UP's Pride and Glory

Turnover of COVID-19 testing facility in DRMC

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

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.”

UP Mindanao Highights, 1 - 31 August 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements


01 - 31 August 2020

Chancellor’s Report to the President’s Advisory Council

Prof. Larry N. Digal, PhD



Throughout August 2020, Davao City continued to be under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ), which the city government has maintained since July 2020. 

As of 6 September 2020, the Mindanao island had 7,950 cumulative cases and 167 deaths, compared to the previous period on 10 August 2020 which had 4,515 cumulative cases and 96 deaths.   

By comparison, the national total on 6 September 2020 was 234,570 cumulative cases and 3,790 deaths. (source: ncovtracker.doh.gov.ph) 



"Pagkilala sa UPMin Class of 2020"



"Pagkilala sa UPMin Class of 2020," an online tribute to the UP Mindanao Class of 2020, was launched following the approval of their graduation by the Board of Regents at its 1353rd Meeting on 2 September 2020. 

The “Pagkilala” is available in PDF and EPUB versions, and may be accessed through the following links:

The video presentation is scheduled to have its premiere on 7 September 2020, 07:00 PM in UPMin's YouTube channel:  

First Professor Emeritus


The UP Board of Regents, in its 1352nd Meeting, approved the conferment of the title of Professor Emeritus to retired UP Mindanao professor Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco Jr. He became the first Professor Emeritus from UP Mindanao. Dr. Rasco was a faculty member since 1997 and had served as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. He was seconded to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in July 2011 until his retirement in 2015. UP Mindanao will ask Professor Rasco to give online lectures for the incoming UP Mindanao students. 


New Academic Programs 


The School of Management (SOM) is currently in the process of screening applicants to the PhD by Research program that is on its inaugural semester in UP Mindanao. 

The SOM team also met with the UP Los Baños College of Economics and Management faculty on 19 August 2020 for the planned adoption of the MS Agricultural Economics program. The SOM team, likewise, held a meeting with Prof. Fay Rola-Rubzen of the University of Western Australia on 25 August 2020 for the Joint MS Agricultural and Applied Economics program.

Iskolar Ng Bayan

For AY 2020-2021, UP Mindanao invited some graduates of public high schools in the UP Land Reservations to enroll as Iskolar ng Bayan students in UP Mindanao. With this intake, UP Mindanao hopes to realize its affirmative action to provide opportunities to the underserved communities in the Davao Region. UP Mindanao intends to craft academic programs that can accommodate Iskolars from other Mindanao regions in the future.




Currently, there is only one remaining stranded student on campus. This student is scheduled to travel home to Cebu in September. 



Disinfection and Water Treatment in Campus


Disinfection of university rooms and offices was undertaken on 20-21 August 2020. All personnel adopted work-from-home arrangements for one workday. Water treatment was likewise undertaken in the campus on 23-24 August 2020, by cleaning and flushing of the water pump and overhead tank over a weekend.


Mental Health Helpline


As of 23 August 2020, 42 students and five employees have availed of psychological first aid from the UPMin-OSA Mental Health Helpline.





COVID-19 Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities


Mayor Duterte-Carpio (fourth from left) at the Faculty and Staff Housing

The Mayor (with back to the camera) at the Multipurpose Training Gym

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the use of campus buildings as COVID-19 facilities was renewed on July 20, 2020 for another three-month period. The two buildings are now upgraded to be Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities and will now accommodate mild suspect and mild confirmed COVID-19 cases. The city government will undertake all the requisite measures for the operation of the facilities. The city government reported that Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio visited the facilities on August 31, 2020.  (Photos from the City Government of Davao Facebook page)

New COVID-19 Testing Facility in Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC)

Chancellor Digal and Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao Director Assoc. Prof. Murao (Department of Biological Sciences and  Environmental Studies [DBSES]) visited the newly completed COVID-19 testing facility located in the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City on 27 August 2020. 

They also witnessed the turnover from the builder to the end-user in ceremonies held in the Davao del Norte Provincial Capitol. Mr. Dino Suelto, Managing Partner of the building contractor Maer Summit Konstrukt Company, presented the certificate of turnover to Davao Regional Medical Center Chief Dr. Bryan Dalid in the presence of Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib, Tagum City Mayor Allan Rellon, Panabo City Mayor Jose Relampagos, and Samal City Mayor Al David Uy. PGC Mindanao contributed to the design of the facility and trained the personnel. The DRMC will oversee the operation of the facility.   


