To the UP Mindanao community:
In the past two weeks, we have been reminded that communication is key in our fight against COVID-19. We have strengthened our communication strategies through a series of community messages to keep everyone updated regarding the status of an employee who was a probable case. I am pleased to share with you that the tests yielded negative results. And I want to thank everyone for cooperating in the contact tracing process and in maintaining composure amid this particular challenge.
We are finishing our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Communication Protocols to better handle future encounters. We have designated a contact person for your health concerns and we will continue releasing community messages via our mass email system. I also encourage you to utilize our existing UP Mindanao Helpline for any of your concerns as I recognize that you might be feeling stress and anxiety during these times. And to our vulnerable sector in the University, for our immuno-compromised colleagues and senior citizens, we will comply with VP Yunque’s latest memo stating that the mentioned sector should not report to office at all.
Last July 23, 2020, we held a COVID-19 Awareness webinar with Dr. Julinda Acosta, City Health Office representative. We have particularly learned the proper definition of terms and we were reassured by Dr. Acosta that we should not worry about the presence of COVID-19 quarantine and isolation in the campus. Again, I enjoin you to stay informed and dismiss misinformation through legitimate sources of COVID-19 information including WHO, DOH, and IATF.
Regarding our isolation and quarantine facilities, the DOH has re-classified them into Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in Davao City. Confirmed cases will now be isolated in our Faculty and Staff Housing and suspect cases will be quarantined in Training Gym. In light of this, I ask everyone to consistently comply with our safety guidelines and protocols.
Let me also thank everyone, including two students, who attended our town hall consultation for the proposed city hospital on campus. I assure you that I have noted all your advice and recommendations and I will endorse them to our partners in the upcoming meetings. I am hopeful that we can come to be more comfortable in using online meeting platforms while still being able to give everyone the opportunity to express their sentiments.
As you know, we have decided to postpone our commencement ceremonies for reasons we have articulated in our memo. This decision also aligns with the preference of a significant number of our students, as expressed in a survey conducted by our University Registrar. Aside from safety reasons, our students want to experience donning their sablay and marching with their parents through an actual ceremony.
Now, we will have more time to prepare for the advance enrolment of our incoming freshmen. Unfortunately, we will miss seeing them in our Atrium because the enrollment process will be completely online. We still don’t know when we will have the chance to meet them in person but I am certain we will.
The HRDO made their call recently for the ratings and targets, informing all of us that we have seen through the first half of this year. You may note that the accomplishments to be rated are from January to March only. I know that all of you worked hard during the disruption of operations due to COVID-19 and that can still be inserted in the IPCR.
I also announced recently that all units can proceed with their revised unit plans and make sure to incorporate a communication plan and IPCR targets into them. Although the pandemic interrupted our original plans, many of our previous efforts have landed in the right places and are now in progress. I am certain that we can still make 2020 a productive year by continuing our efforts in higher education, public service, and research and development.
We wouldn’t have made it through the past six months without all your support and efforts, and I am grateful for that. Stay in good health, always!
—Prof. Larry N. Digal, PhD, Chancellor
Community Messages released on 14 and 17 July 2020 informed the UP Mindanao community of two personnel who had close contact with persons who tested positive for COVID-19. A 14-day home quarantine was advised for them as well as the office personnel who came in contact with them, in accordance with DOH Memorandum No. 2020-0068. Office work was suspended for two days while disinfection of offices was done. Test results subsequently taken by the close contacts indicated both to be negative for COVID-19. However, completion of quarantine periods was done, as advised, and health guidelines were reiterated to all personnel.
GUIDELINES FOR WORK
Personnel are advised to comply with Memorandum no. LND 2020-076 that reiterates and has additional guidelines for operating in the work environment. Among the additional guidelines are for everyone to lessen face-to-face contact and to list the persons they have engaged in contact, daily. The accompanying DTI and DOLE documents contain the omnibus guidelines, for everyone’s compliance, where applicable. (https://bit.ly/2D4OnFe)
Eighty-five faculty and staff attended the COVID-19 Awareness Webinar on 23 July 2020 with Dr. Julinda Acosta, Technical Services head of the City Health Office, as resource person. Personnel are enjoined to keep in mind the COVID-19 symptoms and the time periods when symptoms arise and when the disease can be infectious.
