MOA for a High School Sports Track program

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Visits

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Chancellor Lyre Murao shakes hands with Calinan NHS Principal Edgar Allan Bantigue 
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Officials of Calinan NHS (left) and UPMin (right) sign an agreement to collaborate on a sports track program.

UP Mindanao Chancellor Lyre Anni Murao expressed confidence in the university's sports programs and its continuing contribution to Mindanao's sports development in remarks made upon signing a memorandum of agreement between UP Mindanao and Calinan National High School on October 20, 2023.

The agreement called for both parties to collaborate in the implementation of the high school's Sports Track program. The goal is to enhance students' interest, knowledge, and skills in sports through hands-on learning experiences, mentorship, and opportunities in sports.

UPMin will help in organizing the high school's sports program, provide mentors or experts to support the students' learning journey and facilitate opportunities for exposure.

UPMin has sports programs, such as the Associate in Arts in Sports Studies and the Bachelor in Sports Science, which high school graduates could aspire to join. Sports educators, on their part,  can avail of UPMin's Diploma in Exercise and Sports Science and the Master of Science in Human Movement Science.

Principal Edgar Allan Bantigue signed the agreement on behalf of Calinan National High School, witnessed by colleague Edgardo Bariquit.

Vice Chancellor Annabelle Novero, Department of Human Kinetics Chairperson Jezreel Abarca, and Asst. Prof. Erwin Protacio served as UPMin's witnesses to the agreement.

"UP is all hands on deck for the people of Mindanao" - UP president

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Visits

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UP President Angelo Jimenez
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Deputy Speaker Abdulkarim Misuari
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MSU President Basari Mapupuno

"UP is all hands on deck for the people of Mindanao!"

University of the Philippines President Angelo Jimenez made this declaration before Bangsamoro leaders at the UP-Bangsamoro Development Institute Summit Consultation on September 13, 2023, in Davao City. 

President Jimenez, the first UP president from Mindanao, offered to establish the UP-Bangsamoro Development Institute. Its goal is to help strengthen the human capital and improve the socio-economic conditions in the region.

“The youth are full of potential. UP shall contribute to making quality education accessible to the marginalized sectors,” he said. 

Jimenez cited Mindanao as key to the nation's progress, being the second-largest island with its wealth of natural resources, but noted the region’s distressing socio-economic statistics. 

“UP must serve the people here who deserve the fruits of development and peace,” he said. 

He cited lasting peace as among the most pressing issues in the region and acknowledged the previous national administrations’ interventions for peace and development. 

“We recognize the Bangsamoro people's historical struggles, aspirations, and rights. The university is committed to supporting initiatives that foster dialogue, reconciliation, and sustainability,” he said.

He brought up the passage of the Bangsamoro organic law, the establishment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, and the current Philippine Development Plan. 

“These offer a grand opportunity to work together to sustain Mindanao's recovery and economic growth,” he said.

He noted the rich cultural heritage of the Bangsamoro, as well.

 “We intend to work closely with local communities to preserve and promote its heritage through cultural exchange programs, exhibitions, and awareness campaigns,” he said.

In closing, he said, “I know we are many peoples, but we are truly one nation. But today, especially today, we are each and everyone, Bangsamoro!”

Vice-President for Academic Affairs Leo Cubillan proceeded to present the concept and six pillars of the proposed Institute. The pillars are education, health, capacity-building, environmental sustainability and resilience, partnerships, and rehabilitation. 

Bangsamoro Transition Authority Parliament Deputy Speaker Abdulkarim Misuari and Mindanao State University President Atty. Basari Mapupuno led their respective delegations at the Consultation. 

Deputy Speaker Misuari welcomed the UP initiative. 

“Our response is, ‘It's about time,’ and, ‘It's never too late,’” he said. “For a brighter future, education is the best part. With the Bangsamoro, we are ready to receive better education,” he said.

For his part, MSU President Mapupuno said, “I convey the collective excitement of the Mindanao State University as we embark on this transformative journey, hand in hand with the UP and the Bangsamoro government, towards the establishment of the UP-Bangsamoro Development Institute,” he said.

Aside from Deputy Speaker Misuari, the Bangsamoro delegation likewise gave comments. These were Member of Parliament (MP) Rasol Mitmug Jr., Health Minister Rizaldy Piang, Environment Minister Akmad Brahim, Transportation & Communications Minister Abu Amri Taddik, representatives of MP Aida Silongan and Interior and Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo, Policy Research & Legal Services Director Nassef Adiong, Labor & Employment Consultant Dong Anayatin, Indigenous Peoples Affairs Director Judith Tinio, Human Settlements & Development Director Salem Demuna. 

The Mindanao State University delegation likewise gave comments. The chancellors of the eleven MSU campuses were present.

The UP delegation, led by President Jimenez, had National Scientists Emil Javier and Carmencita Padilla, Regent Gladys Tiongco, the vice presidents, and the heads of the eight UP constituent universities and one autonomous campus. EVP Alcantara and other officials also contributed inputs to the discussion.   


MOU with Mintal Comprehensive High School

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Visits

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Seated (left-right): VCAA Annabelle Novero, Chancellor Lyre Murao, MCHS Principal Raul Cabilogan, MCHS Head Teacher Anabel Dulay
Standing: Asst. Prof. Dennis Sumaylo, SOM Dean Aurelia Gomez, Research Director May Anne Mata, Asst. Prof. Ma. Teresa Escano, Prof. Karen Cayamanda, Dean Cleto Nanola    

Chancellor Lyre Anni Murao signed a Memorandum of Understanding with School Principal Raul Cabilogan of Mintal Comprehensive High School (MCHS)-Junior High School on August 22, 2023, for cooperation in Science, Technology, and Engineering (STE) education. The MOU was sought by Principal Cabilogan in line with the MCHS's move for the DepEd's recognition of its STE program. The MOU will provide MCHS's students with opportunities for learning experiences in science and technology. The UPMin Executive Committee witnessed the signing ceremony and gave inputs for possible activities.