Ongoing Training for Medical Personnel in Mindanao Hospitals


PGC Mindanao provided refresher training in August for COVID-19 medical frontliners from Butuan City, Tagum City, and from Lanao del Norte province.


In a social media post, PGC Mindanao reported on its mission from April 2020 onward to capacitate hospitals to conduct COVID-19 testing by training personnel on SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Since April 2020, PGC Mindanao trained 45 medical technologists, doctors, and biologists from six hospitals and institutions in Mindanao: the Dr. Royeca Hospital in General Santos City; the Lanao del Norte Medical Center; the Ciudad Medical Zamboanga; the Butuan Medical Center; the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City; and the Cotabato Regional Medical Center. PGC Mindanao also reported the success of the Ciudad Medical Zamboanga and the Butuan Medical Center in acquiring the accreditation for COVID-19 testing from the Department of Health.


Projections of COVID-19 Cases in Davao Region

Charts of COVID-19 cases projection in Davao City


The Interdisciplinary Applied Modeling (IAM) Laboratory and Assoc. Prof. May Anne Mata of the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science (DMPCS) posted a series of maps and charts on social media of a study titled, "Projections of COVID-19 cases, deaths, recoveries in Davao City and some provinces in Davao Region." A news reporter interviewed Prof. Mata and published this as a headline story on 30 August 2020 with the title “Gloomy Projections.” The study projected that the number of COVID-19 cases in Davao City could reach 2,500 by the end of September, up from 1,297 cases as of 27 August 2020.   The news item is here:https://bit.ly/3lu9zX6


"In the Time of Pandemia" Computer Game

Assoc. Prof. Mata was part of a team that developed "In the Time of Pandemia," a computer game that simulates the COVID-19 epidemic through a crisis manager whose challenge is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in a variety of community settings. Prof. Mata provided her mathematical feedback throughout the game development process.  “It is easy to play, educational, fun, and even offers one an opportunity to help those affected, yet neglected, communities,” she said. 


Webinar on Food and Organizations in the New Normal


Dr. Concepcion

Atty. Aniceto-Guinomla

School of Management (SOM) carried out their first webinar, "Food Systems and Leading Organizations in the New Normal," on 5 August 2020 where former Chancellor Dr. Sylvia Concepcion and SOM Lecturer Atty. Marianne Esther Aniceto-Guinomla discussed the future of food systems and organizational leadership in the new normal, respectively, to 121 online viewers. View the webinar here:



Davao Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 Midterm Update


UP Mindanao promoted the Virtual Launch of the Davao Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 Midterm Update and the Recovery and Resilience Plan held on 26 August 2020, through its membership in the Communication for Development Network and the Economic Development Council. 


UP Mindanao contributed to the update through the research and development (R&D) projects implemented and published, science and technology (S&T) infrastructure and laboratory facilities established, human capital investment in developing R&D practitioners and scholars, and in promoting S&T and innovation appreciation.


Throughout the first midterm, UP Mindanao was an active partner in the regional science & technology consortium, in sharing its linkage in S&T networks and through participation in the S&T fairs. 


UP Mindanao is part of the regional innovation movement with its product development and patent applications, by encouraging innovation and technology adoption in agriculture and industry and promoting the Fourth Industrial Revolution. 


UP Mindanao provided training in project management to SME managers, flood hazard mapping and land use planning for local governments, and food processing for industry partners.


UP Mindanao is part of the newly created Regional Inclusive Innovation Center and will contribute to the newly constituted Regional Research, Development, and Innovation Committee of the Regional Development Council-XI.




UP Land Reservations


In the UP Marilog Land Reservation, a broom-making project was held in July, producing 60 brooms from their livelihood workshops. Some 30 brooms were immediately sold bringing an income of P2,100 to the broom-makers.


In support for basic education in the land reservations, the Land Reservation Management Office launched “Bond Paper Mo Para Sa Module Ko” Oplan Tulong Dunong Program for the School Children in the UP Land Reservations on 10 August 2020. The program aims to gather donations of bond paper for use in the production of remote learning materials for public schools in the UP land reservations. 


