UP's Pride and Glory

DDO COVID-19 lab inaugurated

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

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The Davao De Oro Provincial Government, led by Provincial Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, inaugurated their COVID-19 testing lab located in the DDO Provincial Hospital Montevista on 05 March 2021. Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao director Dr. Lyre Anni Murao, associate professor of the UP Mindanao Department of Biological Science and Environmental Studies, attended. PGC Mindanao trained the personnel assigned to operate the lab and will help develop the manual of operation and provide technical assistance when needed during lab operation. The lab will also serve as an extension lab of the PGC for research into infectious diseases and become part of the network of the Mindanao Health Initiatives. (Photos courtesy of LAE Murao)

UP Mindanao joins PRO-11 COVID-19 lab blessing

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

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UP Mindanao Chancellor Larry N. Digal and Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao Director Lyre Anni Murao witnessed the blessing of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-11 COVID-19 Testing Laboratory on 18 January 2021 in Davao City, in the company of Philippine National Police Chief General Debold Sinas and PRO-11 Director Brigadier General Filmore Escobal.

UP Mindanao, through the experts in PGC Mindanao, will train the lab personnel in biosafety and molecular diagnostics and prepare them for proficiency testing by the Department of Health−Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM). UP Mindanao will also assist in the development of a manual on standard of operations for the lab and provide consultancy services, if requested, for technical issues that may arise during the regular operations of the laboratory. These roles were set forth in the memorandum of agreement which UP Mindanao signed with the PRO-11 on 16 September 2020. 

In addition, the lab can be an extension laboratory of the UP Philippine Genome Center for research and development collaboration to study and mitigate the spread of infectious diseases in the Southern Philippines. The PRO-11 COVID-19 lab expands the network being built by UP Mindanao and PGC Mindanao for these purposes, which already includes COVID-19 labs in Tagum City and Davao de Oro Province.

UP Mindanao’s service offering to the PRO-11 lab is part of its Mindanao Health Initiatives which includes a medical education program, a center for infectious diseases, and a hospital in partnership with the Davao City local government unit.


