(MENAFN - Arab News) Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin H. Tago at a ceremony said the young Filipinos studying in Saudi Arabia and in the Philippines were of special concern to him.
"That's why I had a meeting with the Islamic Development Bank to seek further scholarship grants for our children and deserving students," he said.
The ambassador made his observation during the official oath-taking ceremony for the newly elected office-bearers of the Shakba International Association held in Riyadh recently. Shakba friends and relatives residing in Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh and Jubail, besides various community leaders, were among those present.
Pointing out that the youth are hope of our future, the ambassador stressed the need for meeting the challenges posed by the shift towards a knowledge-based economy.
On his part, Acas Bayabao, a veteran diplomat, traveled all the way from Manila to Riyadh to participate in the ceremony to convey an important message on the occasion. "I am so glad to see you here united while away from your parents," he said, adding that this union would serve no purpose if its members "did not serve their country represented by our embassy here."
Saudi Minister for Higher Education Khalid Al-Anqari announced recently that Saudi Arabia had allocated 150 graduate courses for Filipinos in various universities in the Kingdom, Ambassador Tago said, quoting the minister.
Tago met with Al-Anqari last month at the headquarters of the Ministry of Higher Education in Riyadh, who advised those interested in applying for the scholarships to visit universities' websites or do so through the Philippine Embassy, which would route the applications to the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education through diplomatic channels.
The following were elected Shakba office-bearers of the Riyadh chapter: Alikhan S. Bayabao, president; Saipoden Mariano, vice president internal; Macapagal "Saad" Domato, vice president external; Datu Abdul Nasser Salong, secretary; Datu Ali Saromandang, treasurer; Datu H. Abdul Malik M. Sarip, Jr., auditor; Datu Adel Aba, chairman for sports; Datu Jam Mikunug; Datu Nassief Sultan; Datu Abdul Nassief Salong, transportation and event officer.