Madayaw News

Bridging the Health Gaps in Mindanao, Part 2

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

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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

Highlights of October, 2020

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News



01 - 31 October 2020


Davao City, home of UP Mindanao, continued to be under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) from July to October 2020. Also, City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio issued Executive Order 55 re-imposing a 7 PM to 5 AM curfew, with exceptions, effective 15 October to 31 December 2020 to control the surge of COVID-19 cases  

As of 31 October 2020, Mindanao had 22,585 cumulative cases, up from 13,085 as of 01 October 2020, up from 7,950 on 06 September 2020, and 4,516 on 10 August 2020. 

Mindanao island suffered 585 deaths as of 31 October 2020, up from 319 as of 01 October 2020, 167 as of 06 September 2020, and 96 as of 10 August 2020.   

The nation-wide total on 31 October 2020 was 378,933 cumulative cases, with 7,185 deaths, compared to 1 October 2020 with 311,694 cumulative cases and 5,504 deaths. (source: 


Center for Applied Modeling, Data Analytics, and Bioinformatics for Decision-Support Systems in Health

UP Mindanao received a letter dated 08 October 2020 from DOST’s Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Cristina Guevara conveying approval for UP Mindanao’s proposed Niche Center in the Regions (NICER) program. The approval is subject to compliance with instructions, priority ranking, and availability of funds. The NICER program was renamed "Center for Applied Modeling, Data Analytics, and Bioinformatics for Decision-Support Systems in Health,” as advised by the DOST Executive Committee.  

UP Mindanao’s NICER program will involve key regional and local institutions in its four component projects and the Philippine Genome Center Mindanao and UP Mindanao’s existing multi-disciplinary research. The NICER program is a key pillar in UP Mindanao’s Mindanao Health Initiatives that will include the proposed medical education program and a city hospital, in partnership with the Davao City Government. 

At present, the NICER program will focus on the current pandemic, but it will also analyze other health-related data in the future. Mindanao will be the pilot area of the proposed program.

3rd Madayaw International Multidisciplinary Research Conference

UP Mindanao researchers presented ePosters and oral presentations at the 3rd Madayaw International Multidisciplinary Research Conference on the theme, “Shaping the future research emerging from this COVID-19 pandemic,” organized by the San Pedro College Research Publication Innovation Center held on 01-02 October 2020 in Davao City.

The Department of Mathematics, Physics & Computer Science (DMPCS) constituents presented the following ePosters:

  • "Temporal projections of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries in Davao City, Philippines, using an Epidemic Model," presented by Ms. El Veena Rosero.
  • "Investigating the role of a food ration system in controlling COVID-19 at barangay-level in Davao City using agent-based model simulation approach," presented by Ms. Ivy Grace Morales Panogalinog. [THIRD PLACE]
  • "The irony of zero rabies reports: Are zeroes really zeroes?" presented by Mr. Zython Paul Lachica [SECOND PLACE]
  • "QGIS-generated maps capturing the spatiotemporal distribution of COVID-19 cases among barangays in Davao City, Philippines" presented by Ms. Mia Kristine Quinco [FIRST PLACE]

Among the research co-authors were Mr. Abel Leandro Borja Paras, Ms. Elaine Mae Tibayan, Ms. Alaina Plaza, Ms. Kylah Catherine Nulada, Dr. Aurelio De Los Reyes, and Assoc. Prof. May Anne Mata (DMPCS). 

The Department of Social Sciences (DSS) faculty members presented the following researches as oral presentations:

  • “Banana Export Industry: Socio-Economic and Ecological Transformation,” presented by Asst. Prof. Theresa Mae Gallardo
  • “Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) On State-Trait Anxiety of High-Stress Senior College Students,”  presented by Asst. Prof. Rachelle Bersamin 
  • “Exploring Academic and Occupational Interest Aptitudes as Predictors of Academic Persistence: Basis for Attrition Intervention Program,” presented by Asst. Prof. Rachelle Bersamin  

Lecture Series in Mathematical Biology

Dr. May Anne Mata (DMPCS) delivered the talk “A seven-month-long journey to Covid-19 modeling, simulations, game development, and beyond,” in the Lecture Series in Mathematical Biology: Insights from Equations; Mathematical Techniques for Outbreaks, organized by the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology on 17 October 2020.

