Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Section
The priority of the Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Section (SCAC) is to be the platform for the promotion of Franco-Philippine exchanges and partnerships in the country.
The SCAC organises projects not only in Manila, but also in major cities and islands in the Philippines, as well as in 3 Pacific States: Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau.
To establish French expertise and cooperation focusing on bilateral, European and multilateral priorities (development of lasting networks of exchange and partnerships with universities, research centers, development agencies, policy institutes, cultural institutions, companies and the civil society), this Embassy organises missions in various locations across the country (Dumaguete, Puerto Princesa, Puerto Galera, Iloilo, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Cotabato, Tugueguerao, Baguio…), as well as in Pacific States that are involved in cooperation projects (sustainable development – environment and culture).
The Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Section also monitors the Alliance Française de Manille, the Alliance Française de Cebu and the French School Manila.
The aim of the cultural section is to establish long-term partnerships between French and Philippine cultural and artistic institutions.
It is the intermediary between the professionals and artists of the two countries. It also establishes the program of French events in all artistic sectors in the Philippines. The objective is to initiate and support high-level cultural exchanges among the most promising French and Filipino artists, writers and intellectuals, and to continuously raise the number and quality of opportunities offered to them.
Exchanges in the area of higher education is a priority for French-Philippine bilateral relations. Four universities in the Philippines are principally involved in this cooperation: the Ateneo de Manila University, the De La Salle University, the University of the Philippines, and more recently, the University of Santo Tomas. In addition, significant partnerships have been formalised with Xavier University, Enderun Colleges, and the Development Academy of the Philippines.
Cooperation between French and Philippine institutions continue to grow with the establishment of 66 bilateral agreements. The state visit of France’s former president, François Hollande, to the Philippines in February 2015 marked the the signing of a new bilatera cooperation agreement, resulting in a positive outlook for increased cooperation in the area of higher education and research.
The Campus France office in the Philippines is considered as an effective channel for the mobility of Filipino students, allowing them to pursue their studies in France. (For more information, consult the website of Campus France Philippines or its Facebook page.
Thanks to the joint actions of the Embassy of France in the Philippines and Campus France Philippines, 350 Filipino students were able to study in France in 2015, confirming the increase in mobility observed in 2014 and marking a positive aspect in the development of bilateral relations.
Scholarships offered by the French Embassy aims to encourage student mobility within the existing partnership framework, most notably in the sectors of sciences, engineering, archaeology, business and management, political sciences... It also supports selected doctorate programs and capacity-building in the sector of French as a Foreign Language, in partnership with universities which offer French language programs, the Department of Education, and the Alliances Françaises de Manille and de Cebu.
Scientific cooperation has been developed within the framework of the priorities outlined by the Millennium Development Goals. Its action is focused on research projects and the mobility of experts, policymakers, researchers, and students, while prioritizing the fields of the environment, disaster risk management, health, agriculture, and food security.
Solid partnerships have already been established between Philippine institutions and research centers (Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Marine Science Institute, etc.) and certain French research instituted recognised worldwide, such as the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the Institute for Development Research (IRD), the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and Institut Pasteur.
The regional perspective has likewise been strengthened, particularly through the Asian Development Bank, the International Rice Research Institute, the Asean Center for Biodiversity, and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), all of which have established their headquarters in the Philippines.
Finally, the presence of the French Development Agency in the Philippines since 2010 makes it possible to respond to development challenges in sectors such as the green economy, environmental preservation, climate change adaptation, water, and sanitation.
The French language may not have been widely spoken in the Philippines throughout its history, but it has become one of the more popular foreign languages today. Demand for French lessons is very strong and meets specific objectives: social and professional mobility and the pursuit of higher education in France.
French is the leading European language taught in Filipino universities. Nearly 5,000 students, mainly in the fields of International and European Studies as well as hospitality management, are learning French. Two universities have established their own language department (University of the Philippines-Diliman and Ateneo de Manila University), while others are offering French language classes.
Since the establishment of a partnership with the Department of Education of the Philippines in 2009, French has also been taught in 13 public science high schools in Manila and Cebu, catering to more than 1,500 students.
Linguistic cooperation is also made possible through the involvement of various actors supported by the French Embassy: the Alliance Française both in Manila and Cebu (offering French language classes to an estimate of 5,000 students), the French School Manila (300 students enrolled), the association of French teachers in the Philippines, as well as the embassies of French-speaking countries present in the Philippines.
Audiovisual cooperation in the Philippines is focused on cinema, a dynamic sector in full swing catalyzed by the innovations brought about by digitalization and, on an institutional level, through the initiatives of the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to preserve the country’s audiovisual heritage and to encourage new creative projects.
Local film production is a hundred years old, having known its golden age in the 1960 and 1970s. With the dawn of digital cinema, a new breed of filmmakers is showcasing Filipino talent in international film festivals. Among these directors are Brillante Mendoza, who has won major awards at the Cannes Film Festival (Best Director for "Kinatay" in 2009 and Best Actress for Ma’ Rosa in 2016), and who directed “Captive,” a French-Philippine co-production starring Isabelle Huppert.
The Film Development Council of the Philippines has launched an ambitious program to help promote the local film industry. The FDCP has taken initiatives to organize a nationwide film festival to enhance the awareness of the public about contemporary Philippine cinema. Dubbed “Sineng Pambansa”, the festival showcases a diverse program that includes classic and new films by Filipino Directors. Recently, in its aim to promote cultural diversity, the FDCP has also included an international section in the festival. The French Embassy supports this initiative by providing films, from the catalogue of Institut Francais, to be screened during this festival.
Most importantly, the French Embassy assists the FDCP in its major project to establish a National Film Archives by providing expertise from the French National Center for Cinema and by sending Filipino archivists for training at the National Audiovisual Institute in Paris. A cooperation agreement is awaiting signature between the FDCP and the CNC.
Currently, about thirty French NGOs are present in the Philippines. Most adopt initiatives focused on humanitarian work: the protection of children, education and professional training programs, social rehabilitation, emergency aid, spiritual support, health, and microcredit, among others.
The Embassy of France to the Philippines aims to further develop the exchanges between French-Philippine NGOs by supporting federative initiatives, disseminating any relevant information which could interest them, and assisting them in the implementation of their projects.
Telephone : +632 857 6918
|Cultural Counsellor||Jean-Jacques FORTE|
|Cultural Attaché||Thibault PARIS|
|Attaché for Higher Education
Head of Campus France Manila
|Scientific Attaché||Sarah MAHE|
|Audiovisual Attaché||Martin MACALINTAL|