Highlights, December 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements

  • President Rodrigo Duterte extended the general community quarantine in Davao City and other selected localities to January 31, 2021. City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio likewise extended the city curfew up until 31 January 2021.
  • As of 31 December 2020, Mindanao had a cumulative total of 40,001 cases, up from 33,998 cases on 05 December 2020. There are 3,913 active cases and 35,016 recovered cases.
  • Mindanao-wide, the death toll has totaled 1,072 deaths, up from 910 deaths on 05 December 2020, and 585 deaths as of 31 October 2020.
  • The nationwide total on 31 December 2020, by comparison, was 472,532 cases with 23,793 active cases, 439,509 recovered cases, and 9,230 deaths.
  • (source: ncovtracker.doh.gov.ph)
130807864 719326345677104 6620138941659774728 oRESIZE20RESIZE40The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao is part of the UP TRAINS program, which assists the Department of Health in COVID-19 frontliner training with the UP National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Philippine Genome Center (PGC) as the training arms. Recently, PGC Mindanao trained frontliners from the Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Medical Center in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, from the Phil. Red Cross Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro Chapter, and from the Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur. 
Screenshot 20201201-090316 1RESIZE20RESIZE70The UP Mindanao Ugnayan ng Pahinungod participated in the National Volunteer Month kick-off event “Mga Kwento ng Pahinungod,” held online on 01 December 2020. President Danilo Concepcion had revived the Pahinungod in May 2019 and Ugnayan ng Pahinungod System Director Dr. Grace Aguiling-Dalisay gave a two-year update report. Dr. Emil Q. Javier, Pahinungod founder and event keynote speaker, recalled the establishment of Kidawa high school in present-day Davao de Oro, which was testified by community partner Dr. Norman Jandog, the former school principal. Mr. Michael Gatela, former Kidawa high school volunteer and present UP Mindanao Pahinungod director, gave the closing remarks, saying, “Makibahagi At Maglingkod! Ituloy Ang Kwento Ng Pahinungod! Ipagpatuloy Ang Kwento Ng Boluntarismo!”
The UP Mindanao Pahinungod made a call for Psychological First Aid Volunteers and delivered a Psychological First-Aid Webinar on 05 December 2020 with the Ugnayan ng Pahinungód Committee on Psychosocial Emergency Services (UP CoPES). Though intended for the UP Mindanao community, the call attracted persons from another university, eventually culminating with 12 new volunteers, including a medical doctor, an anthropologist, and some university peer-counselors. (Graphic from UPMin Pahinungod)
The Office of Extension delivered an Online Sensory Evaluation Training on 12 and 14 December 2020 for Millennium Specialty Coco Products, Inc., a producer of desiccated coconut products in the Davao Region. Faculty members from the Department of Food Science and Chemistry (DFSC), led by department chairperson Prof. Juma Novie Alviola, provided the expertise. (Image from UP Min OECS)
2020 121420 DHK SURVEYThe Department of Human Kinetics (DHK) organized the Forum on the Proposed Associate in Arts Sports Studies and Bachelor of Sports Science Degree on 05 December 2020 to prepare to offer these programs in Academic Year 2021 – 2022. Sports personalities from the city government, the secondary schools, and SEA Games athlete and UP Mindanao alumna Mary Pauline Fornea shared experiences and gave updates on sports developments from their respective sectors.
On 14 December 2020, the DHK fielded a survey directed to senior high school students to gather data on students interested in pursuing higher education and careers in sports. With the construction of the Davao City-UP Sports Complex within its campus, UP Mindanao is in a position to provide support for the development of sports in Mindanao. (Graphics from DHK)
Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao joined the OnePGC: PGC in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao #ParaSaBayan virtual conference on 10 December 2020. The conference celebrated the PGC teamwork and Bayanihan spirit to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in 2020. The conference also recognized the partners and stakeholders from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao who helped in the national call for increased capacity for COVID-19 testing in the country. (Graphic from PGC)
131226467 4824833710922525 1365899627853295770 oRESIZE33RESIZE50UP Mindanao organized a second forum on the health care gaps in Mindanao on 16 December 2020. The online forum “Bridging the Health Care Gaps in Mindanao through Medical Education” discussed the elements of a prospective curriculum for a proposed UP Mindanao College of Medicine that fits the health needs of Mindanao. UP Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa, MD, a medical advisor of the National Task Force on COVID-19, gave an inspirational message. The resource speakers were Dean Cenon Alfonso of the Ateneo de Manila University School of Medicine, Dean Filedito Tandinco of the UP Manila School of Health Sciences, Dean Charlotte Chiong of UP College of Medicine, and Dr. Cristina Achacoso, former dean of the Mindanao State University College of Medicine. Participants to the forum were Provincial Health Officers, City Health Officers, and Municipal Health Officers of Regions XI and XII, UP Mindanao alumni, and partners.
131861303 6242298981051 2731829008687446080 nRESIZED70Radyo Iskolar, an online radio project of BA Communication and Media Arts (BACMA) students under adviser Ms. Merle Dawn Comidoy-Acol of the Humanities department, produced a series of radio documentaries on Filipino realities during the COVID19 pandemic. These were aired on 16 and 18 December 2020 via https://mixlr.com/radyo_iskolar. Radyo Iskolar also had weekly broadcasts in October-November 2020 with news, music, and talk shows. The project is part of the Academic Program Improvement (API) project titled, "COVID-19 Communication Awareness and Public Service." (Graphic from Radyo Iskolar)
"Langkub," a documentary by BACMA students, competed in the 18th Mindanao Film Festival. The documentary features individuals from indigenous peoples’ groups and their views on modernity’s impact on their culture and traditions. The documentary project also served as a fundraising event for the production partners, the Lumad-Bisaya students of Kanacan National High School in Marilog, Davao City.
The UP Mindanao Debate Society contingent in the 42nd Mindanao Parliamentary Debate Championship, 05-06 December 2020.
Rey Anthony Porras (2 BACMA)
Isi Dos Remedios (2 BSB)
Adjudication Core:
Frederick Omalza (BSB 2019)
Competing Team:
Michael John Galendez (3 BSABE)
