UP Mindanao Highights, 1 - 31 August 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums


01 - 31 August 2020

Chancellor’s Report to the President’s Advisory Council

Prof. Larry N. Digal, PhD


Throughout August 2020, Davao City continued to be under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), which the city government has maintained since July 2020. 

As of 6 September 2020, the Mindanao island had 7,950 cumulative cases and 167 deaths, compared to the previous period on 10 August 2020 which had 4,515 cumulative cases and 96 deaths.   

By comparison, the national total on 6 September 2020 was 234,570 cumulative cases and 3,790 deaths. (source: 


"Pagkilala sa UPMin Class of 2020"

"Pagkilala sa UPMin Class of 2020," an online tribute to the UP Mindanao Class of 2020, was launched following the approval of their graduation by the Board of Regents at its 1353rd Meeting on 2 September 2020. 

The “Pagkilala” is available in PDF and EPUB versions, and may be accessed through the following links:

The video presentation is scheduled to have its premiere on 7 September 2020, 07:00 PM in UPMin's YouTube channel:  

First Professor Emeritus

The UP Board of Regents, in its 1352nd Meeting, approved the conferment of the title of Professor Emeritus to retired UP Mindanao professor Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco Jr. He became the first Professor Emeritus from UP Mindanao. Dr. Rasco was a faculty member since 1997 and had served as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. He was seconded to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in July 2011 until his retirement in 2015. UP Mindanao will ask Professor Rasco to give online lectures for the incoming UP Mindanao students. 

New Academic Programs 

The School of Management (SOM) is currently in the process of screening applicants to the PhD by Research program that is on its inaugural semester in UP Mindanao. 

The SOM team also met with the UP Los Baños College of Economics and Management faculty on 19 August 2020 for the planned adoption of the MS Agricultural Economics program. The SOM team, likewise, held a meeting with Prof. Fay Rola-Rubzen of the University of Western Australia on 25 August 2020 for the Joint MS Agricultural and Applied Economics program.

Iskolar Ng Bayan

For AY 2020-2021, UP Mindanao invited some graduates of public high schools in the UP Land Reservations to enroll as Iskolar ng Bayan students in UP Mindanao. With this intake, UP Mindanao hopes to realize its affirmative action to provide opportunities to the underserved communities in the Davao Region. UP Mindanao intends to craft academic programs that can accommodate Iskolars from other Mindanao regions in the future.


Currently, there is only one remaining stranded student on campus. This student is scheduled to travel home to Cebu in September. 


Disinfection and Water Treatment in Campus


Disinfection of university rooms and offices was undertaken on 20-21 August 2020. All personnel adopted work-from-home arrangements for one workday. Water treatment was likewise undertaken in the campus on 23-24 August 2020, by cleaning and flushing of the water pump and overhead tank over a weekend.

Mental Health Helpline

As of 23 August 2020, 42 students and five employees have availed of psychological first aid from the UPMin-OSA Mental Health Helpline.




COVID-19 Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities

Mayor Duterte-Carpio (fourth from left) at the Faculty and Staff Housing

The Mayor (with back to the camera) at the Multipurpose Training Gym

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the use of campus buildings as COVID-19 facilities was renewed on July 20, 2020 for another three-month period. The two buildings are now upgraded to be Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities and will now accommodate mild suspect and mild confirmed COVID-19 cases. The city government will undertake all the requisite measures for the operation of the facilities. The city government reported that Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio visited the facilities on August 31, 2020.  (Photos from the City Government of Davao Facebook page)

New COVID-19 Testing Facility in Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC)

Chancellor Digal and Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao Director Assoc. Prof. Murao (Department of Biological Sciences and  Environmental Studies [DBSES]) visited the newly completed COVID-19 testing facility located in the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City on 27 August 2020. 

They also witnessed the turnover from the builder to the end-user in ceremonies held in the Davao del Norte Provincial Capitol. Mr. Dino Suelto, Managing Partner of the building contractor Maer Summit Konstrukt Company, presented the certificate of turnover to Davao Regional Medical Center Chief Dr. Bryan Dalid in the presence of Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon, Panabo City Mayor Jose Relampagos, and Samal City Mayor Al David Uy. PGC Mindanao contributed to the design of the facility and trained the personnel. The DRMC will oversee the operation of the facility. 


Ongoing Training for Medical Personnel in Mindanao Hospitals

PGC Mindanao provided refresher training in August for COVID-19 medical frontliners from Butuan City, Tagum City, and from Lanao del Norte province.