Throughout August, donations of bond paper were delivered to Ladi-an Elementary School in the UP Marilog Land Reservation, and the Sta. Emilia Elementary School and Kidawa National High School in the UP Laak Land Reservation. Each school received five (5) reams of bond paper.


Philippine Genome Center Mindanao


The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao received additional donations from the UP Alumni Association Davao of two (2) bottles of Molecular Grade Alcohol for use in the training laboratory. This is the latest of many donations, view the list here: https://bit.ly/2UAKM7D



The Novice Debate


A UP Mindanao Debate Society team of BS Biology alumnus Frederick Omalza and BS Agribusiness Economics student Michael John Galendez (in photo) were champions in the first edition of The Novice Debate, an international online competition organized by Malaysia-based World of Learning and held on 15 and 16 August 2020. This is the second international event of the UP Mindanao Debate Society.


Essay Writing Contest by the Indonesian Consulate General


BA Communication and Media Arts student Reimeline Jasil Sayson won first place and a ship trophy in the essay writing contest hosted by the Indonesian Consulate General in Davao City in celebration of the 75th Independence Day Anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia on 17 August 2020. (Photo from Indonesian Consulate General Davao bulletin)


3-Minute Pitch to Policymakers


BS Biology alumnus Michael Bacus represented the Regional Health Research and Development Council-XI and won third place for his three-minute pitch titled “Healthy Nature for Healthy People” in the 3-Minute Pitch to Policymakers Competition, organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) and held online on 14 August 2020.




UPGRADE Virtual Demo Day


UP Growing and Developing Enterprises (UPGRADE), the technology business incubation of UP Mindanao, held their Online Pre-Incubation Program Virtual Demo Day on 1 August 2020 where five business startups and one laboratory production team delivered their respective sales pitch to a panel of experts.

The startup products are:

  • Hayahay, an online platform linking buyers and sellers;  
  • Nutriboard, a virtual canteen and nutrition service platform;
  • Ternicide, an eco-friendly larvicide film to kill mosquito eggs;
  • Gpindot, an offline reporting system for disaster preparedness and response; and
  • KaPatrol, an offline application for monitoring illegal fishing activities.

The startups will be trained further on business and finance that will culminate in the launch of their products within six months. UPGRADE is funded by the DOST-HEIRIT (HEIs Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship) program. 


LIHOK Startup Roadshow in Nabunturan


UPGRADE, in partnership with the Municipal Government of Nabunturan, Davao de Oro Province, will undertake the LIHOK (Localizing Innovation by Harnessing the Optimal Knowledge of the Citizens) Startup Roadshow in Nabunturan in August-September. The LIHOK roadshow will seek out Nabunturanons with technology startup businesses or promising ideas that can help solve pressing problems in their community. The roadshow has a Bootcamp, Mentoring, and a Demo Day on 5 September 2020. Cash prizes and merchandise will be given with free workshops and free use of the UPGRADE Innovation Hub in UP Mindanao. UPGRADE is funded by the DOST-HEIRIT (HEIs Readiness for Innovation and Technopreneurship) program.


Intellectual Property Management Program for Academic Institutions Commercializing Technologies (IMPACT)


UP Mindanao is one of 30 universities/institutions participating in the PCIEERD-STRIDE  Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office-Intellectual Property Management Program for Academic Institutions Commercializing Technologies (KTTO-IMPACT). Recently, UP Mindanao was selected as one among 19 in a shortlist by the KTTO Mentors to vie for ten available slots for PCIEERD funding under IMPACT for 2020-2021. Chancellor Digal issued a Letter of Commitment to support the UP Mindanao technology transfer office in its bid for the PCIEERD funding.


African Swine Fever Studies


Assoc. Prof. Lyre Anni E. Murao (DBSES)  is involved in the surveillance and testing of African Swine Fever since its detection in the Davao Region in February 2020. In August, Prof. Murao met with the Department of Agriculture-XI and the Davao Hog Farmers Association of DAVAO Inc. (Hogfadi) for ASF Testing of commercial and surveillance pig samples.



