UP Mindanao faculty members Asst. Prof. Glory Dee Romo and Asst. Prof. Jon Marx Sarmiento, both of the School of Management, extended their expertise to VSO Philippines in generating a localized Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The WPS Index for BARMM was presented in the Women, Peace, and Security Feedbacking Session and Planning held in Initao, Misamis Oriental on August 24-26, 2021. The BARMM WPS Index is a first for the region. The index shows the gap between the local and national WPS standings and serves to emphasize the urgency for programmes and services for Bangsamoro women. Generating the BARMM WPS Index addresses a number of the Sustainable Development Goals for the region.
Chancellor Larry N. Digal and the UP Mindanao team met with Mr. Kelly Moran of the University of Hawai'i-Hilo and his associate Dr. Loye Ashton today (August 19) for a discussion on partnership opportunities. Mr. Moran offered a draft memorandum of understanding for the two universities to cooperate on international programs based on the principle of reciprocity. Among the programs mentioned for consideration are collaborations on joint research and conferences, exchange of faculty, researchers, students, and academic publications, and other academic exchanges to which both universities agree. The exchange of business startup incubatees is, likewise, mentioned. Chancellor Digal welcomed the opportunity for international exchange and the proposed memorandum, together with Prof. Emma Ruth Bayogan, director of UP Mindanao's Center for the Advancement of Research in Mindanao (CARIM), and Prof. Cleto "Ting" Nanola, director of the Office of Extension and Community Service (OECS). The meeting was arranged by Asst. Prof. Miguel Carlo Guillermo, head of UPGRADE, UP Mindanao's technology business incubation unit.
"The new normal will be heavily influenced by the technological trends... which you, our graduates, need to prepare and master for our country's future," said Dr. Emil Q. Javier, the 23rd commencement speaker of the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao held last July 13, 2021.
In his speech during the virtual graduation rites participated in by a total of 126 candidates, Dr. Javier urged the class of 2020 and 2021 to gear up in operating remotely and innovating with the new normal trends that will affect occupations and professions in different ways.
“COVID-19 is a novel experience for us in the Philippines. The challenge that comes is how young graduates prepare [them]selves for the disruptions and aftershocks that come after the pandemic,” he stated.
He added that, “The pandemic has really undoubtedly changed the way people live and work. These disruptions and transformations are most evident in the number of people working at home.”
In preparing for the challenges in the new normal, he encouraged the graduates to take the lead by possessing digital, cognitive, problem-solving, and social and emotional skills to ensure direction and leadership not only in the workplaces, but in their respective communities.
He also shared the 10 very important trends in technology that the graduates should focus on, namely: the next generation of computing, the application of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robots, distributed infrastructure, programming connectivity, the biotech revolution, next level process automation and visualization, clean technologies, nanotechnologies and the next generation of materials. “Our graduates [should] take note of those keywords because these are the trends that you must prepare for and try to master, not only for your own personal careers but part of your obligation as iskolar para sa bayan.”
Dr. Javier emphasized the accumulation and accessibility of the vaccines to inoculate at least 70 percent of our population to attain herd immunity as quickly as possible. “We are now in a real recession for the first time after so many years. The challenge is how do we carefully calibrate the deployment of vaccines as they become available, particularly for the seniors with comorbidities, the frontliners, [and] also to those centers of populations where infections are highest.”
He was optimistic in saying that “the quicker way of attaining health immunity in the country is by opening the schools.” He reinforced this by stating that “the young people are not immune to Covid-19. They will also be infected but experiences all over the world show that most young people are asymptomatic, or the expression of the disease is mild, and hospitalization and morbidities are very rare. We have to prioritize the vaccination of teachers and employees in the public school system.”
Dr. Emil Q. Javier is a plant geneticist and agronomist who served as the 17th President of the University of the Philippines and was conferred the rank of 42nd National Scientist of the Philippines for contributions in agriculture.
Remarks of University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao Chancellor Larry N. Digal at the College of Economics and Management (CEM) Discussion Forum: Leadership in the New Normal, held on July 29, 2021, at the CEM Alumni Day, UP Los Baños
Good morning to Chancy Cora [UP Baguio Chancellor Corazon L. Abansi], Chancy Dong [UPLB Chancellor Jose V. Camacho Jr.], Dean Agham [CEM Dean Cuevas], and to my friends and colleagues at the College of Economics and Management (CEM) and to all those who are viewing or listening to this discussion forum.
