Alumni News

Call for volunteers for a CoViD-19 testing lab

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

The Philippine Genome Center-Mindanao has issued a call for volunteers who are willing to work in a CoViD-19 diagnostic laboratory in Davao del Norte. Persons who wish to participate need to have experience in RNA/PCR/qPCR and are willing to work in Davao del Norte. Qualified persons may indicate their interest by filling up the survey form at Deadline is 26 March 2020.

This call is URGENT. Davao Region has not reached its CoViD-19 peak, hence the operationalization of the lab is urgent to prevent the spread of CoViD-19 in the region.


Davao del Norte supports UP Mindanao proposal on diagnostics program for COVID-19 testing
The diagnostic lab for COVID-19 free testing proposed by the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao has gathered immediate interest from the Davao del Norte province. In a joint letter to UP Mindanao dated March 22, provincial governor Edwin Jubahib and Tagum City mayor Allan Rellon wrote, “As local chief executives, we hereby commit and support your proposal to establish a mobile diagnostics laboratory for rapid medical and public health response to COVID-19 in the province.”
Philippine Genome Center-Mindanao director Dr. Lyre Anni Murao, a professor of virology at UP Mindanao, revealed that the construction of the proposed lab and procurement of needed equipment, estimated at P15 million, will be funded by private groups while the operational costs, pegged at P10.3 million per month, will be funded by the local government unit.

“Our partners from the private sector will take charge of designing the lab to ensure it will meet biosafety standards,” she said. “The entire laboratory establishment including accreditation, design and assembly, up to equipment installation and calibration, will take roughly 7 to 8 weeks. When running at full capacity, the lab can be expected to handle 96 tests per day.”

Based on previous discussion with the Department of Health (DOH), the proposed lab will likely be attached to the Davao Region Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City according to UP Mindanao chancellor Dr. Larry Digal.

“DOH XI welcomed the idea of setting the lab with DRMC to supplement the capacity of SPMC so that other provinces in the Davao Region and even outside the region can be better served,” he said. “We are now working closely with the DavNor LGU on how to set up this lab as soon as possible. But just like the case of Marikina, the facility will have to be assessed by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine [RITM] of the DOH before it can be operational.”

Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) Dr. Leopoldo Vega has suggested during the Philippine Information Agency online press conference yesterday for UP Mindanao “to be an independent lab” since it will take time for DOH System and UP System to sign a memorandum of agreement.

He said, “Just make sure you have the necessary accreditation. This is a molecular biology lab. There has to be a standard, protective room with negative pressure so that safety is there when they inactivate the virus. If they have that, I think the RITM would give their approval.”

To augment the personnel who will initially operate the proposed lab, PGC Mindanao has already issued a call for volunteers last March 24. Dr. Murao said, “We cannot rely fully on our partner hospital to free up their personnel to do COVID-19 tests because they are needed in other hospital operations. We need volunteers with background on molecular biology, which is crucial to process the samples.”

Volunteers must have experience on quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) or ribonucleic acid procedures and are willing to be deployed in Davao del Norte. The survey form is available here:

“While we already included in our initial proposal to the LGU funding to take care of our volunteers (i.e., compensation, accommodations, etc.), we are now crafting a separate proposal for a rigorous training on biosafety and molecular diagnostics to ensure the welfare of our volunteers. This will be submitted to the UP System for funding,” she added.
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UPAA-Davao officers, 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

IMG 0344rez25UP Alumni Association-Davao Chapter elected new directors in elections held on 22 February 2020; the directors selected the chapter officers from among themselves in the proclamation meeting on 29 February. Nap Concepcion was elected chairperson, joined by Sherwin Ramos (president), Pedro "Bogs" Quitain (vice president), Bai Ashrafia Aymee "Toie" Biruar Mitmug (secretary), and Marvin Sison (treasurer); the other elected directors are Marie Glenn Cedeño-Sorila, Antoinette Principe-Castrodes, Ana Siapno-Gualberto, Eric Divinagracia, Allan Montenegro, Marianne Esther Aniceto-Guinomla, Roberto "Bo" Puentespina, Apple Legario, and Rene Estremera; UPLBAA-Davao president Ramon Bien, UPMinAA president Krishna Balaga, immediate past president Joel Laserna, and UP Mindanao chancellor Larry Digal are ex-officio members of the UPAAD board of directors. 

UPAA-Davao elections, 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

Members of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association-Davao Chapter (UPAA-Davao) are called to choose 14 directors in elections to be held on 22 February 2020 (Saturday), from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at Farmfix, Bacaca Road, Davao City (across FS Dizon Elementary School).  
“The Election Committee, chaired by outgoing UPAA-Davao president Joel Laserna, has been constituted and is now accepting nominations for 14 board seats,” said the bulletin issued by the committee. 
Eligible to be nominated and to vote are bona fide members of UPAA-Davao, who may also nominate fellow-members. Members may cast their votes in person or through a proxy. Alumni may apply for membership on election day, by paying the membership fee.
The nomination and proxy forms are available at the UP Mindanao Foundation, Inc., with address at 2/F Vega-Quitain Building, F. Iñigo (formerly Anda) Street, Davao City. Members may also request for the forms to be sent by email from Ms. Doromal at the email address , or through mobile phone no. 0906-298-1067. 
Completed nomination forms, with the signature of the nominee, must be submitted to the UPMFI office or through the email by 19 February 2020, 5:00 p.m. Signed proxy forms must be submitted in the same manner by 20 February 2020, 5:00 p.m. The designated proxies must be present to vote on 22 February 2020. 
UPAA-Davao was founded in 1949 and was instrumental in creating UP Mindanao. It has been awarded as Outstanding Chapter twice and counts alumni from all eight UP constituent universities among its members.    

UP Mindanao Foundation Inc., 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

IMG 9754RZ20Trustees of the UP Mindanao Foundation Inc. (UPMFI) took their oath of Office in induction ceremonies held on 8 February 2020 with Professor Larry N. Digal (left-most), ex-officio trustee representing UP Mindanao as its Chancellor, serving as Inducting Officer. The trustees are (left-right) Sebastian L. Angliongto, chairperson, John Gaisano Jr., vice-chairperson, Atty. Marie Dinah Tolentino-Fuentes, president, Anacleto Guevarra, vice-president, Atty. Charmaine Valentin, secretary, Atty. Marie Glenn Cedeno-Sorila, treasurer, and Maria Belen “Mabel” Acosta, Joel Laserna, ex-officio trustee representing UP Alumni Association-Davao as its president, and Corazon “Zony” Reyes. Not in the photo is trustee Dr. Celia Castillo, auditor.  The UPMFI was created alongside UP Mindanao in 1995 to support UP Mindanao faculty development, provide scholarships to students, and promote academic programs that are responsive to the needs of Mindanao.

25th Anniversary logo, 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

How to Use the 25th Anniversary Logo RZ20


The logo for the 25th Founding Anniversary was designed in line with the UP Visual Identity Guidebook (2017), which can be accessed here:

The anniversary logo in image (.png) and Adobe Illustrator artwork (.ai) formats, as well as templates for the new letterhead, are available online. Link:

The typeface Optima used with the logo may be downloaded for free here:


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