UP's Pride and Glory

MinDA Secretary Maria Belen S. Acosta's message at the 29th Anniversary

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

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Secretary Acosta (third from left) with Vice-Chancellor for Administration Leo Manuel Estana, Chancellor Lyre Anni Murao, and VC for Academic Affairs Annabelle Novero


Magandang umaga, UP Mindanao and happy 29th founding anniversary! Let me first congratulate the organizing committee for the successful event. It's good to be back. and what better time to visit the campus than during today's commemoration of its 29th year? 


It is an honor to be invited here both as an alumna — ako po ay nagtapos ng Masters in Management dito sa School of Management in UP Mindanao— at nagturo din ng local governance sa UP Mindanao School of Management, and now as a Secretary of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). 


I am also proud to share that many of the officials and staff of the MinDA are from  UP Mindanao, continuing and living up to the values of service, honor, and excellence throughout their work for Mindanao. 


MinDA also celebrated its 14th anniversary last week. And I am certain that for all of those 14 years, UP Mindanao has been MinDA’s partner in its pursuit of a peaceful and progressive Mindanao. I know that several faculty and researchers of  UP Mindanao have also been MinDA’s active partners and implementing key strategic programs such as the Minda NOW or Nurturing Our Waters program, the Mindanao development corridors, and in the formulation of the peace and development framework for Mindanao, and most recently, for the updating of the document we now call the Mindanao Agenda. 


Due to this year's theme. “Duyog sa Pag-alágad: Sustainable partnerships in the service to the people,” UP Mindanao has been one of the government’s unwavering partners in fulfilling the Mindanao promise. With the new UP president whose heart beats strongly for Mindanao, I can already see an even more productive and, at some point, busier year for everyone here. Kasi sobrang passionate ng ating UP president. Parang he wanted everything 20 years ago, 30 years ago.


But that is what partnerships are for. We do not have to do all the grand things alone. This is something I've learned in my few years as MinDA secretary as well. In a way, we both share similar realities. UP Mindanao is among the younger campuses of the UP System, while MinDA is also a relatively small and young agency. And yet we did not let this stop us from achieving more for the sake of our organization, but more importantly, para sa bayan at para sa Mindanao. 


But key to us delivering and achieving more is our strategic partnerships. I recently met with UP President Jimenez, and I am certain that this will be another productive year of pag-alagad sa Mindanao, with the UP Mindanao campus leading the way. 


Alam ninyo, po, ang UP Mindanao ay pangarap lang noong araw. Parati namang tayong na bu-bully dito sa Mindanao, hindi ba? Parati tayong catch-up plan. Ilang taon na tayong catch-up plan. But yet we survived, and we prevailed, and we succeeded. Marami ngayon sa Mindanao ay highly urbanized cities pero meron pa ring naiiwan na mga fourth class and fifth class municipalities. So yes meron tayong achievers at meron pa rin tayong mga catch-up plans for those who still need our help. 


Sabi nila for every work of God that is blessed lahat iyan ay dumadaan sa crucible. First, it is impossible. Second, it is difficult. And third, it is done. So, yes, it is done. Twenty-nine years na ang UP Mindanao. Palakpakan po natin. Marami pa tayong gusto na dati ay imposible. Ang magkaroon ng hospital, ang magkaron ng UP College of Medicine dito sa Mindanao. Lahat iyan ay work-in-progress pero gaya ng sinabi ko ito ay mag umpisa sa first stage na impossible second stage na difficult up to the time that it will be done. Every word that is blessed by God ganyan talaga ang stages na pagdadaanan. 


Speaking of sustainable partnerships, I am happy to note that many of our existing and upcoming programs in MinDA can be complemented by what UP Mindanao has been doing. For instance, one of our programs under the Mindanao agenda on food energy and water is support to Mindanao food and agribusiness value chains, which we can collaborate with your existing Agri Aqua Value Chain Laboratory, developing and upgrading strategies for our priority industry sectors. 


It is also reassuring to have the academe at the forefront of our peace and development efforts. This is why we are fully supportive of the upcoming UP Bangsamoro Institute, which is aligned with our ongoing partnership for peace and development in Mindanao with the European Union, a key result of MinDA's Mindanao Development Forum. 


MinDA is also currently facilitating the preparation for the upcoming hosting of the BIMP-EAGA friendship games in Mindanao. I believe UP Mindanao has also been involved in this, and we are looking forward to finally staging the friendship games in Davao City with you as the academic partner. 


We have yet to tap UP Mindanao again for the annual Mindanao Policy Research Forum in partnership with the Philippine Institute for Development Studies. I hope we can do this in the next few years if not this year. 


I would like to present all our programs and projects for the year where we can further partner or collaborate at the proper time. Ma'am Lyre (Chancellor Murao), you are very much welcome to visit us at MinDA so that we can further collaborate kung ano yung mga programs and have convergence points. 


Because this is the golden opportunity for UP Mindanao, MinDA, and Mindanao because there is relative peace in the land. Come 2025 the Bangsamoro Transition Authority will have its regular elections. That will be next year. At yung mga dating maraming insurgency, ngayon ay mga  insurgency-free areas na sa Mindanao. 


So this is the golden opportunity for all of us. And this is a golden opportunity for UP Mindanao, MinDA, and all other civic organizations to come together and really do its magic for Mindanao. 


Rest assured that MinDA will continue to be your partner for service, honor, and excellence. 


Once again, happy 29th anniversary, UP Mindanao Naming Mahal!

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