I’m pleased to be part of the founding anniversary celebration of CEM to share my views on leadership in the new normal and how CEM helped me in shaping my leadership skills and career. My views on leadership in the new normal are based on my own experience as a leader, particularly as a chancellor of UP Mindanao. Unlike Chancy Cora and Chancy Dong, I became chancellor before COVID hit us. My term started last March 1, 2019, so I was only operating for a year under a normal situation and the second year onwards under the new normal or COVID situation. And the second part of the sharing here is how the challenges, including opportunities, changed for UP Mindanao under this new normal and adjustments we made, as well as the insights I learned as a leader during this very difficult time for the university, and actually for all of us.
Before COVID, UP Mindanao launched an ambitious attempt to grow the university. Maybe you do not know that UP Mindanao is the smallest among the eight UP constituent universities (CU), particularly in terms of the number of manpower, teaching and non-teaching staff, the number of students, and budget. Another reason why the growth is slow, and part of it, is its age. We are relatively young compared to other UP CUs. Yes, we have a lot of opportunities to address the wicked problems here in Mindanao, particularly poverty and conflict. We have done a lot to address these given our limited resources since our birth 26 years ago, but we need more resources to do more. So we launched an ambitious expansion program under my term. This meant revising our vision, our mission, our goals, and mapping new strategies and priorities. We were very particular about the process in doing these, engaging both internal and external stakeholders, including experts, to comment on our plans. We even presented our expansion program in the Regional Alumni Institute assembly to mobilize support from the alumni and pioneers of UP Mindanao. We followed that up with a roadshow. Together with the prominent alumni and UP System officials, we presented our programs to secretaries of DBM, NEDA, and other government agencies. This was in November 2019, a few months before COVID struck.
UP Mindanao facilitated the COVID-19 vaccination of 2,023 government personnel from June 30 to July 20, 2021 as a cooperating agency for the local RESBAKuna program organized by the Davao City Health Office and the Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies-Region XI (ARENA-XI).
The cooperating agencies were led by the Department of Science and Technology-Region XI (DOST-XI) headed by Regional Director Anthony Sales who is the current president of ARENA-XI. Doctors, auxiliary medical personnel, and personnel from various national government agencies served as volunteers in various capacities from the registration to post-vaccination. City Health personnel delivered the vaccines and carried out disinfection at the end of each day.
The RESBAKuna sessions were undertaken in time for the June 2021 vaccine roll-out for members of the A4 sector composed of frontline personnel in essential sectors, including government employees, as determined by the Department of Health and the national Inter-Agency Task Force for Communicable Diseases.
UP Mindanao served as a cooperating agency for RESBAKuna as part of its mandate as a public service university and as an advocate of science in support of public policy. The UP Mindanao vaccination team was constituted by Chancellor Prof. Larry Digal with Assoc. Prof. Lyre Anni Murao as the Focal Person and Site Supervisor and supported by Vice Chancellor for Administration Assoc. Prof. Karen Joyce Cayamanda as Overall Site Coordinator.
The vaccination was held in the building atrium and the university provided its adjoining classrooms, facilities, audio-visual equipment, computer units, and beds. Personnel services were also provided for data encoding, counseling, vaccine administration, security and maintenance. The science laboratory provided a refrigerator for vaccine storage under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Aleyla de Cadiz as Cold Chain Manager. A number of UP Mindanao graduates extended their services as medical interns for the post-vaccination monitoring and assessment.
RESBAKuna in UP Mindanao on July 29-30, 2021 provided 770 persons with their second vaccine doses. The 770 persons on July 29-30 were composed of 383 essential workers mostly in government service, ten adults with co-morbidities, and two senior citizens.
Over the two days, there were no recorded Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI), no recorded refusals, or spoilage of vaccines.
RESBAKuna in UP Mindanao was co-organized with the City Health Office and the Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies (ARENA)-Region XI and was held in the UP Mindanao administration building, with personnel and logistical support provided by the university to augment the ARENA team of volunteers.
In the following weeks, UP Mindanao will continue to serve as a vaccination site from July 28 onward for the government personnel who are scheduled to receive their second dose of vaccines.
In the photos (clockwise from top left): View of the UP Mindanao Administration Building Atrium during the RESBAKuna vaccination day; Trained volunteers administer the vaccines; UP Mindanao graduates serve as medical doctors in the post-vaccination monitoring and assessment; Vaccinated personnel have their picture taken in the RESBAKuna photo wall.