Madayaw News

Chancellor Digal among 100 Outstanding Alumni of CEM

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

2019-12-11 140142The University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Economics and Management demonstrated the breadth and depth of its influence as it recognized 100 graduates as Outstanding Alumni at the CEM Centennial Program and Grand Alumni Homecoming held on 19 July 2019. The decision to recognize 100 alumni was made to match the 100 years of existence of the college. The 100 personalities were selected based on the impact they created in their professional careers. College dean and awardee Isabelita Pabuayon welcomed the awardees in the ceremonies held  at Baker Hall, UP Los Banos.
Leading the select group was Dr. Arsenio Balisacan, chairperson of the Philippine Competition Commission, and former director-general of the National Economic Development Authority, who served as the keynote speaker of the homecoming. Dr. Cielito Habito, also a former NEDA director-general, Dr. Emerlinda Roman, former UP president, and UP regent Francis Laurel, were among the awardees who were from Luzon and the Tagalog region. A number practiced their professions in other location in the Philippines and in foreign countries.   
Alumni with origins from Mindanao were also among the awardees. Philippine senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, four-term Davao City congressman Isidro Ungab, former National Power Corporation president Guido Alfredo Delgado, Central Mindanao University president Maria Luisa Soliven,  Asian Institute of Management dean Felipe Calderon, and UP Mindanao chancellor Larry Digal were among those who belonged to this group.
Chancellor Digal, a professor of agricultural economics in the UP Mindanao School of Management, was appointed fifth chancellor of UP Mindanao for the term 1 March 2019 to 28 February 2022. The term of Chancellor Digal promises fresh growth for UP Mindanao because he has stated that UP Mindanao's academic and operational expansion as his priority, in order to meet the challenges of development in Mindanao.
The academic expansion includes new undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, while the operational expansion includes additional manpower and infrastructure. Degree programs in sports science are being adopted from other UP constituent universities to provide the human infrastructure to the DC-UP Sports Complex and contribute to improvement of the performance of Mindanao athletes.
More academic programs are being crafted or adopted from other UP CUs in agricultural biosystems engineering, environmental science, applied biology, data science, and applied modelling, among others. With the help of UP Manila, a degree program in medicine and medical research will be instituted to complement the sports program.
These programs require additional faculty, staff, and infrastructure.
Chancellor Digal has harnessed the help of the alumni, who are among the influential drivers for this growth and the sector which was most instrumental in the establishment of UP Mindanao. The alumni organizations have responded with a pledge to organize a Regional Alumni Institute in November. The UP Mindanao Foundation and the UP Alumni Associations in Mindanao are contributing the weight of their network and influence to bring alumni, legislators, cabinet secretaries, and the chief executive together in thids Institute to fast-track this expansion program for development in Mindanao. This strategy is being carried out with the help of some CEM alumni in Mindanao, particularly, Congressman Ungab and Senator Zubiri.
Through these efforts of Chancellor Digal and fellow CEM alumni in the region, the UPLB College of Economics and Management, from its base in Los Baños, Laguna in northen Philippines has proven that its influence extends and can be credited for contributing to development in Mindanao, southern Philippines.

Deadline of application for UP College Admission Test 2020

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

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 Grade 12 students who wish to study in the University of the Philippines (UP) in 2020 are now advised to apply for the UP College Admission Test 2020 (UPCAT 2020). Tuition is free in UP and admission requires qualification through the UPCAT. 
The deadlines for application for UPCAT 2020 are on 2 August 2019 for Regional Public High Schools; 9 August 2019 for Private High Schools; 16 August 2019 for Metro Manila Public High Schools; 23 August 2019 for Metro Manila Private High Schools. Applications received after 23 August will be processed only if test permits are still available. 

The minimum requirements for UPCAT 2020 are the following: 

•Senior high school student expecting to graduate before SY 2020-2021 from a DepEd-accredited high school or an accredited secondary school abroad; OR

•Graduate of a DepEd- accredited high school or accredited secondary school abroad; AND

•Must have final grades for three (3) high school years preceding the year of graduation;

•Must not have taken any college subject/s prior to taking the UPCAT; AND

•Must not have taken the UPCAT before.