"UP Naming Mahal" Music Video



A music video of the “UP Naming Mahal” customized for the UP Mindanao 25th anniversary was created by the Department of Humanities and Instructor Sam Sanchez. It combines videos from TVUP and the UP Symphony Orchestra version with the UP Mindanao institutional video. The video was made available for use of UP Mindanao units, among other anniversary materials.

The link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrZJ2cHPQBk

The link for downloads:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lbWHvh6fIrCTRYHg7gpdMfvQvU76r7JI/view?usp=sharing


Webinar on L.I.F.E. for Davao de Oro Land Reservation


UP Mindanao gave a webinar on the Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension (LIFE) model for researchers and officials of the Compostela Valley State College (CVSC), its new project partner in Davao de Oro Province. This is in preparation for UP Mindanao and CVSC's partnership in integrating the LIFE model for a farmers' community in the UP Land Reservation in Laak, Davao de Oro. Chancellor Digal gave the Welcome Remarks and Senior Lecturer Anne Shangrila Fuentes (Department of Social Sciences [DSS]) served as the lead resource person. The participants from CVSC were led by President Dr. Christie Jean Villanueva-Ganiera and Director for Research, Extension and Development Dr. Lilybeth M. Matunhay. The LIFE model is currently being implemented by UP Mindanao and its government partners in conflict-vulnerable sites in the provinces of Maguindanao, Zamboanga del Norte, and Sultan Kudarat in partnership with farmer and fisherfolk associations.




The following publications were reported in August 2020.


“Night Market as Conceived-Planned Space: The Case of Davao City, Philippines,” by Raymundo R. Pavo (DSS), August 2020, Kritika Kultura 35, pp. 21–043. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2020.03503


“A cointegration analysis of rabies cases and weather components in Davao City, Philippines from 2006 to 2017,” by ZP Lachica, EO Diamante (DMPCS), LAE Murao (DBSES), MAE Mata (DMPCS), PA Alviola IV (SOM). Published 25 August 2020 in PLOS One.https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0236278



“The pleasures of Gilda Cordero-Fernando’s fiction.” Bengan, JB. Published in CNN Philippines news, 29 August 2020.https://bit.ly/2Ex1VKW



Presentations and Trainings Conducted


Papers were presented at the 40th APAMS Philippines 2020, the online conference organized by the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE), and held from 20 July - 14 August 2020:

“Helping the Nation Breathe AIR: from North to South and Everywhere,” presented by Professor Jose Ildefonso U. Rubrico (DMPCS), 06 August 2020

“Philippine CoVID-19 Fisheries Vulnerability Index,” presented by Asst. Prof. Leo Manuel B. Estaña (DMPCS), on 7 August 2020 

Ms. Marilou O. Montiflor (SOM) was a resource speaker for “Supervisory Skills Enhancement,” an online training organized by Plus Factor Research and Training Services, and Womenpowered, and held on 15 August 2020. A total of 45 teachers, and employees of government, NGO, and private institutions participated.

Guest Speaker, UPLB CEM Virtual Recognition rites

Chancellor Larry N. Digal was the guest speaker of the UP Los Baños College of Economics and Management (CEM) Virtual Recognition Rites on 15 August 2020. Chancellor Digal is an alumnus of the CEM and was awarded among the 100 Outstanding Alumni in the CEM Centennial in 2019. 




Vice-Chancellor for Administration


Assoc. Prof. Karen Joyce G. Cayamanda was appointed Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Administration effective 1 September 2020. The Board of Regents confirmed the Ad Interim Appointment of Prof. Cayamanda in the 1353rd Meeting.




Assoc. Prof. Raymundo R. Pavo, PhD, was appointed Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences by the UP Board of Regents in its 1353rd Meeting on 2 September 2020. The Search Committee, headed by Professor Noreen Grace Fundador, began the search process in March but extended it repeatedly due to the public health emergency. Asst. Prof. Jean Marie Juanga ended her term as CHSS dean on 6 April 2020 and Assoc. Prof. Ma. Stella Salazar served as OIC from 7 April 2020 onward.


Search for the Next SOM Dean


The Search Committee for the Next SOM Dean announced the sole nominee on 5 August 2020 as Asst. Prof. Aurelia Luzviminda V. Gomez. The Committee held the Online Public Forum on 10 August 2020. The submission of the Final Report to the Chancellor is on 31 August 2020.


