UP MINDANAO BULLETIN
16-30 June 2020
To the UP Mindanao community:
In the coming months, we will be very busy as we prepare for two major events that bookmark a student’s life in the university: the Commencement Exercises, a ceremony that marks the end of a chapter in the life of a student, and receiving successful applicants, one of the first steps of a student to start his or her journey in the University of the Philippines. But because of the pandemic, we will have to do things differently this year and perhaps in the years to come as we face the so-called “new normal.” This requires many adjustments. Among these, we have created the UP Mindanao Committee on Remote Learning to facilitate our pivot towards remote/blended learning. I thank all of you for your hard work despite facing many uncertainties about the future.
Now, it’s time to move forward. We have the rest of the year to implement the various initiatives we set out to do in our revised plans.
We continue to serve our community with various Covid-19 initiatives. We have renewed our agreement with the City Government of Davao for the continued operation of the isolation facilities in our campus. Also, we signed a memorandum of agreement with Davao de Oro Province and DOST XI to set up a COVID-19 testing facility in the province. The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao has been very busy as their personnel continue to provide the necessary trainings to various medical staff from institutions all over Mindanao that require capacity building as they plan to establish more Covid-19 facilities (we recently had guests from Butuan and Zamboanga).
I am also pleased to share with you that the Local Government of Davao is thinking of partnering with us to establish a Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on campus. This is an exciting development as it will benefit our community by upgrading the current health facilities on our campus and will align with our expansion plan to establish a College of Medicine (we have been discussing a potential initial partnership with UP Manila since last year) and a future Mindanao Center for Infectious Diseases (an offshoot of PGC Mindanao being designated by DOH as training hub for disease diagnostics and our upcoming NICER program on infections disease, which will also align with DOST’s plans to establish a virology institute in the country). While we already had an initial discussion with the city on this project, there are matters that still need to be discussed further, and this will have to be approved at the level of the UP System for a memorandum of agreement to be signed by the university and the city government. We will have more to report soon, and I hope that all of you will be involved in the various consultations once this project will be underway.
Stay safe always!
—Prof. Larry N. Digal, PhD, Chancellor
UP MINDANAO COVID-19 CASE SURVEY
There are no reports to date of COVID-19 suspect, probable, or confirmed cases based on responses to the Student Tracking Survey (from 384 responses) and Personnel Tracking Survey (for employees).
The OSA will communicate with the student bloc leaders to complete the said survey. HRDO will issue another round of the survey in the coming week.
GUIDELINES FOR WORK
Faculty and staff are reminded to comply with protective measures stated in advisories from the DOH and the local government: wearing face masks, washing hands, thermal scanning, footbaths, and social distancing. Likewise, of UP Mindanao guidelines: limits to access by visitors and deliveries; the operation of cluster teams; the authenticity of signatures in documents; as reiterated in Memorandum No. LND 2020-061.https://bit.ly/37XIF3y
UPDATE ON STRANDED STUDENTS
The student from Iloilo departed for home by land (bus trip from Davao - Cagayan de Oro on 17 June 2020) and by sea (via passenger ship from Cagayan de Oro to Iloilo on 21 June 2020) with travel arrangements coordinated by the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) of Davao and Iloilo. She is currently on a 14-day home quarantine.
The remaining four students from Cebu (1), Palawan (1), and Zamboanga (2) are currently waiting for the reopening of their airports to complete the PMS-assisted travel arrangements.
UP MINDANAO COVID-19 INITIATIVES AND PARTNERSHIPS
Davao de Oro COVID-19 Facility
Chancellor Larry Digal, Davao de Oro Provincial Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, and DOST XI Assistant Regional Director Kenneth Barroga signed a memorandum of agreement on 22 June 2020 at the Provincial Capitol in Nabunturan to establish a COVID-19 testing facility in Davao de Oro. Philippine Genome Center Mindanao Director Prof. Lyre Anni Murao (Department of Biological Science and Environmental Studies) and Davao de Oro Chief of Hospitals Dr. Ferdinand Anthony Soberano were witnesses to the agreement.
The facility, to be set up in the Provincial Hospital in Montevista Municipality, will be used to test patients, frontline workers, and other individuals for COVID-19 once accredited by the Department of Health (DOH).
COVID-19 Insights dashboard has a new feature that detects COVID-19 using chest x-ray images that were developed by Prof. Cinmayii Manliguez and Ms. Armacheska Mesa (Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science). “It uses deep learning technique,” said dashboard co-creator Prof. Vladimer Kobayashi (DMPCS). “The feature is still in the prototype version, but we are continually improving its accuracy.”
“KABOG: Pride Under Quarantine”
Prof. Jhoanna Lynn Cruz (Department of Humanities) was one of the readers in the online event “KABOG: Pride Under Quarantine” on 27 June 2020. She read her original literary works “These My Gifts,” “Doing Time,” and “What I Think of When I Go Down on You.” KABOG is the first episode of the GANAP: Literatura at Musika sa Gitna ng Pandemya series of the LIKHAAN: UP Institute of Creative Writing (UP ICW).