All applicants must apply online through  

UPCAT applicants must prepare four (4) recent and identical 2X2 photographs; fully-accomplished UPCAT Form 1-Personal Data Sheet; and UPCAT Form 2-High School Record to be filled-up by the school administrator. 

Application forms should be mailed directly to:

Office of Admissions 

 University of the Philippines 

 Kalaw cor. Quirino Ave., UP Diliman, 

 Quezon City 1101 Philippines

UPCAT 2020 will be administered nationwide on 5 and 6 October 2019. 

Architecture grads pass June exam, 2019

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

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     BS Architecture graduates of the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao bested the national passing rate in the June 2019 Architect Licensure Examination when they achieved a 100%-passing rate once again. This was revealed after the Professional Regulation Commission released the results of the exam where 2,104 passed among the 3,172 takers or equivalent to a 66% national passing rate. The newly licensed architects from UP Mindanao are Ar. Dax Raymond S. Aznar, Ar. Fayanna P. Cerillo, Ar. John Christien G. Dacalos, Ar. Charisse Alexia S. Dinopol, Ar. Abegail Imee R. Enriquez, Ar. Reyl B. Espirituoso, Ar. Eiries Von B. Estilloso, Ar. Mercy B. Gomez, Ar. Kim O. Laguitao, Ar. Christine C. Laniba, Ar. Jomarie Viel R. Maglunob, Ar. Kate C. Patayon, Ar. Sherwin O. Puntas, and Ar. Ceino Rey U. Quimintan.
     The UP Mindanao Architecture program has been able to maintain its 100%-passing record for a number of years and has produced eight passers to the top-ten rankings. Apart from the board exam reviews undertaken outside of the university, students of the program also take mock exams or the architecture instructional exam. The undergraduate thesis topics in the architecture program include housing studies, materials development, and heritage and indigenous architecture, all of which contribute to UP Mindanao’s built environment research. Public service through participation in industry fairs further hone the students’ abilities.     
     After earning their licenses and proceeding to professional practice, a number of the architects have also pursued careers as faculty members in various architecture schools in Mindanao.  Some have taken higher studies in the UP Mindanao Diploma/Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning to better serve the needs of various sectors in the region, particularly in the practice of environment and natural resources, public works, transportation, and estate planning. Graduates from this program have also earned licenses as professional environmental planners, which further extend their scope of service to development in Mindanao. 

22nd Commencement and Investiture of 5th Chancellor, 2019

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

The University of the Philippines Mindanao held its 22nd Commencement Exercises on 21 June 2019. Executive Vice President Teodoro J. Herbosa led the awarding of diplomas to the Class of 2019. It was UP Mindanao’s biggest batch to date, with 353 graduates. The university had its first summa cum laude, Ms. Pete Maverick Nicole Estudillo, BS Food Technology. The class of 2019 had the most number of magna cum laude (13) and cum laude (80) graduates. 
The investiture of Professor Larry N. Digal as the 5th Chancellor of UP Mindanao was held in conjunction with the commencement exercises. Regent Angelo A. Jimenez led the Investiture Ceremony. In his speech, Chancellor Digal said, “UP Mindanao is committed to becoming Mindanao-focused but adopting an international outlook... with the university bringing the best of the world to Mindanao and the best of Mindanao to the rest of the world.”       
Full text of the speech of Chancellor Digal is available here:

Investiture Speech of Chancellor Larry N. Digal, Ph.D.

