Madayaw News

"Town Hall" Consultations on Campus Development Plans

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

2020 CMDP COVER RESIZE 50UP Mindanao constituents assembled on various occasions in recent months for online “town hall” consultations over various campus development plans. 

On July 21, a town hall consultation discussed a proposed City Hospital that the Davao City government wants to erect in the district, hopefully on the campus. Chancellor Digal narrated the origins of the proposal and how it could align with UP Mindanao’s mandates and plans for a Mindanao Health Initiatives, consisting of a proposed college of medicine and an infectious diseases research center. The chancellor also shared the support given by the UP System administration and President Danilo Concepcion, particularly the appointment of Executive Vice-President Teodoro Herbosa, a highly-placed medical professional, as the consultant to the hospital project, and the support of UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita Padilla and UP College of Medicine Dean Charlotte Chiong. The resulting discussion dwelled on the process by which UP Mindanao could manage the proposal.     

On October 6, the Office of the Chancellor organized a town hall consultation for the draft Campus Master Development Plan. Chancellor Digal provided the context through a presentation of his UP Mindanao Strategic Plan 2019-2023 and its three strategic themes: for students, “Molding Learners into Leaders;” for research “Transforming Insights into Impacts;” and “Building a Campus into a Community,” for university constituents and partners. The Campus Planning and Development Office presented the proposed land use plans for the campus and specific areas that were the subject of discussions. On October 9, the chancellor held a similar consultation for external stakeholders: UP Mindanao Foundation chairman Sebastian Angliongto and vice-chair John Gaisano, alumni Guido Alfredo Delgado and Harvey Lanticse, Department of Science and Technology-Region XI regional director Dr. Anthony Sales, the Department of Public Works and Highways officials, and Barangay Mintal Councilor Bargamento were among the participants.           

On October 12, the Department of Tourism - Region XI (DOT-XI) and UP Mindanao organized a 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).  Both internal and external stakeholders of UP Mindanao listened to DOT-XI Regional Director Tanya Rabat-Tan and her team present the physical and financial plans, and artist Nestor Horfilla who presented the activity plans. 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.   

On October 14, 2020, at 1:00-4:00 PM, UP Mindanao will host an online forum on “Bridging the Health Care Gaps In Mindanao." Health officers and workers of various local government units and agencies in Mindanao and university constituents will attend. The consultation is part of the plan to establish the proposed UP Mindanao College of Medicine.

Participants in the various town hall consultations gave constructive suggestions and words of collective wisdom. The planners will incorporate the inputs into the revised plans, and the documentation of the consultations will ensure that the implementation process will reflect the various stakeholders’ sentiments and well-being in the future life of the development projects.


UPMin in SMAARRDEC, 2020

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

SMAARRDEC Regional Symposium on Research and Development Highlights 2020 held on 29 September 2020:
Dr. Edna Anit, Dr. Kenneth Barroga, and Dr. Purisima Bayacag, panelists.  
2020 092920 SMAARRDEC LOGO 50percentScreenshot 2020-09-29-11-04-54-98 2ef548bf47261a0f379d52645eb41568
First Place, Development Paper Category  
Giving Farmers Uwen Fananafedew: Improving Agricultural  Extension in Conflict-Vulnerable Areas through the LIFE Model.
Anne Shangrila Y. Fuentes (Presenter), E.V. Bayogan, M.O. Orbeta, H.P. Lozada, K.S. Sigue, J.D. Ignacio, L.N. Digal, R.U. Guillermo, M.L. Handa, N.D. Jalandoni, J.P. Esparagoza Jr., E.R. Nasam, T.D. Ballener, N.C. Cordero, M. P. Titan, M.T. Sangki, M.A. Gatela, and N. B. Oponda 
The panelists commented: the paper is comprehensive; it can apply for support to the DOST-Grassroots Innovation for Inclusive Development (GRIND)
First Place, Policy Brief Category 
Mr. Michael Bacus.  “Healthy Nature for Healthy People” 
The policy brief is from the research project, below: 
Project Title: Ecology of Emerging Zoonotic Pathogens from Bats in Malagos Davao City
Funding Agency: RHRDC-XI (PCHRD)
Project Leader: Lyre Anni E. Murao, PhD
Working Paper (unpublished): Global genetic patterns reveal host tropism versus cross-taxon transmission of bat betacoronaviruses
Authors: Michael G. Bacus, Stephen Adrian H. Dayap, Nikki Vanesa T. Tampon, Marielle M. Udarbe, Roberto P. Puentespina Jr., Sharon Yvette Angelina M. Villanueva, Marion Michael John M. Achondo, Aleyla E. de Cadiz and Lyre Anni E. Murao
Implementing Agency: UP Mindanao
Cooperating Agencies: UP Manila, Animal Solutions Veterinary Hospital
The panelists commented: it is a model of a policy brief for being short and concise; commendable for offering public health policy; it will be elevated to the Research Development and Innovation Committee of the Regional Development Council.  
Third Place, Undergraduate Thesis Category
Mr. Brian Sabanal (BS Biology). “Spiders (Arthropoda; Araneae) in the University of the Philippines Mindanao Campus,” Adviser: Mae Responte 
The panelists commented: the paper is a contribution to the body of knowledge on biodiversity; commendable for linking to the biodiversity conservation law;  preferably put role/s of spiders, e.g. ecosystem services, in the title 