Memorandum No. NGY 20-105 issued on 29 July 2020 ordered that all personnel who belong to the COVID-19 Vulnerable and High-Risk Groups are required to stay at home. Persons of this group who must report to the office must be issued an Office Order.
UPDATE ON STRANDED STUDENTS
To date, only two students who are from Palawan and Cebu remain under the stewardship of the OSA for their future repatriation. The Palawan-bound student is scheduled to travel back home this July 30. Meanwhile, the two students from Zamboanga have waived their travel opportunities and chosen to stay in Davao City for now. All four are in good health and are in touch with their families.
COVID-19 INITIATIVES AND PARTNERSHIPS
COVID-19 Isolation Facilities
As conveyed in the Update on the Quarantine Facilities issued on 24 July 2020, the two UP Mindanao buildings assigned for use by the City Government for quarantine are now among those reclassified by the DOH as Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities. The UP Mindanao Faculty and Staff Housing (35 beds) will now accommodate mild suspect and mild confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Davao City-UP Sports Complex Training Gym (128 beds) will accommodate mild suspect cases. City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has pledged to have the facilities ready for operation under the reclassification. (www.davaocity.gov.ph). UP Mindanao personnel are reminded to review and comply with the UP Mindanao Guidelines and Protocols for these centers, available here: https://bit.ly/2T2DetO
Proposed city hospital and the Mindanao Health Initiative
The town hall meeting-consultation on 21 July 2020 on the proposed Davao City-UP hospital was the first general assembly of UP Mindanao constituents held via a teleconference. A total of 95 constituents attended, including two students. Chancellor Digal had his first opportunity to personally present to the UP Mindanao community the UP Mindanao Health Initiative, which has three pillars: the proposed College of Medicine, the Mindanao Center for Infectious Disease, and the partnership with the city government for a proposed hospital on campus. He showed that Republic Act 7889 that created UP Mindanao mandated a “medical education program that shall adopt a community-relevant step-ladder approach.” A UP Mindanao medical program could still harness the SPMC as its training hospital, being big enough to accommodate more medical schools. The undergraduate programs in biology, food technology, anthropology, and sports science are viable feeder programs for the medical program.
Mindanao, likewise, does not have a center for infectious diseases, despite the data that says 8-9 out of every 10 incidences of disease in certain Mindanao regions are infectious diseases. For this, a proposal for a Mindanao Center for Interdisciplinary Applied Modeling, Data Analytics, and Biology of Infectious Diseases (IAMDABID-Mindanao) was submitted to the DOST-NICER program for funding. This center can network with UP constituent universities, Mindanao HEIs, government agencies, and civic organizations for the creation of a Mindanao Center for Infectious Diseases.
The proposed city hospital, when realized, will be the second public hospital in the city and can serve the population who are far from the present public hospital. It can also improve the health care for UP Mindanao constituents and can drive the development of growth areas nearby such as the proposed R&D innovation centers. The proposed hospital could eventually be a training hospital when it becomes a third-level hospital.
Constituents expressed the prevailing sentiment to support the proposed hospital but emphasized the necessity of arriving at mutually beneficial arrangements with the partner agencies. The university is still waiting for a written proposal from the city. Student consultations will also follow.
Campus Master Development Plan
The progress of the UP Mindanao Health Initiatives and other developments is driving the completion of the Campus Master Development Plan. The CMDP has been drafted and is scheduled for presentation and review of the UP Mindanao constituents. The Campus Planning and Development Office will gather feedback through an online survey and a town hall consultation tentatively scheduled for August and September.
