UP PRESIDENT DANILO CONCEPCION; UNIVERSITY OFFICIALS; FACULTY MEMBERS, STAFF, AND STUDENTS; ALUMNI; DISTINGUISHED GUESTS; PARTNERS; FRIENDS JOINING US VIA YOUTUBE; LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, GOOD MORNING AND WELCOME TO UP MINDANAO’S 27TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION.
CARRYING THE THEME “RISING ABOVE DISRUPTIONS: SUSTAINING THE CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE TOWARDS THE NEXT NORMAL” (OR “PAGBAROG BATOK SA SULIRAN: PAGPAUNDAYON SA KULTURA SA KINAMAAYUHAN PAINGON SA NEXT NORMAL”), UP MINDANAO’S 27TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION IS AN APPROPRIATE TIME FOR US TO PAUSE AND REFLECT ON OUR SIGNIFICANT MILESTONES AS A CONSTITUENT UNIT OF THE UP SYSTEM, PARTICULARLY DURING THIS PERIOD OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
The story behind the plan
WHEN I ASSUMED THIS ROLE AS YOUR CHANCELLOR THREE YEARS AGO, I KNEW THAT UP MINDANAO HAS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT MISSING OPPORTUNITIES -- SIMPLY BECAUSE DEMAND FOR OUR PROGRAMS AND SERVICES EXCEEDS OUR ABILITY TO SUPPLY OR RESPOND. SO I THOUGHT THAT ONE OBVIOUS STRATEGY TO ADDRESS THIS IS TO GROW UP MINDANAO WHILE OF COURSE OPTIMIZING OUR CURRENT RESOURCES. AND BY GROWING, WE SEIZE THESE OPPORTUNITIES AND CREATE GREATER IMPACT FOR MINDANAO AND BEYOND.
BUT I KNEW THAT THE OBVIOUS AND PERHAPS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IF WE WANT TO GROW WAS HOW TO GET THE RESOURCES TO EXPAND.
THIS IS ACTUALLY THE CHICKEN AND EGG CHALLENGE OF UP MINDANAO – HOW DO WE GET THE CHICKENS OR THE RESOURCES LIKE THE FACULTY, THE FACILITIES AND THE BUDGET FOR THESE TO PRODUCE THE PROGRAMS OR THE EGGS LIKE NEW DEGREE PROGRAMS TO INCREASE ENROLLMENT, MORE RESEARCH, AND PUBLIC SERVICE SO THAT WE CAN RESPOND IN A BIGGER WAY TO OUR MANDATE TO CONTRIBUTE TO MINDANAO’S DEVELOPMENT.
I KNEW THEN THAT IT IS NOT EASY TO GET THE CHICKENS – BECAUSE WE ARE ALWAYS ASKED THIS QUESTION WHEN WE PROPOSE PROGRAMS LIKE NEW DEGREE PROGRAMS: DO YOU HAVE THE HIGH-QUALITY CHICKENS TO PRODUCE THE BEST EGGS? AND IN THE BACK OF OUR MINDS WE THOUGHT THAT THE PROPOSAL WAS SUPPOSED TO REQUEST FOR THESE RESOURCES BUT THEN WE WERE ASKED IF WE HAVE THE RESOURCES? BUT WE ALSO KNOW THAT IT IS NOT AS SIMPLE AS THAT. THAT WE NEED A STRONG JUSTIFICATION TO PASS THE RIGOROUS QUALITY CONTROL PROCESS IN UP. I HOPE PDLC IS LISTENING, BECAUSE I WOULD LIKE TO PERSONALLY THANK HIM IN BEHALF OF UP MINDANAO AND ALSO HIS TEAM (VP CYNCH, VP ELVIE, VP LISA, VP NES, VP NENY, VP UY, SEC BOBBY AND THE REST OF HIS TEAM) FOR NOT JUST APPRECIATING THIS CHICKEN AND EGG PROBLEM OF UP MINDANAO BUT FOR TAKING ACTION -- LIKE THE 14 REGULAR FACULTY ITEMS THAT WE RECEIVED AND FOR SUPPORTING OUR AMBITIOUS PLANS AND PROGRAMS LIKE THE HOSPITAL IN OUR MINDANAO HEALTH INITIATIVE PROGRAM OR THE KNOWLEDGE INNOVATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PARK IN OUR MINDANAO INNOVATION INITIATIVE AND MANY OTHERS – NOW WE CAN PRODUCE MORE EGGS! NOW WE CAN CREATE MORE IMPACT!
