UP Mindanao Bulletin, 16 - 31 July 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums


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.


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. (    

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.  


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 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. ( UP Mindanao personnel are reminded to review and comply with the UP Mindanao Guidelines and Protocols for these centers, available here:

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.

Land Reservations

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.


Academic Degrees

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.

2020 080220 GRAD TABLE RZD70

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 (, the Facebook and Twitter pages (@upmindanao), and at

New PhD

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.



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

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.


“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.

“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.

"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.

"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:



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.


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

UP Mindanao Bulletin, 1 - 15 July 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums


1 - 15 July 2020


There are no new or additional responses to the existing Student Tracking Survey, having remained at 384 responses. The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) will coordinate renewed efforts by student bloc leaders.

HRDO will send out the second round of the health and well-being survey for personnel, as part of regular monitoring activities.


Everyone is reminded to remain vigilant against COVID-19 infection, as reiterated in Memorandum No. LND 2020-061. Additional guidelines for work will be released in consideration of the health and safety of all those who physically report for work and, by extension, their families.


As of early July, four (4) students remain under the stewardship of the OSA and have updated travel documents as advised by the partner government agencies. The student from Palawan (1) is still awaiting the opening of their airport and final travel arrangements/instructions from the Office of Civil Defense, the agency in-charge of this assistance. Meanwhile, the student from Cebu (1) won't be able to travel anytime soon since he could not be issued a Travel Authority by the Davao City Police Office due to the current COVID-19 infection rate and Enhanced Community Quarantine status in their city. The two (2) students from Zamboanga have expressed their intention to remain in Davao City for now. The students are in sound mental and physical health while remaining in touch with their parents. 


PGC Mindanao assigned as training provider

In June, Philippine Genome Center Mindanao was assigned by DOH as a training provider for Hands-On PCR Training in Mindanao, alongside the UP National Institutes of Health in Manila and the Philippine Genome Center in Diliman and the Visayas. Consequently, personnel from medical centers in Butuan and Zamboanga cities availed of training in the PGC Mindanao labs in June, and personnel from General Santos City in July.  

COVID-19 Isolation Facilities

Two campus buildings are now in full operation as COVID-19 "We Heal As One" isolation centers under the management of the Davao City government. Since June, the Training Gym has accommodated persons during their waiting period between the COVID-19 testing and the arrival of the test results. The memorandum of agreement between UP Mindanao, the City Government, and DPWH-XI will expire on 20 July 2020, but Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte requested UP Mindanao for the renewal of the agreement in a letter dated 17 June 2020. UP Mindanao ExeCom approved the Mayor’s request on 25 June 2020. The University has requested updates from the LGU, including what has been done in the quarantine facilities, e.g., implementation of health protocols/ disinfection and numbers of transients accommodated.

City Hospital Proposal

The UP System Executive Committee composed of the university president and vice presidents convened online on 6 July 2020 to hear updates on the proposed hospital project from Chancellor Digal. Following the meeting, the chancellor extended an invitation to Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa to be a technical consultant for the proposed project.

EVP Herbosa is a medical doctor and is currently an adviser to the National Task Force on COVID-19 headed by Secretary Carlito Galvez. He served as Undersecretary of the Department of Health from 2010 to 2015 and as Coordinator of Foreign Medical Teams in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. He is also an associate of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine, the Johns Hopkins University, and the WHO Safe Surgery Saves Lives Task Force. In UP, he started the Fellowship Program for Trauma and Residency Program in Emergency Medicine. 

In an update, UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita Padilla has also mobilized her team to help in the proposed hospital project, as well as the medical program and related activities.

UP Mindanao’s interest in the proposal is consistent with its mandates and strategic plan which includes a proposed College of Medicine, a Mindanao Center for Infectious Diseases, and the upgrading of university health and infirmary services.

For the proposed hospital, Chancellor Digal has scheduled an online town hall/consultation meeting for all UP Mindanao personnel on 21 July 2020, 1:00-3:00 P.M.