In a social media post, PGC Mindanao reported on its mission from April 2020 onward to capacitate hospitals to conduct COVID-19 testing by training personnel on SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Since April 2020, PGC Mindanao trained 45 medical technologists, doctors, and biologists from six hospitals and institutions in Mindanao: the Dr. Royeca Hospital in General Santos City; the Lanao del Norte Medical Center; the Ciudad Medical Zamboanga; the Butuan Medical Center; the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City; and the Cotabato Regional Medical Center. PGC Mindanao also reported the success of the Ciudad Medical Zamboanga and the Butuan Medical Center in acquiring the accreditation for COVID-19 testing from the Department of Health.


Projections of COVID-19 Cases in Davao Region

Charts of COVID-19 cases projection in Davao City

The Interdisciplinary Applied Modeling (IAM) Laboratory and Assoc. Prof. May Anne Mata of the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science (DMPCS) posted a series of maps and charts on social media of a study titled, "Projections of COVID-19 cases, deaths, recoveries in Davao City and some provinces in Davao Region." A news reporter interviewed Prof. Mata and published this as a headline story on 30 August 2020 with the title “Gloomy Projections.” The study projected that the number of COVID-19 cases in Davao City could reach 2,500 by the end of September, up from 1,297 cases as of 27 August 2020.   The news item is here:


"In the Time of Pandemia" Computer Game

Assoc. Prof. Mata was part of a team that developed "In the Time of Pandemia," a computer game that simulates the COVID-19 epidemic through a crisis manager whose challenge is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in a variety of community settings. Prof. Mata provided her mathematical feedback throughout the game development process.  “It is easy to play, educational, fun, and even offers one an opportunity to help those affected, yet neglected, communities,” she said. 

Webinar on Food and Organizations in the New Normal

Dr. Concepcion

Atty. Aniceto-Guinomla

School of Management (SOM) carried out their first webinar, "Food Systems and Leading Organizations in the New Normal," on 5 August 2020 where former Chancellor Dr. Sylvia Concepcion and SOM Lecturer Atty. Marianne Esther Aniceto-Guinomla discussed the future of food systems and organizational leadership in the new normal, respectively, to 121 online viewers. View the webinar here:


Davao Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 Midterm Update


UP Mindanao promoted the Virtual Launch of the Davao Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 Midterm Update and the Recovery and Resilience Plan held on 26 August 2020, through its membership in the Communication for Development Network and the Economic Development Council. 

UP Mindanao contributed to the update through the research and development (R&D) projects implemented and published, science and technology (S&T) infrastructure and laboratory facilities established, human capital investment in developing R&D practitioners and scholars, and in promoting S&T and innovation appreciation.

Throughout the first midterm, UP Mindanao was an active partner in the regional science & technology consortium, in sharing its linkage in S&T networks and through participation in the S&T fairs. 

UP Mindanao is part of the regional innovation movement with its product development and patent applications, by encouraging innovation and technology adoption in agriculture and industry and promoting the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 

UP Mindanao provided training in project management to SME managers, flood hazard mapping and land use planning for local governments, and food processing for industry partners.

UP Mindanao is part of the newly created Regional Inclusive Innovation Center and will contribute to the newly constituted Regional Research, Development, and Innovation Committee of the Regional Development Council-XI.




UP Land Reservations


In the UP Marilog Land Reservation, a broom-making project was held in July, producing 60 brooms from their livelihood workshops. Some 30 brooms were immediately sold bringing an income of P2,100 to the broom-makers.

In support for basic education in the land reservations, the Land Reservation Management Office launched “Bond Paper Mo Para Sa Module Ko” Oplan Tulong Dunong Program for the School Children in the UP Land Reservations on 10 August 2020. The program aims to gather donations of bond paper for use in the production of remote learning materials for public schools in the UP land reservations. 

Throughout August, donations of bond paper were delivered to Ladi-an Elementary School in the UP Marilog Land Reservation, and the Sta. Emilia Elementary School and Kidawa National High School in the UP Laak Land Reservation. Each school received five (5) reams of bond paper.


Philippine Genome Center Mindanao


The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao received additional donations from the UP Alumni Association Davao of two (2) bottles of Molecular Grade Alcohol for use in the training laboratory. This is the latest of many donations, view the list here:



The Novice Debate


A UP Mindanao Debate Society team of BS Biology alumnus Frederick Omalza and BS Agribusiness Economics student Michael John Galendez (in photo) were champions in the first edition of The Novice Debate, an international online competition organized by Malaysia-based World of Learning and held on 15 and 16 August 2020. This is the second international event of the UP Mindanao Debate Society.