The ambitious plan
Yes, UP System supports our ambitious plan to grow UP Mindanao, in fact, they are the ones following up on our proposed programs. And I am proud that this plan went through, as you may recall, a bottom-up, consultative strategic planning process – where our stakeholders were heard and hopefully got a sense of ownership of this plan.
It was an extensive process of analysis, consulting internal and external stakeholders including vetting of experts. And it culminated in the presentation of our expansion plan in the 44th UP Regional Alumni Institute (or RAI) in November 2019. I thought then that we had to fortify our support to implement this plan. PDLC was there in our RAI and witnessed the strong support of our alumni and partners - many of them were pioneers who pushed for the establishment of UP in Mindanao like Angie Angliongto, John Gaisano Jr, and Atty Dinah Tolentino Fuentes who even joined our roadshow to present this plan including PDLC and some members of his team, the RAI resolutions, to DBM Secretary and other cabinet secretaries.
So I am proud that as UPMIN, we crafted a new vision and mission and identified four (4) guiding principles for the 3 strategic themes and 8 strategic priorities. I will not go through the details because later there will be a video about the highlights of what we have accomplished thus far based on this plan to contribute to the attainment of the goals of the entire UP system.
Although my term ends in a few days, by the end of the month to be exact, the plan covered up to 2023 to align with the UP systems strategic plan under PDLC’s administration.
The big blow to the plan: pandemic and restrategizing
And then came a big blow to this ambitious plan, a major disruption that we did not anticipate which called for an adjustment of this plan. And this huge blow named COVID, struck on the 11th month of my term! But this did not deter our ambition to expand but instead, we refined and adapted it to respond to the new normal.
And the result of this refining or I should say restrategizing, was the mapping of the four (4) major strategic initiatives which will be shown in the video later. These are the:
1.Mindanao Health Initiative
2.Mindanao Sports Development Initiative
3.Mindanao Innovation Initiative
4.Mindanao Bio-Cultural Diversity Initiative
But let me just highlight why we crafted these initiatives. Given the new normal where the level of prioritization needs to change and the resources are constrained, these four initiatives allow us to integrate the key programs and projects in our action plan while still addressing the 3 strategic themes and 8 strategic priorities in our plan.
The integration is a way to maximize our limited resources (which we were expecting to reduce due to pandemic), provide focus and develop a critical mass of related programs to achieve efficiency. So now because of the pandemic – there is an opportunity to push for the Mindanao health initiative especially with the hospital and the medical program that’s in our mandate and build on our strength on omics program for one health because we have PGC Mindanao.
A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE FOR THIS MINDANAO HEALTH INITIATIVE IS THE APPROVAL BY THE UP SYSTEM BOARD OF REGENTS OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF A DAVAO CITY HOSPITAL IN THE CAMPUS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH DAVAO CITY GOVERNMENT, WHICH IS ENVISIONED TO BE A TEACHING HOSPITAL TO SUPPORT UP MINDANAO’S PLAN TO ESTABLISH A COLLEGE OF MEDICINE IN THE FUTURE.
UPON THE ADVICE OF PRESIDENT CONCEPCION, WE HAVE COMMUNICATED WITH UP MANILA THE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER IN OFFERING EXTENSION CLASSES ON MEDICINE HERE IN OUR CAMPUS, FOLLOWING THE MODEL OF THE UP COLLEGE OF LAW THAT HAS RECENTLY COLLABORATED WITH UP VISAYAS. IT WILL BE A PHASED-IN APPROACH, ENVISIONED TO SLOWLY BUILD OUR OWN CAPACITY TO OFFER A PROGRAM IN MEDICINE. THE EXTENSIVE CONSULTATIONS ON THE NEED OR DEMAND FOR THIS MEDICAL PROGRAM AND THE INITIAL PROPOSAL WE HAVE DONE WILL HELP US PROCEED TO THE NEXT STEPS.
UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF OUR MINDANAO HEALTH INITIATIVE IS OUR MINDANAO RESEARCH AND INNOVATION CENTER FOR ONE HEALTH (MRICOH) WHICH HAS A VISION TO BE A LEADING TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH CENTER ON HEALTH ISSUES RELEVANT TO MINDANAO THAT OFFERS LOCAL SOLUTIONS TO THE REGION USING MULTIDISCIPLINARY, NOVEL, INCLUSIVE, AND SOCIO-CULTURALLY FITTING APPROACHES GUIDED BY THE ONE HEALTH PARADIGM.
IN TERMS OF OUR MINDANAO SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE, WE HAVE DEVELOPED A ROADMAP TO ESTABLISH A COLLEGE OF HUMAN KINETICS IN ORDER TO COMPLEMENT THE PRESENCE OF THE DAVAO CITY–UP COMPLEX HERE IN OUR CAMPUS.
WE ARE NOW OFFERING ASSOCIATE IN ARTS IN SPORTS STUDIES (AASS) AND
DIPLOMA IN EXERCISE AND SPORTS SCIENCE (DESS), AND SOON ENOUGH, BEGINNING THE NEXT ACADEMIC YEAR, WE WILL OFFER A MASTER OF SCIENCE IN HUMAN MOVEMENT SCIENCE (MSHMS) PROGRAM, AND EVENTUALLY, A BACHELOR OF SPORTS SCIENCE (BSS) OF PROGRAM. OUR AASS PROGRAM IS A STRATEGIC PROGRAM TO DO BETTER IN OUR MANDATE TO REACH OUT TO BANGSAMORO AND IP COMMUNITIES.
BASED ON ITS DEVELOPMENT PLAN AND POTENTIALS, THE DAVAO CITY–UP SPORTS COMPLEX WILL BE POSITIONED AS A SPORTS DEVELOPMENT HUB NOT ONLY HERE IN MINDANAO, BUT ALSO, IN THE BIMP-EAGA REGION, AND EVEN, IN THE MICRONESIA REGION IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
GROUNDWORK HAS BEEN MADE TO SUPPORT OUR MINDANAO INNOVATION INITIATIVE, PARTICULARLY OUR PLANNED KNOWLEDGE, INNOVATION, AND SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (KIST) PARK, WHICH IS BEING SUPPORTED BY VARIOUS PARTNERS SUCH AS THE DOST XI, NEDA XI, DTI XI, AND THE LGU OF DAVAO CITY. THROUGH THE SUPPORT OF THE CONSULATE-GENERAL OF JAPAN IN DAVAO, WE HAVE EXPLORED THE POSSIBILITY OF A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE KITAKYUSHU SCIENCE AND RESEARCH PARK SINCE KITAKYUSHU CITY IS A SISTER CITY OF DAVAO CITY. LATER THIS WEEK, A MEETING WITH NEDA XI AND JAPANESE CONSUL GENERAL MIWA YOSHIAKI, WILL TACKLE UP MINDANAO’S PROPOSED KIST PARK AND POSSIBLE COOPERATION WITH THE JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY (JICA).
TO SUPPORT OUR KIST PARK, I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO ANNOUNCE THE AVAILABILITY OF GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP, FUNDED BY MR. TONY MIWA, THE PHILANTHROPIST BROTHER OF THE JAPANESE CONSUL GENERAL. UP MINDANAO GETS ONE SLOT EVERY YEAR STARTING THIS FALL SEMESTER 2022.
