador Dionisio, DPA noted how navigating the pandemic highlighted the importance of diplomacy and governance.

“We took notice that various governments made different responses to address the pandemic,” he explained. “Some were successful in mitigating the effects, while others failed to provide adequate services and responses.”

The educator expounded that understanding the intricacies and dynamism of the discipline is one of the important pillars in addressing current issues.

“Governance and diplomacy are also frontline programs to whatever disruptions or challenges our country is facing,” Mr. Dionisio stated.

In light of the “unfolding flashpoints in the current global order,” he also underlined the need for further reexamination of the current paradigm.

DIA provides a more comprehensive understanding of the concepts, theories, and practices involved in the global dynamics of international relations.

Designed for aspiring diplomats, global affairs specialists, and development practitioners, it equips students with competencies in research, policy development, protocols, diplomatic works, and negotiation.

Meanwhile, GPA recognizes the dynamics and importance of regional, international and nongovernment organizations, and the United Nations’ system in policy-making and formulations.

It is the only public administration and governance program in the Philippines that combines the philosophy of liberal arts education, social sciences, and practical aspects of public affairs management to prepare enrollees for a career in government and international agencies.

As a Lasallian Governance course, it equips students with high ethical values, accountability, and a sense of duty to promote human rights for all and protect the interests of minorities in society.