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Highlights of June, 2018

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

Chancellor’s Report to the PAC: Prof. Sylvia B. Concepcion, 01 – 30 June 2018

Goal: Contribute to National Development

THE U.P. MINDANAO 21st COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES were held on 26 June 2018 at the Administration Building Atrium, UP Mindanao campus in Mintal, Davao City. A total of 250 candidates were declared graduates by 21st University President Danilo Concepcion. At the ceremony, a Conferment of the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was held for Dr. Fortunato de la Peña, Secretary of the Dept. of Science and Technology. Following the Conferment, Secretary de la Peña was introduced as the Guest Speaker. Secretary de la Peña, in his talk, disclosed that it was his first time to be a speaker in a graduation ceremony of a UP constituent university. He recalled his involvement in the beginnings of UP Mindanao during his term as UP Vice-President for Planning and Development. He imparted advice for professional life based on his experience. He enumerated the strategies and programs of the DOST towards nation-building, including an increased number of scholarships. The 21st Commencement was graced with the presence of Regent Francis Laurel, Regent Frederick Farolan, Regent Angelo Jimenez, Student Regent Ma. Shari Oliquino, Staff Regent Analiza Fulvadora, VP Elvira Zamora, VP Nestor Yunque, Secretary of the University Roberto Lara, Ms. Mariquit de la Peña, and Atty. Gabriela Concepcion.     

MONDE NISSIN food company executives Romeo Marañon and Michael Singson visited UP Mindanao on 4 June 2018. They visited the proposed lactic acid project laboratory site and other laboratories in the College of Science and Mathematics. At the Gaisano Room, they listened to product pitches from the faculty of the Dept. of Food Science and Chemistry. Prof. Noreen Fundador discussed bioplastics from renewable resources such as corn or sugar cane that have uses in packaging, textiles, electronics, medical, and agricultural supplies; and of anti-microbial food packaging materials produced with starch extracted from seeds of durian and mango. Prof. Virginia Obsioma presented food products of research that use underutilized agricultural produce such as "ubod ng niyog", squash, banana stem, "puso ng saging", eggplant, "alukbati", "malunggay", and "gabi" to create burger patties, "longgoniza", meatloaf, noodles, cookies, and ice cream that are infused with vitamin A, iron, and other nutrients. Food samples created by students were served for their tasting. She also mentioned her lactic acid bacteria research for producing starter cultures for yoghurt. Prof. Juma Novie Alviola discussed her research on nutritious local flours made from sago, mung beans, banana, rice, and sweet potato.  In closing, it was agreed that a draft collaborative research agreement would be drawn up by the UP TTBDO for consideration by Monde Nissin Corp.  

PROFESSORS Jhoanna Lynn Cruz (Humanities) and Lyre Anni Espada-Murao (Biological Science) were among the speakers in the independently-organized "TEDx ROXAS St" event held at the Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City on 5 June 2018. In her talk “Are Filipinos Low Commitment People?”, Cruz examined some Philippine languages and sayings that show Filipinos to be inclined to have low commitment and if this can possibly be reversed. Murao, a virologist who leads research on threats to animal and public health, revealed information on backyard farm diseases and wildlife in her talk titled, "If Poop Could Talk". The talks of professors Cruz and Murao were delivered in the popular style of TED talks, in line with the strategy towards popularization of research.

GUIDANCE COUNSELOR Remigio Domingo contributed to a news feature titled "Internet, academe, and suicide" written by Cristina E. Alivio and published in Sun Star Davao newspaper. In part 3 of the feature published on 6 June 2018 was printed his contribution "The University of the Philippines Mindanao, for example, had a series of fora conducted for its students, faculty and staff". It proceeds to describe "seminars and workshops on mental health/emotional resiliency such as promoting the best practices for a mentally healthy school environment" and on "UP as a healthy, nurturing, and transformative academic organization". 

PROBIOTICS was the subject of a seminar given by Associate Professor Virginia P. Obsioma for distributors of Yakult Philippines Inc. on 21 June 2018 on the week of their National Sales Conference in Davao City. "Healthy Gut: Stress-less Life" was the title of her lecture wherein she presented research showing that certain probiotic substances can reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. The seminar was organized by Yakult officials Robert E. Torres, Ulpiano "Jun" Solomon, with guest Akihiro Kaneda from Japan. The distributors who attended the lecture were from Central Luzon, Tarlac, Baguio City, Tuguegarao City, Isabela, Albay, Palawan, Batangas City, Naga City, Mindoro, Bataan, La Union, Bacolod City, Cebu City, Tacloban, Samar, Iloilo City, GenSan, Zamboanga City, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Butuan City, Agusan del Sur, and Cotabato City.