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

I.The Journey
I remember when I was standing in the same shoes as you are now, the graduating class of 2019. It was 1985. Many of you weren’t even born yet. I just graduated from the University of the Philippines Los Baños with a degree in Agriculture, major in Agricultural Economics and Agri-Finance. 
My dream then was simple. I wanted to teach in UP, to join the faculty of the College of Development Economics and Management in UP Los Baños. And so the first step was straightforward enough. The day after my graduation, I started work as a research assistant for a project of my thesis supervisor Dr Generoso Octavio in the Department of Agricultural Economics. And that day, I had one foot in the door, and I believed I made one small step towards my dream.   
A year later, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to get a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University in the United States through a research assistantship and a scholarship from Rotary International. The College of Development Economics and Management offered me a teaching position after earning the degree. Naturally, I was ecstatic, flattered that I was being considered for the position. And so I accepted the offer. I was getting ready to take two steps inside the door and towards my dream. 
But after I got the degree, things took a turn. As they say, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” Instead of following my dream and teach in UP Los Baños, I chose instead to work in Davao to be closer to my family. I walked out of the door and it closed with a bang. After that, I devoted five years of my life working in the private sector and four years at the Department of Trade and Industry. Life was good. I taught part-time at another university, and I slowly forgot my desire to teach in UP. 
But in 1997, I was given an opportunity, through a scholarship, to study for a PhD in Agricultural Economics at the University of Sydney in Australia. But life was tough after finishing my PhD degree and returning to Davao. I had to raise three small kids on my own. I had to seek help from my parents and siblings. To me, this underscored the importance of finding a job that had flexible hours, so that I could devote some of my time for my children. And that year, I got an offer to teach in UP Mindanao. Finally, after 13 years of wandering, another door has opened, another chance at making my dream come true. 
But a few weeks after I joined UP Mindanao, I was told that the BS Economics program of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences was going to be abolished. I was offered to teach at the School of Economics in UP Diliman, but this posed a big problem: I did not want to uproot my kids and bring them to Manila. So I remained in Davao. I resigned from UP Mindanao and got another job in the private sector.  Another door closed. 
However, a few months later, the former chancellor, Dr. Sylvia Concepcion, who was dean of the School of Management that time, opened a window for me to climb into. She offered me a position to teach under the Master in Management program. When I eventually became dean of the School of Management in 2003, we revised the former BS Economics program to the BS Agribusiness Economics program, transferring it from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to the School of Management, shaping it based on our expertise and making it more relevant to the needs of Mindanao.
As I reflect on the journey that led to me assuming this responsibility as the fifth chancellor of UP Mindanao, I realize two things: first, the importance of dreams; and second, the power of timing. 
I remember when I was in Purdue, one of my closest friends asked me about my plans after getting my masters. I said, “I’m going to teach in UP.” I was very sure then. And he said, “Ayaw mong maging dean?” Back then, I could not fathom being dean. Ano pa kaya ang maging chancellor? Like I said, my dream was simple. But having that simple dream has led me to where I am now. 
After missing two opportunities to teach in UP, I never thought that a third chance was possible. But I happened to be at the right place and the right time. I had grown, and I was ready for it. I had a doctorate degree and rich industry exposure. Though the dream took 13 years in the making, it was worth the wait. God prepared me so that UP Min could be the place for me to share my talents, and to be surrounded by my family and those who are important to me. God was actually preparing me for a bigger role beyond my imagination.
II.The Dream
Mindanao is known as “the Land of Promise.” A land rich in natural resources. The food basket of the country. A land diverse in cultures. Home to the tri-people of Mindanao: the Lumads or indigenous peoples, the Muslims, and the various Christian settlers who have trickled slowly into these frontier lands, lured by the promise of prosperity. But over the years, Mindanao has been beset with various challenges―high poverty incidences, armed conflict and violence, just to name a few. 
But how does one bring this so-called promise into fulfillment? It is perhaps this same question that weighed heavily in the minds of UP alumni in 1949, when they first voiced their desire to bring UP’s brand of excellence to Mindanao. This was their dream. Forty years later, they scored a major victory when a resolution for the establishment of UP in Mindanao emanated from the 12th UP Alumni Institute Assembly hosted by the UP Alumni Association–Davao Chapter. The many years of lobbying by UP’s alumni and the hard work of our Mindanawon lawmakers led to President Fidel V. Ramos signing into law Republic Act 7889, “An Act Creating the University of the Philippines in Mindanao,” on the 20th of February 1995. 
