Bridging the Health Gaps in Mindanao, Part 2

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

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UP Mindanao will hold a forum on BRIDGING THE HEALTHCARE GAPS IN MINDANAO THRU MEDICAL EDUCATION on 16 December 2020 @ 1:30 pm via Zoom. This is an offshoot of the forum that we conducted last 14 October 2020. That forum was about the healthcare gaps and needs in Mindanao and it was participated by the healthcare workers of Region XI and Region XII. It was highlighted during the forum that despite the advances in medicine and public health and the medical interventions done by the regional offices of DOH, glaring inequalities in access to health care and health outcomes persist in Mindanao. It also highlighted that a significant number of Filipinos die without seeing a doctor, and the Philippines has a shortage of trained doctors. Furthermore, doctors in the Philippines are distributed unevenly (more practicing medical doctors in urban centers than in rural communities) and emigration is high. It also highlighted the need for more healthcare workers that are differentiated and equipped to address the specific health needs of the population and the medical graduates we produce are crucial as health human resources in achieving UHC (Universal Health Care). Aside from the important role of medical schools in advancing medicine by providing competencies to medical doctors in terms of diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, the importance to develop “the heart of the medical Doctors” to serve and work for the community also surfaced. The crucial role of medical education to address these gaps were also recognized.

In the upcoming forum, we invited the deans of UP Manila CM, Ateneo de Manila CM, UP Manila SHS, and MSU-IIT CM (CM with distinct curricula) to share the following:

1. the general direction of their medical curriculum/programs and how it addresses the gaps between the competencies of health professionals and the health needs of the Filipino population;

2. the distinct characteristics of their medical curriculum/programs that address the issue of the dispersion of doctors, the shortage of doctors in remote areas, and the access of rural communities to the health care system.

3. their insights about the present situation and future direction of medical education in The Philippines.

We wish to invite you to this forum and share with us during the Q and A interaction your opinion on whether the existing medical curricula had addressed the medical issues in the primary and community health care system. Your participation will help us identify medical issues in the community that are not addressed yet by the existing medical curricula and has to be addressed by the proposed UP Mindanao college of medicine. With these, we will be guided on how the curriculum of the planned UPMin College of Medicine will contribute to the strengthening of the primary and community health care system and makes the tertiary hospitals the last line of health defense.  

Should you have any questions regarding the Zoom forum, please email me at   or through 09177051258. We are looking forward to your confirmation in this forum. Your presence in the forum will be much appreciated. Please find the link below for registration. It also serves as the zoom invitation link to the forum. Thank you.


Nilo Oponda, Ph.D.

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Updated: “HEIs Making a Difference thru Volunteerism: Ang Kwento ng Pahinungód” The 2020 National Volunteer Month Kick-Off