DEBATE SOCIETY competed in the Philippine Inter-Collegiate Debating Championships held at University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City on 8-13 June 2018. UPMin Team A placed 22nd and UPMin B placed 25th in the field of 40 teams. The teams debated on issues in education, economics, health, gender, the state, international relations, and religion. UPMin A is composed of Frederick Omalza (3BS Biology), Renzo Polinar (4BA Communication Arts), Andres Segovia (4BA Communication Arts). UPMin B was Bryle Matthew Bacatan (4BS Food Technology), Nissa Mariel Caderao (3BS Agribusiness Economics), and Karl Tristan Butalid (4BA Anthropology). Debate Adjudicators were Sarika Rey (3BA English) and Wolfe Schievener Ote (4BA Communication Arts). 

A MEMORANDUM OF COOPERATION was signed by UP Mindanao and Mindanao Land Foundation (MinLand) on 22 June 2018 to help communities in the Davao City watershed that are vulnerable to natural disasters. UP Mindanao, thru its GeoSafer Mindanao project, will train MinLand personnel in gathering geographical data and its placement into LiDAR maps. MinLand will use these resources for participatory Barangay Development Planning. Signing the Memorandum were UP Mindanao GeoSAFER project leader Prof. Joseph Acosta, Chancellor Sylvia Concepcion, MinLand President Mr. Alex Rendon and Mr. Damaso Vertido. The project Geo-informatics for the Systematic Assessment of Flood Effects and Risks for a Resilient Mindanao (GeoSAFER Mindanao) is supported by the UP Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment and Management (DREAM) project, and the DOST-PCIEERD.   

Goal: Promote Access and Diversity          

THE DUAL PhD BY RESEARCH degree program between UP Los Baños, Curtin University in Perth, Australia; and the University of the Philippines Mindanao was approved by the Board of Regents in its 1335th Meeting on 31 May 2018.  

LAUNCH OF THE MASTER IN MANAGEMENT (MM) Degree Program was held on 8 June 2018 at the Apo View Hotel, Davao City. Dean Larry Digal gave the Welcome Remarks to the prospective students who attended. Chancellor Sylvia Concepcion, in her message, described the role of the academe and research as being about "giving back to society a better way of doing things." Prof. Glory Dee Romo presented the Revised MM Program. Five alumni, namely, Prof. Lemuel Calatrava, Davao City Councilor Maria Belen Acosta, Lecturer Rene Paraba, Prof. Thaddeus Acuña, and Davao Christian High School principal Jocy So-Yeung, each gave a pitch for the MM program to the prospective students. In closing, Prof. Exegesis Bangcaya also gave a pitch to the professionals present to consider partnerships between their companies and the School of Management, such as "on-the-job" programs.

STATISTICS AND EXPERIMENT DESIGN was the subject of the "Crash Course and Development of Laboratory Materials for Statistical Methods and Experimental Designs/Applied Math 152". This was organized by the Dept. of Math., Physics, and Computer Science and held on 18-22 June 2018 for faculty members, research assistants, and senior students. Dr. Li-Ann Lee C. Nalangan served as Resource Person.

CONFIRMATIONS FROM UPCAT QUALIFIERS for Academic Year 2018-2019 were accepted by the Office of the University Registrar beginning on 19 June 2018. Qualifiers who reside outside Davao City sent in their confirmations through e-mail.    

A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING between UP Mindanao and Bridge Institute of Technology (BIT) of Japan was initiated on 26 June 2018. The MOU provides for a 2-year training-to-employment program in Japan for students and alumni of BS Computer Science degree programs to start in April 2019. Asst. Professor Vicente Calag served as UP Mindanao representative in the signing ceremony  with Mr. Jun Hida, Director of Bridge Institute of Technology, held in Tokyo, Japan.

Goal: Optimize Use of Resources

AT "AGHAM BAYAN" held at the Phil. International Convention Center, Pasay City, on 20 June 2018 was held the signing of a Letter of Intent between UP Mindanao and Monde Nissin Corporation. The LOI expressed the interest of Monde Nissin as a "potential commercial licensee for the UP technology titled Direct Lactic Acid Technology". The LOI was signed by Chancellor Sylvia Concepcion for UP Mindanao and Mr. Michael Singson, on behalf of Mr. Romeo Marañon, Director for New Business Development of Monde Nissin Corporation.   
 
DATA PRIVACY ACT Awareness Seminar for faculty and staff was held on 18 June 2018 by Prof. Vicente Calag, the Data Privacy Officer of UP Mindanao. The seminar objectives were to raise awareness about Republic Act 10173 and to familiarize with the provisions, the review current practices in relation to this Act, the rights of data subjects, the threats to data privacy, and to identify the issues and concerns arising from this Act. In her Welcome Remarks, Chancellor Concepcion emphasized the need for everyone to be vigilant about data privacy issues.

CAMPUS PLANNING and Development Office conducted census tagging and land surveying in the campus throughout 5 June and 21 June 2018. These involved participation of personnel from the Dept. of Public Works and Highways, the Davao City Social Services Office, and security personnel working together to open and construct new access roads to the Davao City-UP sports Complex.

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