By virtue of this law, UP Mindanao, the sixth constituent university of the UP System, was mandated to offer academic programs “on science, technology and agricultural education,” “provide a special scholarship program and other affirmative action programs to assist poor but deserving Muslims and other members of cultural communities to qualify for admission to the University,” and “network and collaborate with other state college and universities in such areas which shall contribute to the development of Mindanao.”
And even with the passing of RA 7500 or “The UP Charter of 2008,” which elevated UP as the national university and mandated it to become “a graduate university,” “a research university,” “a public service university,” and “a regional and global university,” our initial mandates have not been erased. It is the interweaving of both these laws, these various mandates, that gives UP Mindanao its uniqueness and a greater purpose not only in the Philippine south, but also in the ASEAN region, particularly in the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area or the BIMP-EAGA.
Given this mandate, what is our dream for UP Mindanao? 
First, the dream is for UP Mindanao to contribute more to Mindanao development. UP Mindanao is committed to becoming Mindanao-focused but adopting an international outlook. What does this mean? It means that as a UP constituent university in Mindanao, the university shall focus its intellectual resources to provide quality education, research and development, and public service that can contribute to the sustainable development of Mindanao. However, it shall orient itself using an international outlook with the university bringing the best of the world to Mindanao and the best of Mindanao to the rest of the world.
Guided by the principle of strengthening the teaching-research-extension-production continuum, UP Mindanao shall focus on three priority programs: 
a)Sustainable Agri- and Biosystems for Mindanao to promote responsible use of bioresources with an eye towards improving agricultural productivity balanced with environmental nurturance and inclusive and equitable socio-economic growth; 
b)Mindanao Arts and Cultures to tap into the colorful tapestry of arts and cultures among the tri-people of Mindanao as a means of exploring Mindanawon identity; and
c)Mindanao Sports Development Program to complement the Davao City-UP Sports Complex and develop world-class athletes from Mindanao, with the goal of establishing a College of Human Kinetics in the future.  
Under these programs, we will expand our academic offerings by instituting and developing new undergraduate and graduate programs, including a PhD by Research and Dual PhD degrees through partnership agreements with foreign universities.  
UP Mindanao has started establishing the Center for the Advancement of Research, development, and engagement in Mindanao or CARIM, which will effectively connect the university’s R&D with its public service and serve as a hub for RDE collaboration and networking with local and international partners. The Center will also promote the university’s knowledge products to generate intellectual property for industries and policies for government, which can contribute towards addressing the gaps in the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of Mindanao. 
To support this dream, we will need budget for infrastructure development. We need more classrooms, laboratories, and facilities. Of the 203-hectare land allotted for the campus, approximately 20 percent are built up at present. We need a Comprehensive Campus Development Program in order to complete the Davao City-UP Sports Complex, the RDE complex with the CARIM facility (with the proposed Mindanao International Convention Center), and the various academic complexes for CSM, CHSS, and SOM; as well as establish a world-class Botanical Garden in partnership with the Davao City government. 
On top of infrastructure, we will need more people to support our programs. We need more plantilla items for additional faculty members to teach courses in new academic programs and for support staff to handle an increase in instruction, research, and public service activities. Furthermore, we will need funding for human resource development of existing academic and support staff so that they can effectively respond to the demands of our envisioned expansion.
Second, the dream is for UP Mindanao to provide equitable access to quality education for all. With the passing of RA 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, undergraduate students may now avail of free tuition and exemption from other fees in a state university such as UP. However, other barriers to education still exist, such as poor quality of secondary education, geographical challenges, and lack of resources for daily living, just to name a few.
To address these barriers, we are currently studying our enrollment data to get baseline information on the number of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and those belonging to Muslim and Lumad cultural communities. Based on the data, we will be coming up with appropriate strategies to address these barriers through our recently revived Pahinungod volunteer program and currently existing scholarship grants. 
We are also looking for ways to use digital technologies to promote self-learning among students and adult professionals and encourage life-long learning. With the wealth of intellectual resources in the university, UP Mindanao aims to use the Internet to widen the reach of the university beyond the walls of the classroom and the perimeter of the campus.