Mental Health Helpline
As of 27 July 2020, 40 students and 4 employees have availed of psychological first aid from the UPMin-OSA Mental Health Helpline.
The Counseling and Testing Section of the Office of Student Affairs, in cooperation with the HRDO, ITO and the Office of the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, will conduct another mental health webinar (Part II) for employees and students, tentatively scheduled on the 1st week of August.
In Barangay Talle located within the UP Laak Land Reservation, the Land Reservations Management Office donated two gallons of sanitizing alcohol, a pack of face masks, and two sacks of quality used clothing to residents in July. Five families received grocery packs containing canned goods, condiments, and basic commodities. Also, a cash donation was given to the barangay for the construction of a barangay isolation facility. In the UP Marilog Land Reservation, residents have signed up for the second batch of the soft broom-making training, scheduled on 30 July 2020.
LEARNING AND TEACHING
The close of Academic Year 2019-2020 produced a total of 48 graduates joined by 15 more from the previous semester and mid-term that were submitted for confirmation by the UP Board of Regents.
The Department of Architecture BS Architecture program announced 25 graduates led by 9 cum laude and 1 magna cum laude, Ms. Hazel U. Jumawan. The Urban and Regional Planning program announced 9 graduates of the diploma program and one from the Master of Arts program, Ar. Angelo Felix Regalado.
"Pagkilala sa UPMin Class of 2020"
"Pagkilala sa UPMin Class of 2020," a virtual yearbook and video presentation will premiere on 12 August 2020, 07:00 PM Philippine Standard Time on the UP Mindanao YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/c/UniversityofthePhilippinesMindanao), the Facebook and Twitter pages (@upmindanao), and at www2.upmin.edu.ph.
Assoc. Prof. Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz (Faculty, BA English, Department of Humanities) has completed her doctoral degree at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, with the dissertation "Writing Lesbian: Pushing Against Boundaries Through Nonfiction." Her doctoral study was completed with a UP System doctoral fellowship.
Search for SOM Dean
The Search Committee for the Next SOM Dean was constituted on 16 July 2020, chaired by Assoc. Prof. Isidoro Malaque III, with Secretary of the University and of the Board of Regents, Atty. Roberto MJ Lara, as President’s Representative. The Search Committee has issued the Call for Nominations for the next Dean, stipulating the period 23 July to 3 August 2020. The public forum, where nominees will present their plans to the public, will be held online on 10 August. Sectoral consultations will likewise be held online on 11-13 August. The submission of the Final Report to the Chancellor is on 31 August 2020.
Search for CHSS Dean
The Search Committee for CHSS Dean made a last call for additional endorsement on 24 July 2020 in view of its schedule to submit its Final Report to Chancellor Digal on 31 July 2020. Constituents can expect a decision in the next Board of Regents meeting, tentatively scheduled on 27 August 2020.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The UP Mindanao Growing and Developing Enterprises TBI (UPGRaDE) will hold its Online Pre-Incubation Program (OPIP) Virtual Demo Day on 1 August 2020, 2:00PM PST via Zoom. Six (6) startup groups will pitch their ideas and progress to industry representatives, guests, potential investors, and business owners. UP Mindanao constituents are invited to experience the world of technology transfer. Registration is at bit.ly/OPIPVirtualDemo
KaPatrol, a technology application developed under UPGrADE, was shortlisted for the Karagathon: A Hackathon to Combat Illegal Fishing in the Philippine, to be held over 1-31 August 2020. Karagathon is organized by Oceana Philippines, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Central Office, and the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute.
Lectures in Webinars
SOM will hold a webinar on 5 August 2020 featuring lecturer Atty. Maris Aniceto-Guinomla and Dr. Sylvia B. Concepcion as speakers. Links will be provided soon.