 Sibya Media Production Unit 

BACMA Sibya, the homegrown media production unit of the BA Communication and Media Arts program, produced an infographic version of the “UP Mindanao Health and Safety Guidelines during the Public Health Emergency” as part of the unit's pioneering projects. The infographics were based on UP Mindanao Memoranda Nos. LND-2020-052 dated 14 May 2020 and LND-2020-054 dated 17 May 2020. The team disseminated the materials on social media, UP Mindanao’s official Facebook and Twitter pages, on 05 October 2020.

BACMA Sibya Media Production Unit produced new infographics titled “Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19” on 26 October 2020, based on the UP Mindanao Executive Committee's pamphlet. The team, likewise, posted the infographics on the UP Mindanao social media pages. BACMA Sibya is headed by Mr. Samuelle Marionne Sanchez, an Instructor under the Department of Humanities. 



Associate Professor Jhoanna Lynn Cruz (Department of Humanities) announced the release of her book, "Abi Nako, or So I Thought," by UP Press on 25 October 2020. "It revolves around my first ten years of rebuilding my work-in-progress-life in Davao," she said. The book is available in online resellers Lazada and Shopee. 

In Press: 

“Postharvest Quality of ‘Carabao’ Mango as Affected by Spun-bound Bagging Materials,” by Leizel B. Secretaria, Emma Ruth Bayogan (Department of Biological Science & Environmental Studies [DBSES]), CS Lubaton, AG Notarte, and Jenny H. Ekman. 2021. Chiang Mai University Journal of Natural Sciences. Vol 20 No. 1.

The following papers were accepted for publication in international/national peer-reviewed journals and publications:

  • “Seasonal Change, Fishing Revenues, and Nutrient Intakes of Fishers’ Children in Davao Gulf, Philippines” by Chino M. Joquiño, Jon Marx P. Sarmiento (School of Management [SOM]), Leo Manuel B. Estaña (Department of Mathematics, Physics & Computer Science), Cleto L. Nañola, Jr (DBSES), and Pedro A. Alviola IV (SOM) was accepted for publication in the Philippine Journal of Science. 
  • “The Extent of Technological Innovation Adoption among Micro, Small and Medium Food Processing Enterprises and its Effects on Poverty Reduction” by Kenneth Barroga, Agnes Rola, Dinah Pura Depositario, and Larry Digal (SOM) was accepted for publication in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business. 
  • “Hullubaton: Pagtatagpi-tagpi ng Dawot ng Mga Mandaya. ‘Mga Pag-aaral sa Epikong-Bayan ng Filipinas: Tradisyon, Lipunan, Inobasyon,’" by Genevieve J. Quintero was accepted for publication in the Philippine Epic Project, National Commission for Culture and the Arts.  
  • “Being Woman: Depiction of Women in Three Blaan Folktales. ‘Tinipong Tinig Ng Kababaihan, Priestess to Presidents,’" by Genevieve J. Quintero was accepted for publication by the UP Press.  

Davao Reads Amado Hernandez

UP Mindanao faculty members were panelists in "Davao reads Amado Hernandez," the second part of the National Artists Series, which featured National Artist for Literature Amado V. Hernandez's works, held online on 02 October 2020.

Associate Professor Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz of the Department of Humanities (DH) and Senior Lecturer Lualhati Milan Abreu of the Department of Social Sciences (DSS) were panelists, and Assoc. Prof. John Bengan (DH) served as Coordinator and Reader. The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Virgilio S. Almario, National Artist for Literature. The National Commission on Culture and the Arts organized the event as part of the continuing Literary Month celebration.       

Mindanao-wide Webinar on Omics Research. Theme: Moving Past Pandemics

Philippine Genome Center Mindanao organized the Mindanao-wide Webinar on Omics Research with the Theme: Moving Past Pandemics throughout October 2020. The webinar had four sessions. 

“Omics in Agriculture” was held on 09 October 2020 with Dr. Glenn Gregorio and Dr. Lynn Esther Rallos as resource speakers

“Omics in Food” was on 16 October 2020 with Dr. Mary Ann Torio and Mr. Jacus Nacis

“Omics in Health” was on 23 October 2020, had Dr. Gloria Despacio-Reyes and Dr. Aleyla E. De Cadiz (Dept. of Biological Science and Environmental Studies) as resource speakers

“Omics in Diagnostics” was on 28 October 2020 with Dr. Angelo Josue Lubag and Dr. Clarissa Yvonne Domingo

Online forum and consultation on “Bridging the Health Care Gaps In Mindanao”

UP Mindanao hosted the online forum and consultation on “Bridging the Health Care Gaps In Mindanao" on 14 October 2020 for some 96 or more public health personnel, guests, and university constituents who attended through the teleconferencing and social media platforms. Chancellor Larry Digal provided the background and rationale for the forum as part of the plan to establish a UP Mindanao College of Medicine. 