Essay Writing Contest by the Indonesian Consulate General


BA Communication and Media Arts student Reimeline Jasil Sayson won first place and a ship trophy in the essay writing contest hosted by the Indonesian Consulate General in Davao City in celebration of the 75th Independence Day Anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia on 17 August 2020.


3-Minute Pitch to Policymakers


BS Biology alumnus Michael Bacus represented the Regional Health Research and Development Council-XI and won third place for his three-minute pitch titled “Healthy Nature for Healthy People” in the 3-Minute Pitch to Policymakers Competition, organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) and held online on 14 August 2020.




UPGRADE Virtual Demo Day


UP Growing and Developing Enterprises (UPGRADE), the technology business incubation of UP Mindanao, held their Online Pre-Incubation Program Virtual Demo Day on 1 August 2020 where five business startups and one laboratory production team delivered their respective sales pitch to a panel of experts.

The startup products are:

  • Hayahay, an online platform linking buyers and sellers;  
  • Nutriboard, a virtual canteen and nutrition service platform;
  • Ternicide, an eco-friendly larvicide film to kill mosquito eggs;
  • Gpindot, an offline reporting system for disaster preparedness and response; and
  • KaPatrol, an offline application for monitoring illegal fishing activities.

The startups will be trained further on business and finance that will culminate in the launch of their products within six months. UPGRADE is funded by the DOST-HEIRIT (HEIs Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship) program. 


LIHOK Startup Roadshow in Nabunturan


UPGRADE, in partnership with the Municipal Government of Nabunturan, Davao de Oro Province, will undertake the LIHOK (Localizing Innovation by Harnessing the Optimal Knowledge of the Citizens) Startup Roadshow in Nabunturan in August-September. The LIHOK roadshow will seek out Nabunturanons with technology startup businesses or promising ideas that can help solve pressing problems in their community. The roadshow has a Bootcamp, Mentoring, and a Demo Day on 5 September 2020. Cash prizes and merchandise will be given with free workshops and free use of the UPGRADE Innovation Hub in UP Mindanao. UPGRADE is funded by the DOST-HEIRIT (HEIs Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship) program.


Intellectual Property Management Program for Academic Institutions Commercializing Technologies (IMPACT)


UP Mindanao is one of 30 universities/institutions participating in the PCIEERD-STRIDE  Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office-Intellectual Property Management Program for Academic Institutions Commercializing Technologies (KTTO-IMPACT). Recently, UP Mindanao was selected as one among 19 in a shortlist by the KTTO Mentors to vie for ten available slots for PCIEERD funding under IMPACT for 2020-2021. Chancellor Digal issued a Letter of Commitment to support the UP Mindanao technology transfer office in its bid for the PCIEERD funding.


African Swine Fever Studies


Assoc. Prof. Lyre Anni E. Murao (DBSES)  is involved in the surveillance and testing of African Swine Fever since its detection in the Davao Region in February 2020. In August, Prof. Murao met with the Department of Agriculture-XI and the Davao Hog Farmers Association of DAVAO Inc. (Hogfadi) for ASF Testing of commercial and surveillance pig samples.


"UP Naming Mahal" Music Video


A music video of the “UP Naming Mahal” customized for the UP Mindanao 25th anniversary was created by the Department of Humanities and Instructor Sam Sanchez. It combines videos from TVUP and the UP Symphony Orchestra version with the UP Mindanao institutional video. The video was made available for use of UP Mindanao units, among other anniversary materials.

The link to the video:

The link for downloads:


Webinar on L.I.F.E. for Davao de Oro Land Reservation


UP Mindanao gave a webinar on the Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension (LIFE) model for researchers and officials of the Compostela Valley State College (CVSC), its new project partner in Davao de Oro Province. This is in preparation for UP Mindanao and CVSC's partnership in integrating the LIFE model for a farmers' community in the UP Land Reservation in Laak, Davao de Oro. Chancellor Digal gave the Welcome Remarks and Senior Lecturer Anne Shangrila Fuentes (Department of Social Sciences [DSS]) served as the lead resource person. The participants from CVSC were led by President Dr. Christie Jean Villanueva-Ganiera and Director for Research, Extension and Development Dr. Lilybeth M. Matunhay. The LIFE model is currently being implemented by UP Mindanao and its government partners in conflict-vulnerable sites in the provinces of Maguindanao, Zamboanga del Norte, and Sultan Kudarat in partnership with farmer and fisherfolk associations.