Mindanao-Wide Webinar on Omics Research, 2020

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

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The Philippine Genome Center-Mindanao in UP Mindanao invites interested persons to a WEBINAR SERIES in October 2020 with different themes in omics that will allow scientists and students to learn and embrace omics as an emerging technology in biology.
The Mindanao-Wide Webinar on Omics Research will showcase omics research in health, agriculture, and food by selected scientists in the Philippines and abroad. the webinars will show the potential applications of omics technologies in mitigating the adverse consequences of pandemics. 

This webinar series consists of four sessions:

 OMICS in Health, 23 October 2020

Pre-registration link:


OMICS in Diagnostics Research, 28 October 2020

Pre-Registration link:


OMICS in Agriculture, 09 October 2020

Pre-registration link:

OMICS in Food, 16 October 2020

Pre-registration link:

All four sessions are open to the public, free of charge. It will be held via Zoom and streamed LIVE via our official Facebook page. We give priority slots to UP Mindanao constituents, so we encourage you to register now for the four webinars. For updates and concerns regarding the webinar series, visit our Facebook page ( and twitter (

Thank you and we look forward to your attendance!


Philippine Genome Center Mindanao 
University of the Philippines Mindanao
Mintal, Davao City 8000
+63 82 293 0302

Turnover of COVID-19 testing facility in DRMC

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

120112468 341626417071450 3284731751345661155 nRZD25Officials of the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao and the local governments of Davao del Norte witnessed a milestone in their collaboration agreement with the turnover of a COVID-19 testing facility by the builder Maer Summit Konstrukt Company to the end-user Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in ceremonies held on 27 August 2020, in the Davao del Norte Provincial Capitol in Tagum City. Mr. Dino Mae Suelto, the Managing Partner of Maer Summit Konstrukt, presented the certificate of turnover to DRMC chief Dr. Bryan Dalid in the presence of the project partners. 
With the turnover, the local government leaders accomplished their joint resolution embodied in their letter of commitment of 17 April 2020 and the memorandum of agreement signed on 19 May 2020 to undertake the construction and establishment of the facility. Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon, Samal City Mayor Al David Uy, and Panabo City Mayor Jose Relampagos authorized funds from their respective shares from the Bayanihan “We Heal As One” Act for the construction of the facility.   
UP Mindanao Chancellor Larry Digal, a co-signatory in the project agreement, and Associate Professor Lyre Anni Murao, author of the project proposal and director of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao, witnessed the turnover following their inspection of the newly-completed facility located in the DRMC in Tagum City. 
“This is a good example of a private sector-government-academe partnership that contributed to addressing the huge challenge mounted by this pandemic,” said Chancellor Digal. “It started with the private sector group Maer Summit Konstrukt who approached us for this project, led by Mr. Suelto, an alumnus of the UP School of Economics, and his son, who was my student in Agribusiness Economics. They donated a PCR machine and testing kits and they linked us to the Davao del Norte LGU - to the governor and the three mayors. So the partnership was hatched,” he said. 
Governor Jubahib welcomed the turnover of the project and thanked the three mayors for their cooperation in raising the required funds. “Hinintay natin matapos itong COVID-19 testing facility dito sa Davao del Norte dahil sa shortage ng lab testing at marami na ang may sakit. The problem, I learned from Dr. Dalid, was the required budget of P12 million. No problem, I said, because there are the three ‘mababait’ na mayors,” he said. 
"This project is the first of the groups we assisted in setting up their COVID-19 testing facility,” said Chancellor Digal. “We provided mainly technical support in terms of trainings and design of the laboratory,” he said. 