IAMDABID-Mindanao proposal

Assoc. Prof. May Anne Mata completed the detailed research & development program proposal for the proposed Mindanao Center for Interdisciplinary Applied Modeling, Data Analytics, and Biology of Infectious Diseases (IAMDABID-Mindanao) on 22 June 2020. This was submitted through channels to the DOST-Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) program for funding. The proposed IAMDABID Mindanao will work in partnership with existing disease centers/units in the country as it promotes the utilization of applied modeling, data analytics, and applied biological techniques to complement current approaches for disease surveillance, disease data analysis, and disease risk management.

Mental Health Helpline

As of 13 July 2020, 40 students and 4 employees have signed-up and were given psychological first aid by the professional partners of the OSA Mental Health Helpline.




Faculty Referendum on Numeric Grades

A faculty referendum was undertaken on 29 June 2020 to seek a decision on the issue of whether or not to include numeric grades received by students in the 2nd Semester of AY 2019-2020 in the computation of the GWA. Some 71 faculty members were able to participate in the referendum that arrived at a decision for the “non-inclusion of the numeric grades received in the 2nd Semester of AY 2019-2020 in the computation of GWA, but students can apply for a waiver to the Chancellor requesting for exemption from this rule.” This decision was conveyed to Vice President for Academic Affairs Cynthia Rose Bautista in a letter by Chancellor Digal and the details were conveyed to the faculty in a memo by University Registrar John Bengan. 

Town Hall Dialogue between students and the OVPAA

On 02 July 2020, more than 70 UP Mindanao students participated in the online Town Hall Dialogue with the Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs (OVPAA) that was co-organized by the OSA, the University Student Council (USC), and College Student Councils, with support from the IT Office.

Present were VPAA Cynthia Rose Bautista, Assistant VP for Student Affairs Richard Philip Gonzalo, as well as UP Mindanao Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Nilo Oponda, OSA Director Ma. Teresa Escano, and other officials.

In the session, the VP Bautista conveyed the plans for Academic Year 2020-2021, including the student support program, and spoke of the advantages of remote learning. For their part, the students shared their concerns as expressed in their college-based online student surveys, which VP Bautista addressed or noted in her replies.

Likewise, the student councils held their College-based Student Consultations on 2-3 July 2020. Their concerns were carried by the USC to the University Committee on Student Affairs (UCSA) Special Meeting on 7 July 2020 with university officials and the student councils from all UP constituent universities.  

Search for CHSS and SOM Deans

The period for nomination of candidates for dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences ended on 30 June 2020. Search Committee Chair Prof. Noreen Grace Fundador announced the nominees on 1 July 2020 as Prof. Karen Joyce G. Cayamanda, PhD (Department of Humanities), Prof. Raymundo R. Pavo, PhD (Department of Social Sciences), and Prof. Genevieve J. Quintero, PhD (Department of Humanities). The Online Public Forum, Stakeholder Consultations, and Interview of the Nominees were held on 6-10 July 2020. The submission of the committee report to Chancellor Digal is on 31 July 2020. The vision papers of the nominees may be read here:

Regarding the search for dean of the School of Management, Chancellor Digal issued a memorandum on 23 June 2020 to call for nomination of personnel to constitute the search committee, to close on 3 July 2020.

Extension of application to the MS Food Science Program

The Department of Food Science and Chemistry announced that the deadline for application to the MS Food Science program is further extended to 29 July 2020 given the postponement of the start of classes to September 2020.

The 23rd Commencement Exercises

The Ad Hoc Committee for the 23rd Commencement Exercises (a virtual event) was constituted on 2 July 2020. Chancellor Digal instructed the committee to ensure the smooth and successful conduct of the activity, scheduled on 30 July 2020, especially because it will be a first for UP Mindanao.