Alex John Labanon (3 BSAM)
Competing Adj:
Nathalia Alawan (3 BSABE)
UP Mindanao's Koro Kantahanay performed in "Pasko Na! Pasko Na!" an Online Blended Performance led by the UP Symphony Orchestra on 23 December 2020. The Koro sang “Kasadya ning Paskoha (sa takna sa COVID-19),” an adaptation of “Kasadya Ning Taknaa” by Vicenti D. Rubi. "Pasko Na! Pasko Na!" was available for viewing online until 02 January 2021. The Koro performance may be viewed here: https://fb.watch/2YUzyA6Xs4/
Prof. Emma Ruth Bayogan of the Department of Biological Science and Environmental Studies (DBSES) was a plenary speaker in the “Community-based interventions for inclusive development in the time of COVID-19,” a mini-conference organized by the UPLB College of Human Ecology (CHE), and held online on 07 December 2020 via Zoom. Prof. Bayogan presented the following papers as a program leader of “Enhancing livelihood opportunities in conflict-vulnerable areas in Mindanao through the LIFE (Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension) Model”:
● “Adaptive Approaches in the Use of the LIFE Model in Conflict-Vulnerable Areas During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” by EV Bayogan, AY Fuentes, KS Sigue, JD Ignacio, HP Lozada, MO Orbeta, N Jalandoni, JP Esparagoza, RU Guillermo, ML Handa, ER Nasam, TN Ballener, N Cordero, MJ Titan, and M Sangki
● “Pagbinuliganay: The Role of Social Capital Among Farmers in Conflict-Vulnerable Areas of Mindanao During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” by ASY Fuentes, EV Bayogan, N Jalandoni, JP Esparagoza, RU Guillermo, ML Handa, ER Nasam, TN Ballener, N Cordero, MJ Titan, and M Sangki
● “Pagtambayayong: The Importance of Institutional Support and Partnership During COVID-19 Crisis in Conflict-Vulnerable Areas of Mindanao,” by HP Lozada, EV Bayogan, ASY Fuentes, N Jalandoni, JP Esparagoza, RU Guillermo, ML Handa, ER Nasam, and TN Ballener
● “The Flexibility and Adaptability of Site Facilitators of the PULL Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” by KS Sigue, EV Bayogan, AY Fuentes, JD Ignacio, MO Orbeta, and HP Lozada (Graphic from www.uplb.edu.ph)
Assistant Professor Micah Amor P. Yares of the Department of Architecture (DA) was 1st Runner-Up and Best in Graduate Thesis in the Davao Unity Awards for “Residential satisfaction and public perception of socialized housing in Davao City: Implications for regulatory policies (2019).” The Davao Unity Awards, held on 18 December 2020, was organized by the Davao City Government for city offices to collaborate with the academic sector. (Graphic from the Davao City Government)
Associate Professor Karen Joyce Cayamanda of the Dept. of Humanities was awarded Most Outstanding Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences track for her paper, “Vulnerability profile and risk perception towards an inclusive DRR for the flood-vulnerable communities of Davao City.” The award was given at the 1st International Conference on Multidisciplinary Industry and Academic Research - 2020, organized by the Institute of Industry and Academic Research Inc. (IIARI), and held online on 12 December 2020.
Faculty members also provided their expertise as a public service to various groups:
● Assoc. Prof. Lyre Anni Murao (DBSES) shared information on bats in the GMA-TV program “Born to Be Wild” episode of 23 November 2020. (Image-grab from “Born To Be Wild”)
● Asst. Prof. Thaddeus Acuña, School of Management (SOM), Resource Speaker, “Enterprise Development Training on Business Model Canvas,” DTI -RAPID Program, Nabunturan, Davao de Oro, 03-04 December 2020
● Asst. Prof. Aurelia Luzviminda Gomez (SOM):
○ Resource Person, “Handling Academic and Administrative Issues,” Wesleyan University-Philippines, 11 December 2020 via Zoom.
○ Technical Evaluator, Higher Education in the Context of Bangsamoro Organic Law (HECBOL) Project, CHED Region XI, 02 December 2020
● Asst. Prof. Imee Marie Acopiado (SOM), Resource Speaker:
○ “Marketing Strategies towards Globally-Competitive Enterprise,” University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP)-College of Development Management, 21 December 2020 via Zoom
○ “Business Model and Business Proposal Writing,” UPGRADE-TBI Online Pre-Incubation Program, 15-16 December 2020 via Zoom
• Assoc. Prof. Raymundo R. Pavo (Dept. of Social Sciences), Resource Speaker:
o Gender and Development Orientation, Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Region XI, 15 December 2020
o Gender Sensitivity Training, DPWH-XI, 16-18 December 2020
Publications and Presentations
Research papers were published in peer-reviewed publications:
  • “Stress Inoculation Training on State-Trait Anxiety of High-Stress Senior College Students,” by Bersamin, R.A. (Dept. of Social Sciences [DSS]), and Posadas, F.C. (2020). Proceedings of ADVED 2020- 6th International Conference on Advances in Education, 274–283. https://doi.org/10.47696/adved.2020109
  • “Effect of rapid hot water treatment on some postharvest quality characteristics of Philippine ‘Carabao’ mango (Mangifera indica L.),” by MO Pasilan, LB Secretaria, EV Bayogan (DBSES), CS Lubaton, DD Dacera (DFSC), JH Ekman. 2020. Southwestern Journal of Horticulture, Biology and Environment 11(2):97-109. Art. No. e20108.
  • “Postharvest quality of ‘Carabao’ mango as affected by spun-bound bagging materials,” by LB Secretaria, EV Bayogan, CD Lubaton, A Notarte, JH Ekman. 2021. Chiang Mai University Journal of Natural Science 20(1). 10 pp. https://doi.org/10.12982/CMUJNS.2021.007
  • “Socio-spatial processes in the construction of low-income housing towards climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” by Malaque, I. (DA), & Golimlim, A. D. (2019). Proceedings of the International Conference of Architectural Science Association, 441–450.
  • “Assessment of mangrove species diversity in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental, Philippines,” by Pototan, B. L., Capin, N. C., Delima, A. G. D. (DBSES), & Novero, A. U. (DBSES). 2021. Biodiversitas, 22(1), 144–153. https://doi.org/10.13057/biodiv/d220120
  • “Diel movement patterns of Pacific sugar limpet, Patelloida saccharina (Gastropoda : Patellogastropoda : Lottiidae) in response to semi-diurnal tides Diel movement patterns of Pacific sugar limpet, Patelloida saccharina (Gastropoda : Patellogastropoda),” by Zapanta, E. Y., Fortaleza, M., Elumba, M., Uy, R. C. L., & Nañola Jr, C. L. (DBSES). 2020. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 68, 870–879. https://doi.org/10.26107/RBZ-2020-0095
  • “Between Buildings and Streets: Understanding the Four Major Urban Green Spaces (UGS) in Davao City, Philippines,” by Songcayauon, RC (DA), United Architects of the Philippines Journal: Beyond Vision 2020, 01 December 2020. https://www.united-architects.org/publications/uap-journal/