IN ANY CASE, OUR SIGNIFICANT INROADS IN THE AREA OF SUSTAINABLE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY (ICT), BIG DATA AND ANALYTICS, ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, AND ROBOTICS—COUPLED WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF OUR PLANNED KIST PARK—WILL HOPEFULLY PAVED THE WAY FOR THE EVENTUAL ESTABLISHMENT OF OUR ASPIRED COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING. OUR COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS IS NOW DEVELOPING RELEVANT ACADEMIC PROGRAMS TOWARDS THIS DIRECTION, SUCH AS: MS ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCE, MS APPLIED MODELLING AND QUANTITATIVE METHODS, AND BS DATA SCIENCE: ALIGNED WITH THE UP SYSTEM’S INITIATIVE TO ESTABLISH A CENTER FOR INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS
AS TO UP MINDANAO’S MINDANAO BIO-CULTURAL DIVERSITY INITIATIVE, I HOPE THAT THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION WILL CONTINUE TO NURTURE AND SUPPORT RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND ENGAGEMENT IN THE AREAS OF BIODIVERSITY, CONSERVATION, ARTS AND CULTURE, AND TO SUSTAIN WHAT WE HAVE STARTED WITH MINDANAO STUDIES CENTER AND FOR OUR PLANNED MINDANAO CULTURAL COMPLEX AND BOTANICAL GARDEN.
ON THE ACADEMIC FRONT, UP MINDANAO HAS A TOTAL OF 16 NEW PLANNED ACADEMIC PROGRAM OFFERINGS; THESE ARE NOW IN VARIOUS PHASES OF DEVELOPMENT, WITH SOME ALREADY NEARING COMPLETION. TWO (2) NEW ACADEMIC PROGRAMS HAVE ALREADY BEEN INSTITUTED, NAMELY, THE PHD BY RESEARCH OF THE SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT AND THE ASSOCIATE IN ARTS IN SPORT STUDIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN KINETICS. I HOPE THAT THE NEW ADMINISTRATION WILL CONTINUE TO WORK FOR THE COMPLETION OF THESE NEW PLANNED ACADEMIC PROGRAMS SO THAT UP MINDANAO CAN SERVE MORE STUDENTS HERE IN MINDANAO AND FULFILL ITS INSTITUTIONAL MANDATES BETTER.
IN THE PAST THREE YEARS, WE HAVE ALSO REVIEWED OUR CARRYING CAPACITY TO BE ABLE TO INCREASE OUR STUDENT ENROLLMENT, AND TO ATTRACT MORE STUDENTS COMING FROM UNDERSERVED AND UNDERREPRESENTED SECTORS, SUCH AS BANGSAMORO AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, CONSISTENT WITH OUR UP MINDANAO CHARTER (OR REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7889).
IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS, WE HAVE MORE THAN DOUBLED OUR ENROLLMENT OF MORO AND LUMAD STUDENTS. MORE WORK, OF COURSE, NEEDS TO BE DONE NOT ONLY IN RECRUITING MORE STUDENTS FROM THE MORO AND LUMAD SECTORS, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, IN HELPING THEM FINISH THEIR STUDIES.
IN TERMS OF TOTAL STUDENT ENROLLMENT, WE HAVE STEADILY INCREASED OUR ENROLLMENT – THE CURRENT ACADEMIC YEAR 2021-2022 WE NOW HAVE MORE THAN 1350 STUDENTS – THE HIGHEST WE HAVE ACHIEVED THUS FAR – THIS CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE OFFERING OF TWO NEW PROGRAMS, INCREASING OUR CARRYING CAPACITY BY 12%, SUPPORT FROM UP SYSTEM FOR 14 NEW FACULTY MEMBERS. LAST YEAR, DESPITE THE PANDEMIC, WE INCREASED OUR ENROLLMENT IN THE UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE PROGRAMS BY 33% AND 23% RESPECTIVELY.
ON THE RESEARCH FRONT, UP MINDANAO’S INDICATORS HAVE CONSISTENTLY SHOWN AN INCREASING TREND- IN FACT IMPROVING RAPIDLY BOTH IN TERMS OF QUANTITY AND QUALITY NOT JUST IN TERMS OF PUBLICATIONS BUT ALSO IN TERMS OF GENERATING EXTERNAL FUNDS – PARTICULARLY IN THE AREA OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, TECHNOPRENEURSHIP, MARINE STUDIES, FOOD SYSTEMS AND DATA ANALYTICS. WE NOW HAVE THE CENTER FOR APPLIED MODELING, DATA ANALYTICS, AND BIOINFORMATICS FOR DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEMS IN HEALTH I AM SURE THAT OUR NEXT ADMINISTRATION WILL CONTINUE TO NURTURE OUR THRIVING CULTURE OF RESEARCH SO THAT WE CAN TRANSLATE THESE RESEARCH OUTPUTS AND INSIGHTS INTO IMPACTS.