Professors Vic Calag and Vladimer Kobayashi have volunteered as course pack developers for the Commission on Higher Education-XI project "Working on Resilience and Innovation for Teaching Excellence in Region XI" (WRITE-XI). They are among the 664 volunteers from 58 HEIs who will write up on 145 courses (source: CHED-XI). IT-related courses have the most number of volunteers, which includes Prof. Calag, who will write on Object-oriented Programming and Fundamentals of Database Systems, and Prof. Kobayashi, who will write on Advanced Database Systems.

Activities began with the Webinar Series on Instructional Designing and Course Pack Development for Flexible Learning on 7-9 July 2020. Training on Learning Management Systems is on 27 July/3-7 August 2020.



In-House Research Grants, 2020 Cycle

The Center for the Advancement of Research, development, and engagement In Mindanao (CARIM) has received a total of 12 research projects for funding under the 2020 cycle of the In-house Research Grants, with 5 of the projects approved, 4 deferred, and 3 still awaiting confirmation. The approved projects are as follows:

  • Malaque IR.* “Interlocking Blocks in Social Construction of Housing: The Collaboration of Government, NGO and Urban Poor in Los Amigos Relocation Site.” (P33,800.00)
  • Del Mundo DMN*, Murao LAE, Otero MCP. “Pilot Investigation on SARS CoV-2 Wastewater-Based Surveillance in Davao City” (P100,000.00)
  • Acopiado IMA*, Romo GDA, Sarmiento JMP, Acuña TR. “Effect of Women Participation in Manufacturing and Service Sectors' Performance in the Philippines” (P100,000.00)
  • Sarmiento JMP*, Acopiado IMA, Alviola IV PA. “Technical Efficiency of Manufacturing and Service Sectors in the Philippines: Insights from the National Enterprise” (P97,000.00)
  • Romo GDA*, Acuña TR, Acopiado IMA, Sarmiento JMP, Traje AM. “Organizational Resilience during COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from the Philippine Enterprises” (P99,600.00)

* Main proponents

Technology Business Incubation (TBI) Hub

UPGRADE Technology Business Incubation is doing the construction of the TBI Hub in Kalimudan in July for its technopreneurs and business start-ups. Materials, furniture, and equipment have been procured and construction is expected to be completed within the month.

Project Update with Monde Nissin Corp.

The Polylactic Acid (PLA) project partners UP Mindanao and Monde Nissin Corp. (MNC) held their first project update meeting on 15 July 2020 via teleconferencing. The MNC panel received updates on the milestones in the conversion of cassava starch into food-grade, pharmaceutical-grade, and polymer-grade lactic acid. MNC is committed to adopting the PLA-based technology, if proven viable, that uses renewable biological resources and is biodegradable for the packaging of its food products.

Marilog Land Reservation

Twenty residents of the Marilog Land Reservation participated in the soft broom-making training that was organized by the Land Reservations Management Office and held on 8 July 2020 in the UP Mindanao Upland Training Center. The brooms will be marketed when production reaches the target quantity. The brooms are products of the tahit-i grass growing project that was undertaken as an alternative livelihood for the beneficiaries and for soil conservation in the land reservation.


Asst. Prof. Kriza Faye Calumba’s news story, “Durian and beer turned into healthy probiotic booze by Philippine researcher,” has circulated further overseas. It was published in the hard copy of South China Morning Post (Hong Kong; average circulation: 100,000 copies) on 5 July 2020 and Chiang Rai Times (Thailand) on 10 July 2020.

Assoc. Prof. May Anne Mata presented a paper “How modelers are shaping the pandemic response in the Philippines: Milestones, challenges, and a call for collaboration” in the COVID-19 Modeling and Public Policies Session of the COVID-19 Research and Educational Meeting, organized by the Canadian Mathematical Society on 13-16 July 2020.


Philippine Genome Center Mindanao thanked the various donors to its COVID-19 training project in its report of donations as of 2 July 2020. The report listed 61 lots of supplies and equipment from 29 entities: individuals, private organizations, local government units, and the Office of the Vice President of the Philippines. The list is posted here:

UP Mindanao Bulletin, 16-30 June 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums


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



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.