  • “Exploring Political Participation and Leadership Approach of Women Political Leaders in Mindanao,” by Pavo, RR (DSS), and Tamayo-Gutierrez, MH. Review of Women’s Studies, 15 December 2020. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nD3_5um3WUCB-VYTVs280iTRn7-FnN2k/view
Papers presented by Prof. Bayogan during the Asian Horticultural Congress 2020, Bangkok, Thailand. 14-17 Dec 2020:
● (Oral Paper). “Roles of site facilitators in improving farm income by vegetable growing in South Cotabato and Maguindanao, Philippines using the Livelihood Improvement through Facilitated Extension (LIFE) Model,” by KS Sigue, EV Bayogan, HP Lozada, AY Fuentes, MO Orbeta, JD Ignacio.
● (Poster Paper) “Quality of ‘Lakatan’ banana (Musa sapientum) using 1-methylcyclopropene,” by JR Warain, EV Bayogan, AD Delima, RG Abad, AT Lacap.
● (Poster paper) “Non-destructive methods of detection of granulation in ‘Magallanes’ pummelo fruit,” by G Panong, LB Secretaria, EV Bayogan, JJ Tagubase.
Ms. Marilou Montiflor (SOM) presented the following papers in the “1st Top of Mind International Conference: Human Empowerment Overdrive, Maximizing Gains for 2021,” an online conference organized by the Governometrics Management Consultancy Services and held on 11-12 December 2020:
● “Rolling with the Punches: How We Got Through 2020” by MO Montiflor
● “Living in High-Risk Areas: Local Government Response to COVID-19” by MO Montiflor and Tanya Valeria Concepcion
Prof. Bayogan attended the APO (Asian Productivity Organization) Workshop on Advanced Postharvest Technologies for Horticultural Crops, hosted in Pakistan on 01-03 December 2020 via Zoom.
The University Library announced the availability of the following new ProQuest database subscriptions as of December 2020:
● Academic Video Online - http://search.alexanderstreet.com/avon
The Interactive Learning Center/Learning Resource Center (ILC/LRC) organized “Welcome Canvas: A Learning Management System Launching and Year-end Report” on 18 December 2020 via Zoom. Canvas is UP Mindanao's own Virtual Learning Platform. The event features were:
● Results of the Remote Learning Survey for Students and Faculty
● Launching of Canvas, its features and benefits for teachers and students
● Schedule of Canvas Training for the faculty and students
● A year-end message for the community from the Learning Management System (LMS) Project Management Team
Faculty members also attended the various training and orientations provided in December:
● Faculty Orientation (01 Dec.)
● Instructor Training Session (02 Dec.)
● Instructor’s Workflow Training (03 Dec.)
● Turnitin Webinar (04 Dec.)
The SOM also organized the following forums:
● NViVo Training with Dr. Nicamil Sanchez as the resource person, 23 November 2020
● SOM Writeshop, 03 December 2020
● Strategic Planning Workshop on 17 December 2020, which was a continuation of the planning workshops done on 10 and 13 November 2020
The Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Administration organized capability-building for administrative staff:
● Procurement Webinar on 02 and 04 December 2020 with former faculty member Antonio Obsioma as the resource person.
● The Office Communication Webinar on 11 and 17 December 2020 with VC Karen Cayamanda (Dept. of Humanities).
The Technology Business Incubation (TBI) unit of UP Mindanao, UP Growing and Developing Enterprises or UPGraDE, held its year-end strategic planning on 18-19 December 2020 in Davao City. Representatives from different sectors, such as the Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI), met the first batch of incubatees to evaluate the startup projects and prepare for their launch in 2021. The UPGraDE TBI’s current service delivery was also evaluated for improvement and to prepare for the next cohort of incubatees. (Photo from UPGraDE)
The Administrative Services expedited and disbursed the various financial benefits in December:
● Salaries
● Grocery Allowance
● Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI)
● Cash Assistance for Economic Hardship Caused by COVID-19 Pandemic
● Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) for FY 2020
● Service Recognition Incentive (SRI) for FY 2020
● Course Pack Incentive for 1st Semester, AY 2020-2021 for selected faculty members
● Internet Subsidy for November and December
The Annual Physical Exam (APE) 2020 for employees was held on 15 December 2020 at the Atrium of the Administration Building. Transportation was provided for personnel from the highway to the campus, and physical distancing was observed throughout. The medical consultations were held on 21 December 2020 where staff members had one-on-one consultations with the designated physicians via Zoom. (Image from HRD)
The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Counseling and Testing Section produced and rolled-out the “Mental Health Guidebook” on 14 December 2020. Hard copies were distributed to personnel and a soft copy was uploaded to the website.
The ongoing UP Mindanao Helpline had one additional student who registered in December 2020 and was referred to the Phil. Mental Health Association Davao Chapter, a partner of the Helpline.
kasadya-square 2RESIZE15JPEGRESIZE80The Virtual Kasadya 2020, Christmas celebration for students and staff, was held on 22 December 2020 on the theme, "Ni’ng taknáa, ipadáyon náto ang diláab sa pagláum, pinaági sa pag-serbísyo ug pag-higúgma!" (“This yuletide season let us keep the spirit of hope burning through acts of service and compassion!”). The virtual event was a substitute for the traditional annual Christmas lantern parade. The graphic design was created by BACMA students Marriel Gamaya and Maryll Delposo.
Chancellor Larry Digal, in his message, reported on the year’s highlights. He said that undergraduate enrollment increased by 33% and post-graduate enrollment by about 23%. Research papers were published in high-quality journals, and external research funds have increased. The Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST) approved UP Mindanao’s Niche Center in the Regions (NICER) program on interdisciplinary diseases modeling. PGC Mindanao expanded its network through its efforts in establishing COVID-19 testing facilities. The UP Mindanao’s public service programs focused on addressing the pandemic, which, aside from COVID-19 testing laboratories, have contributed to policy discussions by modeling the spread of COVID-19 and helping Micro-, Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) to recover from the pandemic. The Mindanao Health Initiative, one of the priorities for 2020 and onwards, saw some developments towards the proposed College of Medicine, the Davao City-UP Hospital, and the Mindanao Center for Infectious Diseases. In processes and systems, improvements were made in the planning and monitoring systems. The administration distributed copies of the 2019-2023 Strategic Plan and the Campus Master Development Plan (CMDP) to constituents for feedback. Some changes have been made in the organizational structure to improve performance.