Online Consultations


Chancellor Digal held a series of consultations on various concerns in August. The search for a vice-chancellor for administration went through two consultations, first with unit heads under the OVCA, and a second one online on 12 August 2020 for all UP Mindanao personnel.

The Chancellor, likewise, hosted another university-wide online consultation with the HRDO and the employee unions on 6 August 2020 to discuss the step increment promotion and other union concerns. Both online consultations gathered wide attendance by university personnel.



31 August 2020 | “UPMin Debaters Champion in International Tourney.” Sun Star Davaohttps://bit.ly/3304Jsd

28 August 2020 | “Gloomy projections.” Sun Star Davao.https://bit.ly/3lu9zX6

28 August 2020 | “Breaking off from the chains of the past.” Sun Star Davao. https://bit.ly/2EO3Vyc

27 August 2020 | “The Result of Essay and Photography Contest.” Indonesian Consulate General Davaohttps://bit.ly/2YOc3Wh

27 August 2020 | “This Filipino-made simulation game gives players a chance to solve COVID-19 pandemic.” Interaksyon.https://bit.ly/3jywKxJ

20 August 2020  | “Region 10’s Geraldine Ridad is this year’s champion for DOST-PCHRD 3-Minute Pitch to Policymakers Competition.” Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.https://bit.ly/3jGyfdh

19 August 2020 | “Experts envision food systems and leadership in new normal.” Mindanao Times. https://bit.ly/2D4zCT9

18 August 2020 | “UP Mindanao experts envision food systems, leadership in new normal.” Mindanao Daily Mirror.https://bit.ly/3kYdL0U

12 August 2020 | UP Naming Mahal Music Video (featuring UPMin and UPSO). Link to the video:https://youtu.be/hrZJ2cHPQBk  | https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lbWHvh6fIrCTRYHg7gpdMfvQvU76r7JI/view?usp=sharing


Philippine Genome Center Mindanao, 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

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Philippine Genome Center Mindanao reported on its mission from April 2020 onward to capacitate hospitals to do COVID-19 testing by training personnel on SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Since April 2020, PGC Mindanao trained 45 medical technologists, doctors, and biologists from six hospitals and institutions in Mindanao: the Dr. Royeca Hospital in General Santos City, the Lanao del Norte Medical Center, the Ciudad Medical Zamboanga, the Butuan Medical Center, the Davao Regional Medical Center in Tagum City, and the Cotabato Regional Medical Center. PGC Mindanao also reported the success of the Ciudad Medical Zamboanga and the Butuan Medical Center in acquiring the accreditation for COVID-19 testing from the Department of Health.
Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao will offer a "Mindanao-wide webinar on Omics Research: Moving Past Pandemics” throughout October 2020. Omics are the branches of science in the various disciplines of biology that have names that end in -omics, such as genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, to name a few. The month-long webinar will feature omics in health, agriculture, and food research. PGC Mindanao is located at the University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao in Davao City. 

UP retains rank in top 500

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

UP retains rank in top 500 world university rankings, leads in ASEAN in terms of global research influence

Jo. Lontoc, UP Media and Public Relations Office

The University of the Philippines (UP) retains its spot in a roster of the top 500 universities of the world. According to the 2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE-WUR), UP remains in the 401-500 bracket, after being assessed alongside 1,527 research-intensive universities.

The country’s national university maintained its overall rank despite the number of universities ranked this year increasing from last year’s 1,396. Overall, UP is ranked fifth among noted universities in Southeast Asia (SEA): National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), University of Malaya, and the University of Brunei Darussalam.

UP garnered its highest score in the criterion of citations or global research influence, which accounts for 30% of its total score. THE-WUR comes out with the citation score by capturing the average number of times a university’s published work is cited by scholars globally. This year, bibliometric data supplier Elsevier examined 86 million citations from 2015-2020 across 13.6 million journal articles, article reviews, conference proceedings, books and book chapters published from 2015-2019. [View the Times Higher Education World University Rankings report for the University of the Philippines here.]

20200904-THE-WUR-Breakdown of RankingRZD40 

Breakdown of ranking for the University of the Philippines. Source: Times Higher Education

According to the THE, citations are a way of measuring a university’s role in spreading new knowledge and ideas and its contribution to the sum of human knowledge.