View the episode here:https://bit.ly/31mxTCn
“Empowering School Personnel Amidst Covid-19: Psychosocial Support and Mental Health”
Some 60 UP Mindanao personnel attended the webinar “Empowering School Personnel Amidst Covid-19: Psychosocial Support and Mental Health” on 15 June 2020, organized by the Office of Student Affairs. The webinar aimed to facilitate and improve employees’ mental well-being in the advent of the “new normal” in the workplace. The resource person, Ms. Precious Manliguez of the Philippine Mental Health Association-Davao, advised everyone to maintain one’s health and well-being first, take time to reflect, strive to develop a positive self-image and a sense of purpose, and to be productive and creative in order to cope with daily stress.
Mental Health Helpline
In the ongoing UPMin-OSA Mental Health Helpline, a total of 42 requests from UP Mindanao students and employees were served by the Helpline partners of the OSA.
LEARNING AND TEACHING
Omnibus Memorandum on Academic Plans for AY 2020-2021
All UP Mindanao constituents are advised to read the OVPAA Memorandum No. 2020-68: Academic Plans for AY 2020-2021 and Timetable for Dialogues. This will serve as the guide for instruction in the coming academic year. The link: https://bit.ly/3i0SbqZ
UP Mindanao Committee on Remote Learning
The newly-constituted UP Mindanao Committee on Remote Learning has convened to facilitate the pivot of UP Mindanao towards remote/blended learning. Some of the preparations will cover physical and academic infrastructures as well as the operationalization of the paradigm shift to learning outcomes under remote learning.
Student Geographic Distribution Dashboard
As part of preparations for online/remote learning, the OVCAA has created a web-based dynamic geographic distribution dashboard of UP Mindanao students. The dashboard can show the provincial, municipal, and barangay locations of students by course, their gadgets, their internet sources, and their internet signal strength. The database is from the OVCAA survey, where 63% of students participated.
This dashboard can help reach students and identify hubs of learning materials distribution. It can help explore the possibility of having formal partnerships with LGUs to assist students in their areas by allowing them to use the LGU’s facilities.
The dashboard link is here:
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
One UP Applied Mathematics Webinar Series
Mr. Zython Paul Lachica gave a webinar entitled “Are Zeroes Really Zeroes?: Detecting Underreporting in Disease Reports” on 19 June 2020 as part of the One UP Applied Mathematics Webinar Series. These are free webinars on various topics in applied mathematics delivered by researchers from across the UP System and viewed by colleagues nationwide. Mr. Lachica, an affiliate of the Interdisciplinary Applied Mathematics (IAM) lab of the Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science, is the first presenter in the series from UP Mindanao.
Mr. Lachica shared insights from his work as a research assistant in the Synoptic Study on Transmission and Optimum Control to Prevent (STOP) Rabies program of UP Mindanao.
A video of the lecture is here:https://bit.ly/2BJ5zj3.
IDEYA from UPGRADE Technology Business Incubation
The UP Mindanao UPGRADE Technology Business Incubation co-organized the iDEYA Flight Talks webinar on 22 June 2020 on the topic “Repurposing R&D beyond Journal Publications” with Dr. Carlos Primo David as resource speaker. The webinar series aims to improve the innovation ecosystem in Mindanao, said UPGRADE Manager Prof. Miguel Carlo Guillermo (Department of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science). Dr. David said R&D needs to shift its focus beyond publishing and be a tool for societal change, targeting the Sustainable Development Goals. As a take-away, Dr. David said the pandemic opened unlimited new opportunities for repurposed R&D.
View the webinar here:https://bit.ly/2BPFvT6
TechTalk Episode 1
Prof. Kriza Faye Calumba (Department of Food Science and Chemistry) appeared on YouTube on 8 June 2020 in the first episode of the TechTalk web series titled “Probiotic Beer.” She shared her master’s thesis on creating probiotic beer using durian rind, which she described as her novel contribution to the food science community. TechTalk is produced by CrimHubPH and is hosted by fellow Fulbright scholar Dr. Christian T. Pascual. Various news organizations subsequently featured her probiotic beer project in news articles and broadcasts.
View her talk here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC9DMogD94I&t=25s
“The Rally Reading Series + Words Without Borders”
Prof. John Bengan (Department of Humanities) was among the readers in the online event “The Rally Reading Series + Words Without Borders: International Queer Writing” on 19 June 2020. He read “The Man with a Thousand Names,” his English translation of the short story, “Ang Tawo Nga May Liboan Ka Ngalan” by R. Joseph Dazo, who also read the original in Cebuano. The organizers reported that the members of the audience were from 20 countries. The show transcript is here: https://bit.ly/2BFjG94
The UP Strategic Research and Management (UPSTREAM) Foundation has signed the Memorandum of Agreement to receive donations for COVID-19 activities on behalf of UP Mindanao.
The UP Mindanao Ugnayan ng Pahinungod is the coordinator of donation drives for this purpose and will consolidate the donations database for reporting purposes.