This past June, Indian Ambassador Shambhu Kumaran organized a roundtable discussion in Manila with the objective to strengthen and expand the collaborative initiative between India’s National Institute of Ayurveda and the Philippine Institute of Traditional and Alternative Healthcare (PITAHC). In April 2022, the Philippines became the first country in the ASEAN region to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Ayurveda and other Traditional Systems of Medicine.
According to Ambassador Kumaran, the goal is to establish a more structured and legally supported framework for Ayurveda in the Philippines to make access more available to Filipinos.
“I do hope … we can bring in (a) larger number of Ayurveda practitioners. At the same time, India is also committed to provide training for a larger number of Filipinos to become practitioners of Ayurveda and therefore, to create capabilities in the Philippines to use the system of medicine as part of the wellbeing effort,” Ambassador Kumaran noted. He added that India is willing to provide assistance in infrastructure development, the establishment of collaborative centres, and the modernization of existing laboratories.
“We are looking at setting up a research center which is something that the government of India will fund; we are also offering scholarships and short-term courses in Ayurveda-related fields,” Kumaran said. “We have a developed system that the Philippines can use. We are ready and we are waiting for the Philippine government to tell us,” he concluded.