Highlights of November 2020

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Achievements


Davao City, home of UP Mindanao, was reverted to a General Community Quarantine (GCQ) status from 20-30 November 2020 by President Rodrigo Duterte to mitigate the rising number of cases. However, City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio shortened the curfew imposed on 15 October 2020 from the original 7 PM-5 AM to 9 PM-4 AM.   

As of 05 December 2020, Mindanao had a cumulative total of 33,998 cases, up from the 22,585 cases on 31 October 2020. The recoveries, however, total 27,384 cases. 

Mindanao-wide, the death toll was 910 deaths, up from the 585 deaths as of 31 October 2020.  The nationwide total on 05 December 2020, by comparison, was 438,063 cases with 399,582 recoveries and 8,526 deaths. (source: ncovtracker.doh.gov.ph) 



UP Mindanao, the DPWH, and the Davao City local government renewed their agreement on 10 October 2020 to use the campus staff housing and the multi-purpose gym as COVID-19 isolation facilities for another three months. The gym is for mild suspect cases, and the staff housing is for mild confirmed cases. The City Government manages the operation, and the university constituents are guided through Memorandum No. LND 2020-52 “Guidelines and Protocols for the COVID-19 Isolation Facilities within the University of the Philippines Mindanao Campus.” (https://bit.ly/2y1vj8P)



“Digital Economy and the Implications for Agricultural Development

As an offering for the 25th Anniversary in 2020, the School of Management (SOM) offered a three-part webinar titled, “Digital Economy and the Implications for Agricultural Development.” Economist Ever J. Abasolo gave the first lecture on 03 November 2020 on "Fiscal Health and Government Response to COVID-19." He showed the robust macroeconomic indicators before the pandemic and analyzed the government’s subsequent fiscal actions. Part 2, "Transition to the Digital Economy and Implications to Agricultural Development," on 05 November 2020, called for responsive government policies to improve telecommunications to lessen inequality in the agriculture sector. He said that especially for Mindanao, which contributes 40% of the nation’s agricultural output and 60% of agricultural exports.