UP Mindanao contributed to the design of the facility, in accordance with the approved design of the Department of Health (DOH) and provided the DRMC personnel with training on molecular diagnostics and biosafety for highly infectious human pathogens. UP Mindanao will also continue to provide technical assistance and consultancy services for issues that may arise during the regular operations of the facility.  
The DRMC will take over the daily operation and maintenance of the facility and DRMC Chief Dr. Bryan Dalid projected that the facility can begin its operation by September 2020. “I do not wish to frighten you all but this pandemic may take longer because the number of cases is still rising. The good thing is that mortality is low. That is our only consolation,” he said. 
“This project is welcomed by the Department of Health,” said Chancellor Digal, “based on our discussion with them at the outset, because it will supplement the capacity of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) to better serve the other provinces in Davao Region, and even outside the region.” 
UP Mindanao also offered its training expertise to the personnel of the Davao de Oro Provincial Government and the Police Regional Office-XI which are constructing their own COVID-19 testing facilities. 
The expertise for the trainings, facility design, and technical assistance are provided by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao, a satellite facility in UP Mindanao of the Philippine Genome Center based in UP Diliman. Since the start of the COVID-19  emergency, PGC Mindanao crafted a mission to capacitate hospitals to conduct COVID-19 testing by training their personnel on SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the most effective testing system currently available to counter COVID-19. PGC Mindanao was appointed by the DOH as a trainer for Mindanao and, since April 2020, has trained 45 frontliners from six medical centers in Mindanao and also contributed to the successful accreditation of four of these centers for COVID-19 testing. 
The COVID-19 facilities in DRMC and elsewhere can also be used beyond the present pandemic for other relevant purposes such as infectious disease surveillance and collaborative research, also through the PGC Mindanao. 
According to PGC Mindanao Director Lyre Murao, “COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to the lingering but neglected issues on environment and agriculture. This pandemic is a timely opportunity for us to reboot our framework and act with resolve for sustainable and resilient ecosystems and communities. The Philippine Genome Center Mindanao can help Mindanao through  ‘omics,’ the study of molecules in disease, health, food, and agriculture. Omics can be used for the advancement of knowledge, innovations, and policies towards a more sustainable utilization and management of resources in the post-pandemic age.”

MOA for COVID-19 lab with PRO–XI, DOST-XI, 2020

Written by Rene Estremera on . Posted in Madayaw News

UP Mindanao entered into another memorandum of agreement to establish a COVID-19 testing facility, this time with the Police Regional Office–Region XI (PRO-XI) and the Department of Science and Technology–Region XI (DOST-XI), on 16 September 2020 at Camp Sgt. Quintin M. Merecido, Davao City.   

Shown holding the agreement in the photo below are (left-right) Police Colonel Bowenn Joey Masauding, Chancellor Larry Digal, PRO-XI Regional Director Police Brigadier-General Filmore Escobal, DOST-XI Regional Director Dr. Anthony Sales, and Associate Professor Lyre Anni Murao, director of the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao.      

The PRO-XI facility located in the Camp Merecido Hospital is the third COVID-19 facility that UP Mindanao is helping establish, following the recently completed facility in the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City and the facility under construction in the Provincial Hospital of Davao de Oro Province.     

UP Mindanao, through the experts in PGC Mindanao, will provide the facility personnel with training in biosafety and molecular diagnostics and prepare them for proficiency testing by the Department of Health−Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM). 

DOST-XI will extend the financial assistance or support for the training and the operation of the facility, particularly in research and development, since the agreement also states that the lab can be used as an extension laboratory by PGC Mindanao for R&D, similar to the facilities in Tagum and Davao de Oro.


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