Dr. Ramon Pedro Paterno, former DOH secretary Dr. Paulynn Ubial, DOH-Region XI director Dr. Annabelle Yumang, and Dr. Teodoro Herbosa spoke on the various aspects and gaps in the Philippines health care system. Health workers in the audience had their chance to give inputs in two parallel break-out sessions. 

Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Nilo Oponda said the forum output would feed into the succeeding forums and workshops on the curricular templates and facility requirements and the identification of resources to establish the College of Medicine.

Lecture Series on Anthropological Methods

The Department of Social Sciences hosted a Lecture Series on Anthropological Methods in October-November 2020 via the Zoom platform.  Prof. Ramon “Bomen” Guillermo gave a talk on “Ang Salita sa Mata ng Makina: Digital na Humanidades at ang Penomenolohiya ng Pagbabasa” on 28 October 2020 where he explained key Filipino concepts conveyed through words and writing in old Filipino literary works. On 29 October 2020, anthropologist Skilty Labastilla of Ateneo de Manila delivered a lecture on “Applied Anthropology Research in COVID times: Strategies and Ethical Considerations.” Professors Andrea Malaya Ragragio and Myfel Joseph Paluga, both of the Dept. of Social Sciences and Leiden University, are scheduled on 04 November 2020.

Indigeneity, Identity, and Empowerment

Asst. Prof. Andrea Malaya Ragragio of the Department of Social Sciences was a panelist in "Panel 7: Indigeneity, Identity, and Empowerment," organized by the University of California Los Angeles, on how Indigenous groups in the Philippines and Taiwan have instituted programs to define their ethnic identity to the larger society. The event, converted to Philippine Standard Time, was on 29 October 2020, Thursday, 10 AM.

Philippine Queer Studies Conference 2020

Researchers presented papers in the Philippine Queer Studies Conference 2020, organized by the UP Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, UP Babaylan, and the Psychological Association of the Philippines LGBT Psychology Special Interest Group, in partnership with the UP Diliman Department of Sociology, held online on 26-28 October 2020:

  • “Leavetaking and Homecoming: When a Catholic Lesbian Writes,” presented by Assoc. Prof. Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz (DH)
  • “Pagka-lesbiana: Lesbian Writing as a Space of Becoming,” presented by Assoc. Prof. Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz
  • “Aging in the Narratives of Older/Tiguwang Lesbians in Davao City, Mindanao,” presented by Assoc. Prof. Raymundo R. Pavo (DSS)  
  • “Higit sa Boys Love: Pagsuri at Pagtalakay sa Imahe ng Bakla sa mga Boys Love Series,” presented by Ray Mart M. Lapiña (BS Anthropology)

PAGSUBANG: DUGONG-Antro Sem Starter Lecture Series

The Department of Social Sciences organized the “Pagsubang: DUGONG-Antro Sem Starter Lecture Series” featuring talks by faculty members on the topics: 

  • “Antropolohiya sa Malapitan: Ambag at Kahalagahan ng Antropolohiya,” by Asst. Prof. Kenette Jean Millondaga, 10 October 2020
  • “Biological Anthropology - Lessons from the Field: Biological Anthropology and the Pandemic,” by Prof. Richard Jonathan O. Taduran, 17 October 2020
  • “Linguistic Anthropology: Sulyap sa Kalagayan ng mga Wikang Rehiyunal,“ by Asst. Prof. Janus Ruel Cabazares, 24 October 2020
  • “Archaeology - Survey of Archaeology in Mindanao: Challenges and Opportunities” by Asst. Prof. Andrea Malaya Ragragio, 31 October 2020

Radyo Iskolar

Radyo Iskolar, the homegrown online radio station of the BA Communication and Media Arts program, returned to broadcasting on 28 October 2020 onward on the platform The new lineup of shows is: “Balitang Iskolar” Cebuano-language news, “Gabay Tambayan” edutainment talk show, “Replay 2K” music program, “Iskoming Out” radio magazine, and “Taralets” music show. The program adviser is Ms. Merle Dawn Comidoy, an Instructor of the Department of Humanities.  