Professor Emeritus Eufemio Rasco Jr. gave a lecture on 16 November 2020 on “Nature with Nurture: Plant Breeding for Food Security amid the Pandemic and Beyond.” He discussed holobiont plant breeding, a method for growing plants combined with microorganisms to achieve food security amid the pandemic and climate change. The video of the lecture may be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3lVPit8.


"Zero Rabies in Davao City: A Dream or a Reality?" 

The "Synoptic Study on Transmission and Optimum Control to Present Rabies," or S.T.O.P. Rabies research program, presented the webinar "Zero Rabies in Davao City: A Dream or a Reality?" online on 17 November 2020. The webinar culminated this two-year research program supported by the Commission on Higher Education and led by UP Mindanao in partnership with the Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF), the Davao City Veterinarian’s Office, and the Davao City Health Office.  Project leaders Assoc. Prof. Lyre Anni Murao of the Dept. of Biological Science and Environmental Studies (DBSES), Assoc. Prof. May Anne Mata of the Dept. of Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science (DMPCS), Assoc. Prof. Pedro Alviola IV of SOM, and Dr. Genevieve Tupas of DMSF presented the component research projects, each focused on tracking, mitigating, and eradicating rabies. The program presented its policy recommendations to Davao City Councilor Dr. Mary Joselle Villafuerte, chair of the city council committee on health. These are mandatory dog registration, mandatory pet vaccination, a transitory impounding center and return-to-owner system for impounded pet dogs, operationalizing a pet breeder registry, and more Animal Bite Treatment Centers. Councilor Villafuerte welcomed the recommendations and pledged to incorporate them into the city health program proposal. The webinar discussions were interspersed with a music video, a “fact vs. myth” talk, a quiz game contest, and videos promoting the program's internet sites and highlights of the two-year program.  The forum video may be viewed here: https://bit.ly/35XsF22.


"Livelihood and Health in the Fisheries Sector and Organizational Resilience During the Pandemic"

UP Mindanao hosted the session "Livelihood and Health in the Fisheries Sector and Organizational Resilience During the Pandemic"  in the 1st National Conference on “Health, Environment, and Economic Development: The Road to Recovery and Resiliency” (HEED The 3Rs) held online on 19-20 November 2020. 

Asst. Prof. Jon Marx Sarmiento presented “Fish Catch Monitoring in Ayungon and La Libertad, Negros Oriental: Implications to Small Fishers’ Livelihood,” which showed the declining catch per unit of effort in the areas. Research Assistant Charisse Miguel discussed “Shifting Patterns of Fishing Gears, Monsoons and its Impact in the Overall Catch-Per-Unit-Effort in Davao Gulf,” which presented the behavior of fishermen as a result of monsoon season variations. Research Assistant Daena Francesca Acosta spoke of the “Optimized Nutritional Intakes of Fisher’s Children in Mabini, Davao de Oro,” which showed that fishers’ children’s food intake and nutrition are insufficient and in need of augmentation. Asst. Prof. Glory Dee Romo presented “Organizational Resilience during COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from Philippine Enterprises,” which examines the varying degrees of resilience or flexibility among business organizations. Prof. Emma Ruth Bayogan, director of the Center for the Advancement of Research, development, and engagement in Mindanao (CARIM), coordinated the UP Mindanao participation with the conference co-organizers, the Economic and Environment Group, the Resource and Environmental Economics Foundation of the Phils. (REAP), and the Southeast Asia Research Center for Agriculture. Some 500 people attended the conference. 

“Assessment with Action Research in Remote/Online Learning Context"

The UP Mindanao Ugnayan ng Pahinungod co-organized the webinar on “Assessment with Action Research in Remote/Online Learning Context" on 25 November 2020 with Prof. Aurelio Vilbar as the lead speaker. The speaker analyzed the new normal in education, the learning modes, skills that can be assessed, and action research to arrive at a “pandemic pedagogy.” Several fellow-teachers shared their teaching strategies as examples. The webinar is available for viewing at https://bit.ly/33ikYBU and has since earned 565 views.


"Online Symposium on Libel, Obscenity, Fake News, and Cyberbullying"

The Department of Humanities (DH) organized the "Online Symposium on Libel, Obscenity, Fake News, and Cyberbullying" on 27 November 2020 with Atty. Alija Auxan M. Navales as the resource person. The symposium discussed libel or cyber-libel elements that make it a crime and finer distinctions relating to public personalities. Obscenity, for its part, is based on contemporary standards. “Fake news,” properly called disinformation or information disorder, is the intentional fabrication or manipulation of information to mislead and cause harm. Bullying, or cyber-bullying, is inflicting stress to others through physical or other means. To protect communication professionals, Atty. Navalesadvised verifying sources and information and knowing the laws. Students participated by giving opinions to test cases presented by the resource person.