IN TERMS OF EXTENSION AND PUBLIC SERVICE, UP MINDANAO HAS SET ITS EYES ON PARTICIPATING IN THE TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION (THE) IMPACT RANKINGS, CONSISTENT WITH ITS EFFORTS TO SERVE THE PUBLIC TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS).
UP MINDANAO’S NUMBER OF ACTIVE PARTNERSHIPS WITH LGUS, INDUSTRIES, NGOS, NGAS, SMES, AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS AS A RESULT OF EXTENSION ACTIVITIES, HAS SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED FROM ONLY 14 IN CY 2020 TO 62 IN CY 2021 DESPITE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. WE HAVE ALSO DEVELOPED PARTNERSHIPS WITH SUCS, LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITIES TO DEVELOP ACADEMIC NETWORKS.
IN RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, UP MINDANAO HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN VARIOUS RESEARCH AND EXTENSION ACTIVITIES, INCLUDING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE AND TRAININGS FOR COVID-19 DIAGNOSTIC LABORATORIES OF SEVERAL HEALTH AND MEDICAL FACILITIES HERE IN MINDANAO, AND VARIOUS PUBLIC SERVICE ACTIVITIES IN PARTNER COMMUNITIES OF UP MINDANAO.
VARIOUS FUND DRIVES WERE LIKEWISE INITIATED TO SUPPORT UP MINDANAO’S COVID-19 RESPONSE. OF COURSE, UP MINDANAO ALSO TOOK PART IN RESPONDING TO TWO MAJOR DISASTERS THAT RECENTLY HIT MINDANAO—THE MAJOR EARTHQUAKES IN 2019, AND RECENTLY, IN DECEMBER 2021, DURING TYPHOON ODETTE.
IN TERMS OF OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE, WE WERE ABLE TO IMPROVE OUR PLANNING SYSTEM AND CLOSELY LINKED IT UP WITH OUR BUDGET PROCESS. IN ADDITION, WE HAVE IMPROVED OUR MONITORING AND EVALUATION (M&E) SYSTEM TO HELP US TRACK AND ASSESS OUR PROGRESS. WE IMPLEMENTED ORGANIZATIONAL RESTRUCTURING TO IMPROVE DELIVERY OF OUR SERVICES.
And I am sure that because this plan is ambitious and because there were disruptions in implementing this plan particularly the pandemic, it will take more time and commitment from the UPmin community to achieve what it intends to achieve – basically doubling UPMIN’s size or capacity – with 3 new colleges, 14 new programs to go and many more. But let us not forget that this not just about growing -it is about creating a difference in the lives of the people we serve, it is about creating a bigger impact on Mindanao’s development and beyond.
IN CLOSING, I WOULD LIKE TO SINCERELY EXPRESS MY DEEPEST GRATITUDE TO ALL WHO HAVE DONE THEIR SHARE IN HELPING MY ADMINISTRATION IN THE PAST THREE YEARS. THE CHALLENGES WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED IN THE PAST TWO YEARS HAVE INDEED BEEN TOUGH BECAUSE OF THE PANDEMIC, BUT WE HAVE MANAGED TO HURDLE THESE CHALLENGES BECAUSE OF EVERYONE’S HARD WORK AND DEDICATION.
TO ALL UP MINDANAO CONSTITUENTS, PLEASE CONTINUE TO GIVE YOUR SUPPORT TO THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION TO ENSURE THAT THE INITIAL GAINS WE HAVE ACHIEVED IN THE PAST THREE YEARS WILL BE CARRIED ON AND SUSTAINED TOWARDS THE “NEXT NORMAL”.
DAGHANG SALAMAT UG MALIPAYONG PAGSAULOG SA ATONG IKA BAYNTE SIETE NA SELEBRASYON SA ATUNG ANIBERSARYO.