3rd DOST-PCAARRD Intellectual Property Master Class

Ms. Lynda Buenaobra, Chief Administrative Officer, and Ms. Dyle Legaspi, Research Associate, both of the UP Mindanao Technology Transfer and Business Development Office, completed the 3rd DOST-PCAARRD Intellectual Property Master Class that was conducted online nationwide from 06 July to 23 October 2020. Ms. Buenaobra completed the Non-Chemical/Mechanical Patenting while Ms. Legaspi completed the Chemical Patenting and earned distinction as “Mock Exam Topnotcher in Chemical Patenting.” The Virtual Commencement Exercises held on 23 October 2020 had DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, IPOPhil Director-General Rowel Barba, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara, and DOST-PCAARRD Executive Director Reynaldo Ebora as speakers.   

Meryl Williams Fellowship

Asst. Prof. Glory Dee Romo (SOM) was accepted to the Meryl Williams Fellowship, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).  It is a 15-month program that will start in late February 2021. The Fellowship's key goal is to enhance participant’s leadership skills and increase their impact through a combination of immersive learning, mentoring, networking, and professional development. The University of England will deliver the program on behalf of ACIAR, with Coffey International Development providing administrative support. 

National Research Council of the Phils. 

Asst. Prof. Kriza Faye Calumba (Department of Food Science and Chemistry (DFSC) was inducted as an associate member of the National Research Council of the Philippines during the Annual Scientific Conference and 18th General Membership Assembly of the NRCP Mindanao Regional Cluster on 30 October 2020.

Land Reservations

 In the UP Laak Land Reservation, located in Davao de Oro Province, the season-long Training on Sustainable Vegetable Production continued in Special Barangay Talle, Laak. Session 4 on Plant Nutrition was held on 08 October 2020, and Session 5 on Integrated Pest Management was on 22 October 2020. The trainings are co-organized by the Talle Barangay Council with Talle Farmers Association as beneficiary. Project partner Compostela Valley State College (CVSC) provided the resource persons. Thirty persons (16 males and 14 females), 12 of whom are DSWD beneficiaries,  participated in both sessions.  

In the UP Marilog Land Reservation in upland Davao City, the Obu Manuvu tribespeople took the Livelihood Training on Beads-Making on 09 October 2020. The training objectives are to protect and promote the tribe’s Living Tradition and provide alternative livelihood to the tribespeople. A total of 16 males and 15 females participated, of which 7 were also DSWD beneficiaries. 

The memorandum of understanding between UP Mindanao and Compostela Valley State College was signed by all parties and is ready for transmittal to the UP Board of Regents.  The general objective of the MOU is to explore areas of cooperation between UP Mindanao and Compostela Valley State College in various public service undertakings in, among others, the UP Laak Land Reservation, that will create synergy and mutual benefit for both parties arising from each party’s resources, expertise, and experience in agricultural production and extension. 


BA Architecture students’ work was among the entries selected to represent the Philippines in an international architectural design competition, as reported by the United Architects of the Philippines Commission on Education on 18 October 2020. "Galton de Oro: Dynamic Micro Markets of the Future: A Re-design of the CDO Public Market" by BS Architecture graduate John Bebelone and students Bryan Steven Borja and Marvin Mahinay was among the three entries selected to represent the Philippines in the ARCASIA Students Architectural Design Competition 2020. The announcement of the international competition result is on 02 November 2020.


 Consultation on draft Campus Master Development Plan

A consultation on the draft Campus Master Development Plan was held on 06 October 2020 for UP Mindanao constituents via the Zoom teleconference application. The Campus Planning and Development Office presented the 96-page draft plan. Opinions and feedback were gathered during the consultation and through survey sheets after the event. The Plan was again presented in a consultation for the alumni and external stakeholders on 09 October 2020. 

 Consultation on Proposed Arts and Culture Hub

 On 12 October 2020, the Department of Tourism - Region XI (DOT-XI) and UP Mindanao organized another town hall consultation for a proposed Arts and Culture Hub building and activity center that DOT-XI hopes to erect within the UP Mindanao campus. The project is a joint initiative of the DOT-XI and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).  DOT-XI Regional Director Tanya Rabat-Tan and her team presented the physical, financial, and activity plans to internal and external stakeholders of UP Mindanao. Chancellor Larry Digal gave his review of the DOT-XI areas of activity that could fit UP Mindanao’s mandates and programs, namely, cultural village development, schools of living tradition, heritage education, heritage management, and creative industries. The DOST-XI director, Dr. Sales, suggested that the project look beyond the Davao region to the entire Mindanao and be part of an ecosystem of Mindanao cultural and social science networks.   