Prof. Ryan Songcayauon (Department of Architecture) gave a lecture “Crucial Role of Architects, Engineers, and Environmental Planners in Improving the Urban Greenery Situation in Davao City,” in the Project GUHeat Davao City Webinar on 29 July 2020. Prof. Annabelle Novero (Department of Biological Science and Environmental Studies), a staff member of Project GUHeat, gave the closing remarks. https://bit.ly/2EvAX5Z
“Camus’ The Plague and COVID-19: Some Philosophical Reflections,” by Raymundo Pavo, PhD (Department of Social Sciences), was published in Social Ethics Society Journal of Applied Philosophy, Special Issue: 2020: COVID-19 and Applied Ethics. https://bit.ly/30ND6RW
“Three decades of Philippine nonhuman primate studies: research gaps and opportunities for Philippine primatology,” by Lief Erikson Gamalo (Department of Biological Science and Environmental Studies), Brian Sabanal, Andie Ang, was published in SpringerLink, Springer Nature, 17 July 2020. https://bit.ly/3g7lcjA
"Architectural Form and Meaning: Analyzing Perceptual Cues of Power in the Design of Provincial Capitol Buildings in Mindanao, Southern Philippines" by Nory Loyd Narvaez-Pernes (Department of Architecture) and Mottie Idasanka P. Santos, was published in Banwa A, Vol. 13: art055. http://ojs.upmin.edu.ph/index.php/banwa-a/article/view/484
"Cultural and ecological significance of Odonata (Insecta) to the T'boli of Lake Sebu, Mindanao, Philippines," by Cudera, R, B Razon, and KJ Millondaga (Department of Social Sciences), was published in Biodiversitas Vol. 21 No. 6, June 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13057/biodiv/d210627
UP Mindanao Pahinungod has adopted Kaagapay sa Pagaaral, a public service initiative launched on 21 July 2020 by VP for Public Affairs Elena Pernia, among its campaigns. Kaagapay aims to provide desktop computers or laptops and Internet connectivity to 5,600 UP students in need, system-wide, through donations.
Philippine Genome Center Mindanao received additional donations for its laboratories on 9-10 July 2020:
- UP Alumni Association Davao donated two (2) Purelink Viral DNA/RNA Mini Kits, two boxes each of 10 ul filtered tips and 1000 ul filtered tips, and three boxes of 200 ul filtered tips.
- Philippine Science High School-Southern Mindanao Campus Batch 2020 Sanghaya donated 100 boxes of Kimwipes, 12 pedal-operated trash bins, 15 packs of interfolded paper towels, and five aluminum foil rolls.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS AND NOTICES
01 August 2020 - UPGRaDE Online Pre-Incubation Program (OPIP) Virtual Demo Day
03 August 2020 - HRIS Overview and Self-Service Training via teleconference, 10:00 AM
05 August 2020 - SOM webinar featuring Atty. Maris Aniceto-Guinomla and Dr. Sylvia B. Concepcion
08 and 15 August 2020 - Master in Management Admission Test
12 August 2020 – Premiere of "Pagkilala sa UPMin Class of 2020" virtual yearbook and video presentation
15 August 2020 - Deadline of SPMS II 2020 Targets
27 August 2020 – Last Thursday of the month, schedule of Board of Regents meeting
28 August 2020 - AUPAEU-Mindanao Online General Assembly
31 August 2020 - Deadline of SPMS I 2020 Appraisal
Schedule for Continuing Students
03 August 2020 - Town hall consultation on enrollment concerns
17-28 August 2020 - Pre-registration with online advising; processing of clearance
Advance Enrollment for First Year students
10 August 2020 - BS Anthropology, BA Communication and Media Arts, BA English, BS Architecture, BS Agribusiness Economics
11 August 2020 - BS Applied Mathematics, BS Biology, BS Computer Science, BS Food Technology
Search for Next SOM Dean
03 August 2020 - Deadline of submission of Nominations
05 August 2020 - Announcement of Nominees
10 August 2020 - Online Public Forum
11-13 August 2020 - Online Stakeholder Consultations
14 August 2020 - Interview with Nominees
31 August 2020 – Submission of Final Report to the chancellor