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.


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.


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.”

COVID-19 Insights:

“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:

“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.




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:

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:



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:

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:

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:


“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:


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.

UP Mindanao/ PGC Mindanao to help establish Davao de Oro COVID-19 testing facility

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

2020 0622 09560600rzd20The University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao will help set up another COVID-19 testing facility, this time in Davao de Oro province, through a memorandum of agreement with the Davao de Oro Provincial Government and the Department of Science and Technology Region XI that was signed on 22 June 2020 at the Provincial Capitol in Nabunturan, Davao de Oro.
UP Mindanao Chancellor Larry Digal, Davao de Oro Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, and DOST XI Assistant Regional Director Kenneth Barroga signed on behalf of their government institutions. Philippine Genome Center Mindanao Director Dr. Lyre Anni Murao 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 town, will be used to test patients, frontline workers, and other individuals who need testing for COVID-19, upon being accredited by the Department of Health (DOH). The services can also be extended to nearby provinces, even outside Davao de Oro province. The facility can also serve as a surveillance and research center for other infectious diseases.
Chancellor Digal said, "Thank you, Governor Uy, and your team for giving UP Mindanao the opportunity to help you against COVID-19. It is a good opportunity to share the commitment of UP Mindanao and the expertise of Dr. Lyre Murao and her team of the Philippine Genome Center Mindanao, and to partner with the DOST, the funding agency of PGC."
ARD Barroga described the Davao de Oro leadership as “agile and innovative” in responding to the needs of its people and offered the DOST regional health council, which can fund projects “not just for COVID-19 but other infectious diseases, as well,” he said.
Governor Uy said it was timely that UP and DOST came in when President Duterte gave the Bayanihan funds for the province. “It’s one less worry, and hopefully, the COVID-19 facility will be up and running by August,” he said.
UP Mindanao, through the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao, also lent its expertise for a COVID-19 testing facility in Tagum City on 19 May 2020 and provided training for the personnel. UP Mindanao also entered into a strategic partnership with the Southern Philippines Medical Center on 26 May 2020 to train personnel who will operate other COVID-19 testing facilities in Mindanao. The PGC Mindanao is the training arm of the UP-DOH collaboration for COVID-19.
Similarly, UP Mindanao will provide training in molecular diagnostics and biosafety for personnel who will operate the Davao de Oro facility. Also, UP Mindanao will help design the facility following DOH guidelines, develop a manual of operations, and give technical assistance in the DOH accreditation process. It will provide consultancy services for technical issues that may arise during regular operations of the facility, and formulate programs for the expanded use of the facility in infectious disease surveillance and research.
The DOST XI, for its part, will provide financial support for the training of personnel for the facility.
The Provincial Government will design and construct the facility, select and procure the laboratory supply and equipment to be used in the facility, apply and ensure DOH approval of the facility, and serve as the fund manager. It will spearhead the sample collection and storage, and take charge of the facility’s maintenance and operation.

UPCAT qualifiers urged to confirm

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Forums

The University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP Min) strongly encourages UPCAT qualifiers to confirm their acceptance of the offer of free tertiary education by 30 June 2020. The official results were released online last 30 May 2020, while the confirmation period began on June 3.

In a radio interview, UP Mindanao Registrar Prof. John B. Bengan said, “We wish that everyone who received an offer will proceed to study in UP, and to avail of free tuition.”

The applicants may confirm through the online web sites or by logging in using the same email address and password that they used during their application process. Applicants who encounter problems with their login credentials may send an e-mail to .  

Confirmation for enrollment in the first semester is from 6 – 31 July 2020. To secure their admission to UP Mindanao, the qualifiers must send an email to . For those who intend to study in UP Mindanao but may decide to do so by next year, the qualifier can opt for deferment of enrollment. They will be assured of the slot the next academic year (or next semester).