In collaboration with the Human Resource Development Office, Information Technology Office, and Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, the Office of Student Affairs organized a webinar for employees and students on 29 October 2020 via the Zoom teleconferencing app. The webinar “Keeping Mental Health In-check: Ginhawa (well-being) in the New Normal’’ had UP Diliman professor emeritus Dr. Violeta V. Bautista as resource person.


The UP Alumni Association Davao Chapter held its Induction of Officers on 10 October 2020 in a resort in Davao City. Alumni Regent Reynaldo Laserna administered the Oath of Office to the officers via the Zoom teleconference app. Mr. Napoleon Concepcion (right-most) and Mr. Sherwin Ramos (center) were inducted as chairperson and president, respectively. Chancellor Digal is an ex-officio director of the UPAA-Davao.  

UP Mindanao in the News

  • 30 September 2020 COVID-19 Test Facility Completed In Davao Regional Medical Center,” Radio Philippines Network, Inc
  • 30 October 2020 “UPMin hosts webinars on digital economy, food security,” SunStar Davao,
  • 30 October 2020 “Filipina architect for culture and heritage,” SunStar Davao,
  • 30 October 2020 “UP Mindanao webinars on the digital economy, agriculture, and food,” UP System website,
  • 28 October 2020 “Future of Anthropology Panel 7: Indigeneity, Identity, and Empowerment,” UCLA Asia Pacific Center
  • 21 October 2020 “Work, business, or side hustle?” SunStarDavao,
  • 14 October 2020 “UP Mindanao hosts an online forum with health officers,” UP Twitter,
  • 04 October 2020 “No Davao City barangay under 'very high risk' since Sept. 11,” SunStar Davao,
  • 01 October 2020 “September Covid-19 cases in Davao City below UP projections,” SunStar Davao,
  • 30 September 2020 “COVID-19 Test Facility Completed In Davao Regional Medical Center,” RPN Radio,

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

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

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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:

UP announces additional flexible academic measures for the remainder of the semester

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

November 26, 2020 | Written by Celeste Ann Castillo Llaneta

Recognizing the extreme challenges of switching to remote teaching and learning in the middle of a pandemic, and economic and technological limitations made worse by the spate of typhoons that battered the country, the University of the Philippines has announced additional flexible academic measures for the remainder of the first semester of AY 2020-2021. This includes the extension of the deadline for the submission of grades to give students more time to accomplish academic requirements and faculty to grade them, and a policy of no failing grades to be given to students this semester. 

After due deliberation on the situation of faculty and students in the wake of the typhoons, and in the spirit of balancing divergent positions and interests of faculty and students in the wider context of Philippine higher education, the UP Administration—specifically President’s Advisory Council (PAC), composed of the UP System Executive Committee, Chancellors, and the Philippine General Hospital and UP Bonifacio Global City Directors—upon the recommendation of the Academic Affairs Committee consisting of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Assistant Vice-Presidents for Academic Affairs and Vice-Chancellors for Academic Affairs of UP’s constituent units—endorsed the guidelines for the remainder of the first semester AY 2020-2021 and the proposed modification of the academic calendar for the second semester AY 2020-2021 and midyear 2021. The academic guidelines were laid down in Memorandum No. 2020-143 issued by the UP System Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (OVPAA) on 26 November 2020.

The UP Board of Regents, in its 1356th meeting on the same day, approved the PAC-endorsed guidelines and modified academic calendar with an additional condition for the conduct of bridging activities.

Guidelines for the remainder of the semester

The first semester for AY 2020-2021 will end as scheduled, with 9 December as the last day of classes, and final examinations to be held from 11 to 18 December. However, the deadline for the submission of grades is moved from 8 January to 22 January 2021 to give students more time to complete requirements and the faculty more time to grade them. 

Moreover, the grades for the first semester AY 2020-2021 will be numeric. The reason for the numeric grades is that, unlike in the second semester of the previous academic year when the University was caught unprepared by the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, students have been provided course packs to enable independent learning even when formal classes are not possible. Many students also need grades for scholarships, licensure examinations, future studies, and employment requirements. 

However, a grade of 4.0 or conditional failure, or a failing grade of 5.0 shall not be given this semester. Faculty members are also not allowed to give a forced drop (DRP) to students on the basis of non-attendance of synchronous classes or non-communication within the semester, for instance, during scheduled consultations. Instead, students will be given an INC. 

This change effectively suspends the rule on attendance that states: “When the number of hours lost by student’s absence reaches 20 percent of the hours of recitation, lecture, laboratory, or any other scheduled work in one subject, s/he shall be dropped from the subject; . . . If the majority of the absences is excused, a student shall not be given a grade of 5.00 upon being thus dropped (often referred to as ‘forced drop’); but if the majority of the absences are not excused, the student shall be given a grade of 5.00 upon being thus dropped.”

