The Philippines has regained its place among the 20 VLIR-UOS partner countries since June 2016 because of a returning interest for academic cooperation with the country. In the past thirteen years, VLIR-UOS financed 10 projects (TEAM, SI, RIP and crosscutting) and an Institutional University Cooperation Programme with two universities in the Philippines up to a total budget of 4.542.447 EUR. VLIR-UOS has had an Institutional University Cooperation Programme with Saint Louis University and Benguet State University (SLU/BSU). New interventions will be selected during the 2017-2021 period after elaborating a country strategy that will be the basis -reference framework- for new project calls. 


The Philippines is also one of the 31 scholarship countries of VLIR-UOS. Nationals can apply for a scholarship to follow a training or Master programme at a Flemish university or university college.

Facts and figures


Total budget the Philippines 2003-2016 (in €)



Individual scholars





A country strategy for the Philippines

The Country Strategy for the Philippines identifies the following main themes for all future interventions in the cooperation with the Philippines:


  • Health. Sub-themes: infectious diseases, drug rehabilitation, community health (incl. remote areas).
  • Social development. Sub-themes: Human trafficking, good governance and decentralisation, anthropology, cultural studies, ethics, social development & justice, interreligious dialogue & religion-based conflicts (link with critical thinking), migration, human rights, conflict dynamics, urban planning, entrepreneurship/small businesses in link with inclusive growth and economies.
  • Food security. Sub-themes: Food safety, agriculture, aquaculture, link with water resources management and environment, smallholders farmers (cacao farmers, ..), bee-keeping, link with rural and inclusive economies.
  • Environment. Sub-themes: Sustainable management of natural resources (incl. environmental impact of mining), climate change, disaster prevention and management (typhoons, early warning system), marine ecosystem, biodiversity.


Research and education should stimulate processes of critical and scientific thinking. Therefore addressing crosscutting support domains in terms of research strengthening and methodology (analytical thinking, problem based, research based) and improving educational quality (curricula, room for critical thought, ..) is important. Other subthemes mentioned:

  • multidisciplinary research
  • research dissemination,
  • access to digital resources,
  • sharing output,
  • ICT (applications and infrastructure) for research,
  • statistics,
  • distance learning,
  • MOOCs,
  • libraries: e-sources & e-books
  • support for regional publications
  • career opportunities for young academics


The transversal and priority themes of the Belgian government (gender, environmental sustainability, digitalisation for development, human rigths approach and private sector links) were also brought up and are taken into account within the clusters.  


More information on the VLIR-UOS country strategy process for the Philippines.

Background documents

VLIR-UOS compiled documents are work in progress, and your feedback in terms of their completion and/or improvement is much appreciated.


  • The Philippines Fact Sheet is a draft summary on the general status of the country with specific attention for the development aid actors as well as the sector of higher education.
  • Joint Context Analysis (JCA) of the Philippines. This document aims at an analysis of the context in Rwanda and of the opportunities to collaborate for the non-governmental actors of the Belgian Development Cooperation from 2017 until 2026. It should primarily be seen as an opportunity to identify possible ways of cooperation, complementarity and synergy.
  • Joint Strategic Framework (JSF) of the Philippines. This document presents different joint strategic goals which the non-governmental actors have put forward, based on the JCA Philippines. Each goal is specified into different approaches, which reflects the contributions of different actors to the joint strategic goal. An elaboration on the development relevance of every goal is also included. The last chapter elaborates commitments for synergy and complementarity between Belgian actors, related to the presented goals and approaches. Special attention is given to the transversal themes gender and environment.
  • Linking the JSF with the VLIR-UOS country strategy. This document provides a general overview of relevant information from the Joint Strategic Framework for each thematic area of the VLIR-UOS country strategy. The Joint Strategic Goal relevant for each theme is listed, together with the Belgian non-governmental actors which are (or will be) active with funding of the Belgian development cooperation in the 2017-2021 period. By providing this list, VLIR-UOS wants to promote synergy and/or complementarity with programmes of other Belgian actors. 


Inge Vandevyvere

Programme Officer South

[t] 32 2 550 19 67



Ongoing projects

Overview of ongoing projects



From waste to design lamp in the Philippines

From waste to design lamp in the Philippines

In 2012 HOWEST Industrial Design Center student Sep Verboom spent time in the Philippines. His aim was to give a second life to local waste and create jobs.

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Final evaluation of the cooperation with Saint Louis University (SLU) and Benguet State University (BSU), Philippines (April 2010)

Final evaluation of the cooperation with Saint Louis University (SLU) and Benguet State University (BSU), Philippines (April 2010)