The appeals for admission to UP Mindanao, however, will be accommodated from July 6 to August 15, 2020. Appeals for admission requires that the UP Predicted Grade (UPG) is 2.800 or better.

Freshmen Registration is on the 2nd week of August 2020 to give time for students coming from outside Davao region. Online registration is being prepared. In addition, the UP System is also exploring the possibility of remote learning alternatives due to the COVID 19 concerns.

“While we hope to return to some semblance of normality in the coming semester, we are preparing for the new learning environment, with consideration for those with little or no access to the internet or devices,” Bengan said.


UPCAT qualifiers enrolling in UP can expect the “new normal” of remote learning
By Celeste Ann Castillo Llaneta, UP Media and Public Relations Office (UP MPRO)
For this year’s batch of successful UPCAT qualifiers who will be entering the University of the Philippines (UP) as freshmen enrollees, their first taste of university life will be that of the “new normal”: remote teaching and learning, with the possibility of blending remote and face-to-face meetings.
A memorandum issued by the UP Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs dated June 4, 2020 lays down what incoming UP freshmen can expect. 
Remote teaching and learning
The memorandum states that UP, like other universities in the country, ASEAN and the world, is “putting the safety of our students and faculty first.” This will be done by adopting remote teaching and learning for academic year 2020-2021. A combination of remote teaching/learning and face-to-face meetings will be done in laboratory, studio and practicum courses, if the COVID-19 situation permits it, and following public health and social distancing requirements.
Remote teaching and learning cover both asynchronous or non-real-time communication between teachers and learners, and synchronous or real-time communication between teachers and learners. Asynchronous communication includes text-based communication such as email, Facebook Messenger, Viber groups, etc., and online discussion boards in different learning platforms such as UP’s Learning Management Systems, Canvas, Google Classroom, etc. Synchronous communication includes lectures, webinars and teleconferences using such platforms as Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet, etc.
“Given the uncertain trajectory of the pandemic at this time, the University is preparing for the scenario where courses are delivered remotely throughout the first term without sacrificing quality,” the memorandum states, adding that remote learning is not necessarily inferior and in certain cases may even be superior to face-to-face learning. Starting July 1, UP faculty will be redesigning course offerings for remote learning.
Laying the infrastructure
In addition, UP is laying the physical infrastructure for remote learning, such as gadgets for online learning, Internet or cell phone data connectivity. The academic infrastructure is also being strengthened through upgrading the University’s Library Management System, subscribing to a cloud-based service that provides remote access to library resource, subscribing to relevant databases of peer-reviewed literature and e-publications, retooling faculty and staff, and redesigning courses for remote delivery to different types of students depending on their internet connectivity in their homes.
To ensure UP’s readiness for remote learning, the UP System administration has obtained the Board of Regents’ approval in principle to move the opening of classes to September 10, subject to ongoing consultations with faculty and students. UPCAT qualifiers will be informed of the academic calendar, including the opening of classes, and details of UP’s remote learning delivery within July. 
Important deadlines
Generally, UPCAT qualifiers are categorized into four types: Type 1 would be those accepted in their first choice of degree program; Type 2 would be those accepted in their second choice of degree program but waitlisted in their first choice; Type 3 would be those who are waitlisted in their choices of degree programs; and Type 4 would be those who will be assigned to a degree program with available slots. 
UPCAT qualifiers were reminded of the following deadlines: June 30, 2020 to confirm their acceptance of the University’s offer of an admission slot in UP for 2020; July 6 to 31, 2020 to confirm acceptance at the level of the constituent unit (CU) they applied for, for those who are waitlisted and those who are assigned to a degree program with available slots; and July 5 to August 15, 2020 to appeal for reconsideration, to be submitted to their CU of interest. 
More than 100,000 high school students took the UPCAT in October 2019. Results were released on May 30, 2020, with 12,000 qualifiers offered slots to enter the national university.
Download a copy of the memorandum:

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