The other performance indicators are grouped into the areas of teaching (30%), research (30%), international outlook (7.5%), and industry income (2.5%).

UP Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Carla Dimalanta notes that UP outranks universities in neighboring countries in terms of research citation. Its score of 86.7 outperforms the 81.5 of NUS and the 83 of NTU, the top two ranking universities in the ASEAN region. Singapore’s NUS and NTU are ranked 25 and 47, respectively, in the World University Rankings.

“Our citation score is still a high 86.7, albeit down by a not so significant 0.2 points,” UP Vice President for Academic Affairs Ma. Cynthia Rose Bautista tells UP News. “It has been our strongest criterion, propelling UP to be among the top 500 universities in the world in the last 5 years. Interestingly, UP was among the top 10 universities in the world in terms of its citation score in the clinical, pre-clinical and health disciplines in 2020. Its score was higher than that of the top 10 universities in this field—the University of Oxford, Harvard University, University of Cambridge, Imperial College of London, Stanford University, University of Toronto, John Hopkins University, UCL UK, Yale University and Columbia University,” Bautista explained. THE’s 2021 world university ranking by subject has not yet been released.

UP is the first Philippine university to figure in the THE-WUR and the only one to break into its top 500. The national university first figured in the THE-WUR in its 2017 rankings where it placed in the 801+ bracket. It climbed to the top 601-800 in the 2018 rankings and to the top 501-600 in the 2019 rankings. UP then broke through to the top 500, within the 401-500 bracket, in the 2020 rankings.

UP’s jump into the top 500 has been powered mostly by its outstanding score in research citations or “influence in spreading new knowledge and ideas”. Its score leaped from 69.1 out of 100 in the 2019 rankings to 86.9 in the 2020 rankings.

De La Salle University is the only other Philippine university figuring in the THE-WUR, breaking into the top 801-1,000 in the 2019 rankings, before slipping to 1,001+ in the 2020 and 2021 rankings.

According to the THE-WUR website, “The University of Oxford tops the rankings for the fifth consecutive year, while mainland China’s Tsinghua University becomes the first Asian university to break into the top 20 under the current methodology.”

THE publishes some of the most influential rankings used by the global academic community, which include the Asia University Rankings, Asia-Pacific University Rankings, Emerging Economies University Rankings, and the World University Rankings by Subject.

Aside from the Elsevier data, responses from 22,000 scholars around the world are also used by THE, specifically in determining the academic reputation of universities. ###

Professor Emeritus Eufemio T. Rasco Jr.

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

Rasco Professor Emeritus18percentProf. Eufemio T. Rasco Jr., PhD, a retired professor of the University of the Philippines Mindanao and an academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) of the DOST, has been conferred the title of Professor Emeritus by the UP Board of Regents during its 1352nd Meeting on 30 July 2020. Prior to joining UP Mindanao, Dr. Rasco served as a faculty member and an official of UP Los Baños and as a scientist in agricultural organizations. Prof. Rasco’s research and advocacies were plant breeding, genetically modified crops, underutilized bioresources, sustainable modern agriculture, and rural transformation through science-based support system for rice farmers, just to name a few. He is the author of The Unfolding Gene Revolution: Ideology, Science, and Regulation of Plant Biotechnology, which won the NAST Most Outstanding Book Award in 2008, and The Nypa Palm: Nature's Gift from the Age of the Dinosaurs, published in 2011. Some of the awards conferred to Dr. Rasco are the following: Outstanding Senior Staff from the UPLB Institute of Plant Breeding in 1982, 1983, 1985, and 1990; UPLB Outstanding Alumnus for Vegetable Breeding in 1986; Achievement Award for Agriculture from the Camarines Norte Association in 1987; Bicol Exemplar Award from DOST in 1989; Outstanding Senior Faculty from the UP Mindanao Foundation Inc. in 2009; and the Outstanding Alumnus Award conferred by the UP Alumni Association in 2009. Dr. Rasco served for 18 years as a faculty member of the Department of Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies from 1997 until his retirement in 2015. He served as dean of CSM for two terms from 27 August 1998 to 26 August 2004, and he was seconded to the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) to become its executive director in July 2011. Dr. Rasco is the first professor emeritus from UP Mindanao.

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