The following publications were reported in August 2020.

“Night Market as Conceived-Planned Space: The Case of Davao City, Philippines,” by Raymundo R. Pavo (DSS), August 2020, Kritika Kultura 35, pp. 21–043. DOI:

“A cointegration analysis of rabies cases and weather components in Davao City, Philippines from 2006 to 2017,” by ZP Lachica, EO Diamante (DMPCS), LAE Murao (DBSES), MAE Mata (DMPCS), PA Alviola IV (SOM). Published 25 August 2020 in PLOS One.

“The pleasures of Gilda Cordero-Fernando’s fiction.” Bengan, JB. Published in CNN Philippines news, 29 August 2020.


Presentations and Trainings Conducted

Papers were presented at the 40th APAMS Philippines 2020, the online conference organized by the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE), and held from 20 July - 14 August 2020:

“Helping the Nation Breathe AIR: from North to South and Everywhere,” presented by Professor Jose Ildefonso U. Rubrico (DMPCS), 06 August 2020

“Philippine CoVID-19 Fisheries Vulnerability Index,” presented by Asst. Prof. Leo Manuel B. Estaña (DMPCS), on 7 August 2020 

Ms. Marilou O. Montiflor (SOM) was a resource speaker for “Supervisory Skills Enhancement,” an online training organized by Plus Factor Research and Training Services, and Womenpowered, and held on 15 August 2020. A total of 45 teachers, and employees of government, NGO, and private institutions participated.

Guest Speaker, UPLB CEM Virtual Recognition rites

Chancellor Larry N. Digal was the guest speaker of the UP Los Baños College of Economics and Management (CEM) Virtual Recognition Rites on 15 August 2020. Chancellor Digal is an alumnus of the CEM and was awarded among the 100 Outstanding Alumni in the CEM Centennial in 2019. 



Vice-Chancellor for Administration

Assoc. Prof. Karen Joyce G. Cayamanda was appointed Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Administration effective 1 September 2020. The Board of Regents confirmed the Ad Interim Appointment of Prof. Cayamanda in the 1353rd Meeting.



Assoc. Prof. Raymundo R. Pavo, PhD, was appointed Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences by the UP Board of Regents in its 1353rd Meeting on 2 September 2020. The Search Committee, headed by Professor Noreen Grace Fundador, began the search process in March but extended it repeatedly due to the public health emergency. Asst. Prof. Jean Marie Juanga ended her term as CHSS dean on 6 April 2020 and Assoc. Prof. Ma. Stella Salazar served as OIC from 7 April 2020 onward.


Search for the Next SOM Dean

The Search Committee for the Next SOM Dean announced the sole nominee on 5 August 2020 as Asst. Prof. Aurelia Luzviminda V. Gomez. The Committee held the Online Public Forum on 10 August 2020. The submission of the Final Report to the Chancellor is on 31 August 2020.


Online Consultations

Chancellor Digal held a series of consultations on various concerns in August. The search for a vice-chancellor for administration went through two consultations, first with unit heads under the OVCA, and a second one online on 12 August 2020 for all UP Mindanao personnel.

The Chancellor, likewise, hosted another university-wide online consultation with the HRDO and the employee unions on 6 August 2020 to discuss the step increment promotion and other union concerns. Both online consultations gathered wide attendance by university personnel.


31 August 2020 | “UPMin Debaters Champion in International Tourney.” Sun Star Davao

28 August 2020 | “Gloomy projections.” Sun Star Davao.

28 August 2020 | “Breaking off from the chains of the past.” Sun Star Davao.

27 August 2020 | “The Result of Essay and Photography Contest.” Indonesian Consulate General Davao

27 August 2020 | “This Filipino-made simulation game gives players a chance to solve COVID-19 pandemic.” Interaksyon.

20 August 2020  | “Region 10’s Geraldine Ridad is this year’s champion for DOST-PCHRD 3-Minute Pitch to Policymakers Competition.” Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

19 August 2020 | “Experts envision food systems and leadership in new normal.” Mindanao Times.

18 August 2020 | “UP Mindanao experts envision food systems, leadership in new normal.” Mindanao Daily Mirror.

12 August 2020 | UP Naming Mahal Music Video (featuring UPMin and UPSO). Link to the video:  |


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