Lecture Series on Anthropological Methods (conclusion)

The “Lecture Series on Anthropological Methods” by the Department of Social Sciences (DSS) was concluded on 09 November 2020 with online talks by Assist.      Prof.      Andrea Malaya Ragragio and Assoc.Prof. Myfel Joseph Paluga, both of the Dept. of Social Sciences. Asst. Prof. Ragragio gave a talk on “Doing Fieldwork in Texts.” Assoc. Prof.Paluga introduced the classics of ethnographic literature that are indispensable to anthropology education in his lecture “Pagbabasa ng ilang klasikong akda sa Etnolohiya.” 


"Indigent Lives: A Permanent Display of Art Prints"

Associate Professor Teody Boylie "Bong" Perez (Dept. of Humanities), a painter and visual artist,  turned over 100 prints of his artworks to UP Mindanao for display on 24 November 2020. The turnover is part of his "Indigent Lives: A Permanent Display of Art Prints" Art Donation Project supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Chancellor Larry Digal and Librarian Merlyn Castañeros received the donations. Since 16 November 2020, Prof. Perez turned over 215 framed prints to the DOST-Region XI office, the Davao City Library, Museo Dabawenyo, and the Regional Trial Court; and to educational institutions, Malayan Colleges Mindanao, Philippine Science High School-Southern Mindanao Campus, the Davao City Special School, and UP Mindanao. The 2020 NCCA Competitive Grants Program supported the project, “which contributes significantly to the Filipino’s cultural legacy.”


National Research Council of the Philippines

Assoc. Prof. Lyre Anni Murao of the Dept. of Biological Science and Environmental Studies (DBSES) gave a talk, "Covert Battles: Are Wildlife Viruses Really Wild?" in the Scientific Webinar of the National Research Council of the Philippines Biological Sciences Division virtual meeting on 30 November 2020. She said about 60%     of the emerging infectious diseases that are known so far are zoonotic. The majority of these originated from wildlife, but less than .1% of the known animal pathogens can cross the species barrier and infect humans. The NRCP reported Cyrose Suzie S. Millado and Fritzie A. Camino, both of the DBSES, and Kriza Faye A. Calumba of the Dept. of Food Sci. and Chemistry as new members of the NRCP Biological Sciences Division. 


Publications and Presentations

A sampling of publications and presentations in conferences in November are shared below:

  • “An Ions Motion Optimization Algorithm for the Continuous p-center location problem” by L. Opeña and Ritchie Mae T. Gamot (DMPCS), in the press in the Asia Pacific Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 2. 2020.
  • “Possible role of non-enzymatic antioxidants in hydroprimed sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seeds under heat stress” by R.L. Catiempo, S. Photchanachai, Emma Ruth V. Bayogan (DBSES), and T.  Vichitsoonthonkul, published online in Crop Science, November 2020. 
  • “Manny Pacquiao Speaks to a Butterfly in California” (monologue), “Skin Flick” (fiction), “Slaughter Story” (essay), by John B. Bengan (Dept. of Humanities), in Bravura: An Anthology of 21st Century Philippine Fiction, Journal of English Studies and Comparative Literature, 01 November 2020.
  • “Of Alternative Histories: The Hierarchy of Memories in Miguel Syjuco’s Ilustrado,” by Farah Virador (Humanities), UNITAS Journal. Vol. 93 No. 2. 2020.
  • “My COVID-ized PhD Finish: an overview” by Jhoanna Lynn B. Cruz (Humanities). Accepted for publication (December 2020), COVID-19 Journal DX Machina Volume 2, University of the Philippines.  
  • “A Dance Notation of the Ata-Manobo in Talaingod, Davao del Norte” by Jezreel Abarca (Dept. of Human Kinetics), in Philippine Humanities Review, 25 Sept. 2020.
  • “Pag-ilaila sa Kaugalingon: An Introspective Turn in the Time of Covid-19” by Raymundo R. Pavo (DSS), in Social Ethics Society Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 2, No. 2, November 2020.
  • “Interlocking Blocks in Social Construction of Housing: Collaboration of Local Government, NGO and the Urban Poor” by Isidoro I. Malaque III (Dept. of Architecture) in the 54th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association 2020  Virtual Conference, New Zealand, 26 November 2020.
  • “End Times: Anthropology among the Pantaron Manobo In and Out of their Habitual Socio-ecological Settings” by Andrea Malaya M. Ragragio and Myfel D. Paluga (DSS) in Mindanao Regional Conference of the 42nd Annual UGAT Conference (online), Ateneo de Davao University, 21 November 2020. 