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

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   December has been designated as a National Volunteer Month (NVM) through Proclamation #55 series of 1998. This year, the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) offered the opening ceremony for National Volunteer Month to the UP Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, the public service program of the University of the Philippines. 
      UP President Danilo Concepcion, in his welcome remarks, thanked the PNVSCA for offering UP the opportunity to open the NVM. He said that in reviving the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod in 2019 he wanted to give renewed energy for volunteerism in the national university. In unifying once more the Pahinungod into the UP System, his goal was to further strengthen and intensify the volunteerism activities in a better and more effective way. He noted the timeliness of reviving the Pahinungod in 2019 as the nation soon experienced calamities that allowed UP to respond. 
     Former UP President Emil Javier, in his keynote message, expressed his deep personal gratitude to President Concepcion and collective appreciation of the UP community for breathing new life into Pahinungod, most importantly for providing more resources to the program. “So before you leave, Mr. President, I would like to thank you personally with Attorney Gaby by your side,” he said.
     Dr. Javier recounted the highlights in the creation of the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod. He closed his talk with two anecdotes touching on UP Mindanao. “My favorite story is of the three lady volunteers of UP Visayas who went to the hinterlands of Compostela Valley [now Davao de Oro] to put up a high school at the request of the municipal council. Now I understand that the high school which these three young ladies worked on has become a regular high school. And my favorite story is about the UP Mindanao Pahinungod delegation who came to join the UP Diliman Lantern Parade.” 
      Former Kidawa National High School principal Dr. Norman Jandog, in his testimony, said, “The Pahinungod brought the longed-for dream of our community for secondary education. We had six full years of partnership with Pahinungod [in 1998 to 2004], and I met 56 Gurong Pahinungod volunteers.”    
Thirteen years after helping build the Kidawa school, Mr. Michael Gatela, a former Gurong Pahinungod volunteer, was named officer-in-charge, and later, director, of the revived UP Mindanao Ugnayan ng Pahinungod in June 2019. He immediately embarked on promoting the volunteer service program to the incoming first-year students of UP Mindanao. In the “Tagbo” student leadership camp in July 2019, six students signed up to be service volunteers. 
Director Gatela organized affirmative action tutorials for public high school students from remote Barangay Marilog, Davao City. UP Mindanao alumni served as volunteer tutors. Next, he organized an action research seminar for public high school teachers of Veruela, Agusan del Sur, a UP Land Reservation site. UP Cebu’s Prof. Aurelio Vilbar served as the resource person. 
When the Mindanao earthquakes occurred in October 2019, the UP Mindanao Pahinungod was called upon to focus its efforts on disaster risk reduction. It coordinated and facilitated the UP response in the delivery of geological, psycho-social, shelter, and relief services to Cotabato province. The UP Mindanao Pahinungod gave a psycho-social intervention seminar to guidance counselors of Davao City schools and capped the year with a gift-giving and Christmas party for children in a Cotabato evacuation center.        
Back in the education domain, in August 2020, the UP Mindanao Pahinungód, together with other UP Mindanao units, facilitated the admission to UP Mindanao of five graduates from public high schools in Laak, Davao de Oro, through the Iskolar ng Bayan Act.  
When the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the shift to remote learning, the UP Mindanao Pahinungod assisted the UP Kaagapay sa Pag-aaral program in providing 33 UP Mindanao students and other UP students based in Mindanao with electronic gadgets and internet connectivity from July 2020 onward.      
For teachers from Mindanao and Cebu, the UP Mindanao Pahinungod co-organized the webinar, “Assessment with Action Research in Remote/Online Learning Context," on 25 November 2020. Prof. Aurelio Vilbar once again served as the lead resource person who demonstrated a “pandemic pedagogy.” The webinar, available for viewing at, has since earned 565 views.
On 05 December 2020, the UP Mindanao Pahinungod delivered a community disaster risk-reduction service through a Psychological First-Aid Webinar, co-organized with the Ugnayan ng Pahinungód Committee on Psychosocial Emergency Services (UP CoPES). Though intended for volunteers from the UP Mindanao community, it also attracted persons from another university, eventually ending with 12 new volunteers, including a medical doctor, an anthropologist, and university peer-counselors.
     Pahinungod Director Dr. Grace Aguiling-Dalisay, in her talk, gave a two-year report covering the period since the new beginning of the Pahinungod and the upcoming programs. Next, a number of Gurong Pahinungod volunteers, community partners in the person of Municipal Mayor Fernando Mesa, and Principal Norman Jandog gave individual testimonies.
      Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency Executive Director Donald James Gawe gave remarks and enumerated the upcoming NVM activities. 
      UP Mindanao Pahinungod Director Michael Gatela gave the closing remarks, acknowledging everybody, and closed by encouraging everyone to be engaged: ”Makibahagi at maglingkod! ...Ituloy ang kwento ng pahinungod! Ipagpatuloy ang kwento ng boluntarismo!”

Read an invitation from the UP Ugnayan ng Pahinungod Office below:

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On December 1 (Tuesday). at 9 A.M., listen to the stories of Pahinungod volunteers and community partners throughout the years and learn how volunteerism in higher education institutions contributes to making a difference to the nation.  
This webinar is brought to you by the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, UP's volunteer service program., in partnership with the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency and the DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies.  
Joining us are two very special guests, UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, who paved the way for Pahinungod's revitalization, and former UP President Emil Q. Javier, Founder of the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod. 
Register now to join the webinar via Zoom at
If you cannot access Zoom, register here
Tune in to our YouTube channel to catch the live stream:
Follow our Facebook page for the live stream and for more updates:

Webinars on Assessment, Libel, and Anxiety

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

PahinungodThe UP Mindanao Ugnayan ng Pahinungod organized the "Webinar on Assessment with Action Research in Remote/Online Learning Context" on 25 November 2020. This webinar is ideal for educators. The webinar is available for viewing at

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The Department of Humanities has organized the "Online Symposium on Libel, Obscenity, Fake News, and Cyberbullying" on 27 November 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Atty. Alija Auxan M. Navales is the resource person. The online symposium will discuss trends in media and the ethics of libel, obscenity, fake news, and cyberbullying to answer the question, "How do we protect ourselves online?"  