Third, the dream is for UP Mindanao to become a hub for collaboration in various levels. UP Mindanao has the distinct advantage of being part of the University of the Philippines System, which means that we can tap the knowledge base in other constituent universities to supplement our own. For example, when the Philippine Genome Center established its Mindanao Satellite Office here in UP Mindanao, it opened various opportunities for researchers not only in UP Mindanao but also other institutions in the island. The establishment of the UP Professional Schools in Agriculture and the Environment in Panabo by the UP Los Baños Graduate School has has opened doors for potential synergistic partnerships that UP Mindanao can enter into with other UP constituent universities wishing to expand their services and offerings here in Mindanao.
We will also be strengthening our partnerships with other higher education institutions, industries, and government institutions in terms of instruction, research, and public service. For we believe that it is through concerted efforts with our partners that we can bring about positive change in Mindanao and the rest of the country. 
About 17 years ago, I raised the issue of absorptive capacity to our UP System officials, where demand for our services exceed supply of resources and, hence, limits our ability to respond to these opportunities. Given the limited resources of UP Mindanao, it is important to focus on strategic areas where we have the capacity and the best chance to make a difference in carrying out our mandate and maximizing our impact to our stakeholders.
But while we will continue to ask support from the UP System and the Department of Budget and Management for our much-needed resources such as plantilla items for academic and administrative staff and budget for our expansion plans, we would also like to explore a different strategy—that is, mobilizing our alumni group to partner with us to advocate for the support of UP Mindanao expansion programs to help accelerate the development and growth of Mindanao. In October this year, we will present our expansion plans in the Regional Alumni Institute Assembly to be organized by the UP Mindanao Foundation Inc. and the UP Alumni Association (Davao Chapter) in partnership with UP Mindanao. Yes, this is the same assembly that first sparked the dream of having a UP here in Mindanao.
We plan to invite members of Senate and Congress who can be our champion in the legislative halls and create a bill to fund our expansion programs. We will also invite key heads of agencies, particularly from the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Tourism, just to name a few, who can support aspects of our expansion program. We hope that through this Regional Alumni Institute Assembly, the UP alumni can come up with resolutions that we can present to President Rodrigo Duterte, or his representative, for action.
Our message in the Regional Alumni Institute Assembly this October should be clear: that investing in UP Mindanao is necessary so that it will have the critical mass to successfully respond to opportunities, help attain inclusive and sustainable development in Mindanao, and contribute to nation building.
IV.Open Door
As UP Mindanao prepares to celebrate its 25th Founding Anniversary next year, in February 2020, let us all remember the humble beginnings of this university. A university dreamed into existence through the lobbying of fervent UP alumni and the work of Mindanawon lawmakers. They had a dream, and with the right timing and hard work, they were able to turn their dream into a reality. 
When the university first began in 1995, UP Mindanao had 3 employees occupying rented office spaces in the downtown area of Davao City. Now, the university has expanded with 173 faculty and staff holding offices in 8 buildings on a 203-hectare campus in Mintal. 
Before, we had to travel through the boulder-strewn access road formerly known as the “abortion road.” Now, the road has since been concreted and an internal road network constructed. 
When it first opened its doors in 1996, UP Mindanao welcomed its first 167 students. Since then, the university has graduated more than 3,000 students across various degree programs in the three colleges of the university. And these graduates are now serving as public officials and civil servants, writers and communicators, lawyers, doctors, educators, entrepreneurs, and professionals, making a mark in government, industry, and civil societies. 
You, too, the graduating class of 2019, will join their ranks. Ang mga isko at iska ng bayan. When you leave the university, I hope you, too, will continue the tradition of honor and excellence and service to the country and Mindanao as many have done before you. Always make us proud.
But I have one request: wherever you may find yourself years from now, remember to reconnect with UP Mindanao―physically, digitally, spiritually. The doors of this university will always remain open to physically welcome you back. And we will strengthen our online presence so that you will always have a direct line to the university wherever you are in the world.  Remember that this place will always be a part of you, and you will always be a part of this place.  For no matter the various differences that might divide us―such is the case in a university that promotes critical thinking, where passionate individuals cultivate strong opinions and deep learning―one thing connects us all: lahat tayo mahal ang bayan at ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas!     
Daghang salamat ug madayaw na buntag kanatong tanan!

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