Faculty members are encouraged to help students affected by the typhoons and the pandemic to comply with the requirements in time for the 22 January deadline for the submission of grades. Students with missing or incomplete requirements by 22 January shall be given a grade of INC. Suspended is the rule that states that a student whose class standing is not “passing” and who fails to complete requirements or take the final exam automatically receives a grade of 5.0. Instead, students will be allowed to complete their requirements within the prescribed period within one academic year, after which they shall be given a final grade. Students who fail to complete an INC within the prescribed period must re-enroll in the course or its equivalent. 

Faculty members are enjoined to continue calibrating their course requirements with the current conditions in mind. Course requirements may be further reduced to the essentials of a course, and no additional course requirements should be specified. Faculty members may conduct bridging academic activities before the extended deadline for the submission of grades, provided the students in their course agree to these. 

Suspended academic rules and modified academic calendar

The UP Administration also issued a reminder in the memo that, in addition to the suspended rules on class attendance and INCs above, the following academic rules remain suspended with the approval of the BOR:

1. The deadline for dropping and filing of leave of absence is suspended.
2. A 12-unit course load will be considered a regular load for undergraduate students.
3. The First Semester AY 2020-2021 will not be counted towards MRR. This is because it is the first time for students to do remote learning and they will still calibrate the course load that they can manage, especially for graduate students who are working from home and for other students who have a workload outside of their school work.
4. A student enrolled in a course this semester that is a prerequisite to another shall be allowed to enroll in the latter course for credit in the subsequent semester, despite having no grade yet for the prerequisite course given the extension of the deadline for submission of grades to 22 January 2021.
5. The following rules on scholastic delinquency are suspended for the first semester AY 2020-2021:

a. Warning
b. Probation
c. Dismissal
d. Permanent Disqualification

In light of the postponement of the submission of grades and the time needed to prepare course guides and resource materials, the UP BOR approved the following modified academic calendar for the second semester of AY 2020-2021 and midyear 2021.

Second Semester AY 2020-2021

Start of Classes: 1 March 2021
Reading/Wellness Break: 29 April – 5 May 2021
Reading/Wellness Breaks for the split-sem schedule: 25 – 27 March 2021; 20 – 22 May 2021
End of Classes: 11 June 2021

2021 Midyear

Start of Classes: 5 July 2021
Reading/Wellness Break:  29 – 31 July 2021
End of Classes: 20 August 2021
Finals Period: 23 – 26 August 2021

Extremely difficult semester

The OVPAA memo described the unprecedented difficulties faced by UP students and faculty this semester, given the public health crisis and the impacts of natural disasters on the UP community. Academic units had to redesign programs, balance student demand for course slots with the faculty’s appeal for smaller classes, and rush requests for funds to cover resources for remote teaching and learning. Faculty members have had to cope with an inordinate amount of work, from designing learning activities and planning course requirements, selecting course materials, to preparing course packs with course and study guides and resource materials for uploading in the CUs’ Learning Management System, or for printing and delivery to students with poor connectivity. Some faculty members face the same technological challenges that students have to deal with, and some also have to juggle the added workload with their family care and domestic duties.

Students have also had to grapple with an overwhelming amount of readings and requirements in the four or five courses they have to attend remotely. Additionally, they have had to adjust to the different time frame and rhythm of independent and remote learning without much preparation, while studying in homes and environments that may have poor Internet connectivity, occasional power outages, and may not be conducive to learning.

These difficulties, which were revealed in a “Kumustahan” and in surveys conducted by the CUs prior to the typhoons, prompted the UP System to call for a review of course content and requirements, as well as a reading break from synchronous classes and the submission of course requirements. With the typhoons exacerbating the situation for many members of the UP community, both the UP System and CU administrations called for even greater compassion and flexibility on the part of the faculty and for an iterative reconfiguration of course content and requirements for the remaining weeks of the semester.

Read the OVPAA Memorandum No. 2020-143 here.

Webinars on Assessment, Libel, and Anxiety

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News


 The 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

For further engagement, email   or message the Facebook account: 
Final SymposiumRESIZE60
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?"  

Poster announcement on Managing AnxietyRESIZE40
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 resource person is Dr. Gioia Fe Dinglasan-Ancheta, a psychiatrist and consultant from the Institute of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Southern Philippines Medical Center. 

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