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The Office of Student Affairs, 
through its Counseling and Testing Section, is giving a free webinar on “Managing Anxiety” for employees and students on 27 November 2020, at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom. The webinar goal is to help employees and students cope with mental health issues during these times. 
The resource person is Dr. Gioia Fe Dinglasan-Ancheta, a psychiatrist and consultant from the Institute of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Southern Philippines Medical Center. 


Art Donation Project by Prof. Perez

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

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Associate Professor Teody Boylie "Bong" Perez of the Department of Humanities is expediting his Art Donation Project, "Indigent Lives: A Permanent Display of Art Prints," with his recent turnover of framed art prints to serve as permanent exhibits in organizations with wide public access in Davao City. 

Associate Professor Teody Boylie "Bong" Perez turned over art prints for display to UP Mindanao and the University Library on 24 November 2020. This is part of his "Indigent Lives: A Permanent Display of Art Prints" Art Donation Project supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Chancellor Larry Digal and Librarian Merlyn Castañeros received the donations. Vice-Chancellor Karen Cayamanda and Ms. Carol Balgos signed as witnesses to the deed of donation.

In recent weeks, Prof. Perez turned over donations of art prints for display to Malayan Colleges Mindanao, the DOST-Region XI, the Philippine Science High School-Southern Mindanao Campus, the Davao City Special School, and the new Davao City Library.

An art print is a high-quality reproduction of an original artwork intended for display in public spaces.

Prof. Perez’s lifelike paintings depicting indigents' conditions have been widely acclaimed, for which Davao City awarded him its highest recognition as a Datu Bago awardee in 2016.

The 2020 NCCA Competitive Grants Program approved its support for the project, which, in their evaluation, "contributes significantly to the Filipino’s cultural legacy." Prof. Perez's project also aligns with the NCCA vision of "A Filipino people with a strong sense of nationhood and deep respect for cultural diversity" and "promoting Philippine culture and values towards Bayanihan."

"Zero Rabies in Davao City" Webinar

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

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"Zero Rabies in Davao City: A Dream or a Reality?" a webinar on the rabies landscape of Davao City was held online on 17 November 2020. The "Synoptic Study on Transmission and Optimum Control to Present Rabies," or STOP Rabies program, for short, presented its three studies and arrived at five policy recommendations:
Recommendations for Zero Rabies in Davao City:
(1) mandatory dog registration; (2) mandatory pet vaccination; (3) have a transitory impounding center and return-to-owner system for impounded pet dogs; (4) operationalize a pet breeder registry; and (5) provision of direct-specific Animal Bite Treatment Center establishments.
Davao City councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte welcomed the recommendations and pledged to incorporate these into the ongoing city health proposal draft.
(View the forum video here:
The webinar panelists were Prof. Lyre Anne Murao, Prof. May Anne Mata, and Dr. Genevieve Tupas, project leaders of the STOP Rabies program, Prof. Pedro Alviola IV of UP School of Management, Dr. Esther Cherrie Rayos, Dr. Ma. Corazon Sepulveda, Dr. Gloria Marquez, and Dr. Gay Paliar of the Davao City Veterinarian's Office, Dr. Annaliza Malubay of Davao City Health Office, Dr. Maria Nerissa Dominguez and Mr. Thomas Hiatt of WHO-PH, Pauline Baladjay of DOH, Dr. Sarah Jayme of Global Alliance for Rabies Control, Dr. Daphne Jorca of Bureau of Animal Industry, and Floyd Bascones of Davao Dog Lover's Community
STOP Rabies program in partnership with The PAWSitivity Project Philippines invites the public to a free webinar, "ZERO RABIES IN DAVAO CITY: A DREAM OR REALITY?" on 17 November 2020, 9:00 AM to 12:00 NOON.  
Participants can learn about the rabies landscape of Davao City based on the research results of the program, experience the 1st Virtual Pet Blessing, have fun with the online games and prizes, and meet new people and pet lovers through this webinar. Register here:

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