Meat Processing at UP Marilog Land Reservation

Although challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UP Mindanao Land Reservation Management Office (LRMO) continued to conduct livelihood training on Meat Processing at UP Marilog Land Reservation on 12 November 2020. Mr. Vince Molejon, a UP Mindanao BS Food Technology alumnus, served as the resource person. The Obu Manuvu Tribe and the Barangay Local Government Unit of Barangay Datu Ladayon co-organized the one-day training. A total of 20 beneficiaries from Datu Ladayon, Arakan, North Cotabato, Sitios Dalag-ayo, Tibal-og, and Ladi-an of Barangay Marilog participated in the event.



Chancellor Digal presented the 2022 UP Mindanao budget proposal to the UP System officials on 10 November 2020. The UP Mindanao Strategic Plan 2019-2023 embodies the proposed budget, bannered by proposed colleges for human kinetics, medical education, and engineering. There are 16 proposed degree programs requiring 270 additional plantilla items. 

  • The PhD by Research program is now ongoing with three students. The program will be bundled with a Dual PhD program with Curtin University, Australia soon
  • For the proposed MA in Writing and Literature, the elements of Outcome-Based Education are being incorporated into the course outlines, and the market survey data are being consolidated. 
  • In the proposed BS Data Science, the courses completed are Introduction to Data Science; Algorithms for Data Scientists; Real Analysis for Data Scientists; Optimization; Database Management for Data Science, and; Modeling and Simulation. In progress are 12 more courses, the undergraduate seminar, and the thesis.
  • In the upcoming MS in Quantitative Methods and Modelling (MSQMM), the proposal is around 80% complete, and the syllabi are currently undergoing review. The submission of the proposal to the curriculum committee is targeted by the end of 2020.
  • For the MS Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the team has completed a  review of similar programs in the U.S., surveys to companies and alumni, identification of learning outcomes, and courses to be offered. Currently in progress are a review of similar programs in Mindanao Higher Education Institutions (HEIs); course outlines of 24 completed courses in review and 17 courses in progress; the possibility of a Joint Program; and requirements for admission and graduation.
  • In the upcoming MS in Environmental Science from UPLB, UPMin is in the second year of the three years for full adoption and implementation. Foremost in the readiness list are four (4) items needed for senior faculty (Assoc. Prof. 5 and higher).


“Managing Anxiety”

The Office of Student Affairs Counseling and Testing Section gave a webinar on “Managing Anxiety” for employees and students on 27 November 2020. Dr. Gioia Fe Dinglasan-Ancheta, a psychiatrist from the DOH Institute of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Davao City, as resource person. She said anxiety is normal, and ways to cope with anxiety include exercise, avoiding anxiety-inducing substances, and facing anxiety sources. In the ongoing Mental Health Helpline, eight additional students signed up in October-November 2020, bringing the total to 68 students who have signed up and availed of the services from April 2020 to date.

COVID-19 cases

Three staff members became close contacts in mid-November, and subsequent contact tracing forced some 20 personnel to go on a 14-day quarantine. Throughout the period, the UP Mindanao COVID-19 Response Team disseminated community messages by email to update personnel. The guidelines and precautions are included in the community messages and reiterated through various communication channels and formats. Also, the administration has implemented safety measures and devices in the buildings.

UP Mindanao in the News

“UP Mindanao To Establish Science Center” The Post The Philippine Online Student Tambayan, 12/5/2020. https://bit.ly/3oQKEgW

“Building Mindanao’s public health with UP” Mindanao Sun-Jun Aparece, 12/4/2020. https://bit.ly/37eM13q

“Science center for prediction, monitoring of diseases may soon rise in UP Mindanao” Business Mirror, 12/1/2020.https://bit.ly/37fyLLL

“3 Davao City projects put on the back burner due to pandemic” Manila Bulletin, 11/17/2020. https://bit.ly/3mfBEAg

“COVID-19 pandemic pushes back three major infrastructure projects in Davao City” MindaNews, 11/17/2020. https://bit.ly/3a8OBd4

“Davao City orgs, institutions mobilize relief drives for typhoon victims in Luzon” Davao Today, 11/13/2020. https://bit.ly/2K3BSxr

“Survey set for Davao MSMEs on coronavirus impact, recovery plan” BusinessWorld, 11/12/2020. https://bit.ly/3oNkNGN

“Survey to assess the impact of the pandemic on MSMEs” Mindanao Times, 11/13/2020. https://bit.ly/2Wd6b7j

“No UPCAT this year but “modified freshmen admissions system” for schoolyear 2021-2022” MindaNews, 11/11/2020. https://bit.ly/3a47tK8

“UPMin hosts webinars on the digital economy, food security” SunStar Davao, 11/01/2020. https://bit.ly/2Kmswg0


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