UP and UPMin hold consultations in the Bangsamoro

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Visits

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Two University of the Philippines teams were in Cotabato City on June 1, 2023, to consult the Bangsamoro agencies through the forum, “Reinforcing Engagement with Academe through Partnerships” (REAP). 

The UP Mindanao team of Prof. Larry Digal sought the support of the BARMM agencies by presenting the outcomes of their project, “Extending the LIFE Model to new MILF communities in Maguindanao and Cotabato,” funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). 

The LIFE model aims to improve the quality of life in target communities through training in farming and other livelihood activities. The project has sites in Brgy. Saniag, Ampatuan, Maguindanao; Brgy. Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat; and Brgy. Kadigasan, BARMM Special Geographic Area, Midsayap, Cotabato. The baseline results, highlights of project activities, and the results and accomplishments of the program were presented. An open forum followed to gather inputs for improvement. 

The second UP team, led by UP Executive Vice President Jose Fernando Alcantara, inquired about new areas for UP's institutional involvement in the Bangsamoro region. 

EVP Alcantara sought additional collaborations in preparation for the creation of a UP institute dedicated to the Bangsamoro region. Previously, UP and the BARMM’s Ministry of Basic, Technical, and Higher Education signed a memorandum of understanding which produced the Junior Scientist Program and Affirmative Actions in Education in the Bangsamoro region. 

Representatives of BARMM agencies welcomed the inquiries and contributed suggestions for UP’s collaboration. Represented were the BARMM ministries of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR), Science and Technology (MOST), and Labor and Employment (MOLE). Officials from the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, the  Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority, and the Policy Research and Legal Services were present. The CBCS and the Cotabato State University completed the BARMM representation. 

VIPs at the 25th Commencement Exercises

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Visits

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In UP Mindanao for the 25th Commencement Exercises on July 18, 2023, are (seated, left-right) Professor Emeritus Eufemio  Rasco Jr., Regent Robert Lester Arenton, Chancellor Lyre Anni Murao, guest Speaker Mr. Ronald Daniel Mascariñas, and (standing) Prof. Larry Digal, EVP Jose Fernando Alcantara, VP Nestor Yunque, and Atty. Janis Louis Esparcia, Mayor Sebastian Duterte’s representative.  
Professor Emeritus Eufemio “Dong” T. Rasco Jr. is UPMin’s first and, as yet, only professor emeritus. The title is conferred by the UP Board of Regents to retired faculty members in recognition of their exceptional achievements and service to the University. They are accorded certain privileges and may continue to serve as they wish. As such, his name remains on the faculty roster of UPMin’s Department of Biological Science and Environmental Studies. HR Chief Lynda Buenaobra accompanied Prof. Rasco to interactions with CSM OIC-Dean Junaldo Mantiquilla, OR-OIC Asst. Prof. Cyrose Silvosa, Librarian Briccio Merced, and CARIM officers Mitchiko Lopez and Michael Bonghanoy. Prof. Rasco was pleased to learn that UPMin continues to pursue the botanical garden project. He pledged to continue supplying seeds for research, landscaping, and the botanical garden, and seeds for rare palms for undergraduate theses. In addition, access to student theses and the “FLEx PHD” (Food is Life Exemplified - Planetary Health Diet) app were discussed. Prof. Rasco is looking forward to more active participation in UPMin activities.
Newly installed Alumni Regent Robert Lester F. Aranton enjoined the members of the Class of 2023 to protect and strive for the welfare of the University and to be loyal University alumni. Regent Aranton is from Davao City and is a former trustee of the UP Mindanao Foundation Inc. and a former secretary/director of the UP Alumni Association Davao Chapter. He is a former Director of the UPAA National Chapter and co-Chair of its Membership Development Committee. He is a current Board Member of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, representing the Investors/Private Sector.
Mr. Ronald Mascariñas, the commencement guest speaker, is an awardee of the UP Gawad Oblation for “extraordinary service with or in the name of the university,” which was conferred in January 2023. Mr. Mascariñas earned his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB)  and his master’s degree in Management from the Asian Institute of Management. He is the President and General Manager of Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc., owners of the Uling Roasters and Chooks-To-Go take-out chicken brands. In this capacity, during the pandemic, Mr. Mascariñas effected the provision of food to frontliners and students stranded in dormitories on various UP campuses, including UPMin students in the EBL dorm, during the lockdown period. Mr. Mascariñas is also a sports enthusiast and supporter of the UP varsity. He helped create the memorable gathering of UP constituents in the Davao Region when the UP Fighting Maroons, carrying the Uling Roasters brand, competed and won the championship in the 2017 Araw ng Dabaw Commercial Basketball Tournament. He was the UPLB Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus for Entrepreneurship and UP Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumnus for Entrepreneurship and Employment Creation in 2019.
UP Executive Vice President Jose Fernando T. Alcantara led the members of the Class of 2023 through the pledge to be worthy of the honor, standard, and proficiency of the University through the Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Unbersidad. “At mamamalaging nasa panig ng batas, kalayaan, at katarungan alang-alang lahat sa paglilingkod sa bayan at sangkatauhan,” he read. EVP Alcantara was with a UPMin team in Cotabato City on June 1, 2023, where he held a consultation with the Bangsamoro agencies for UP’s possible areas of additional collaboration. EVP Alcantara is an expert in business management and operations with 32 years of experience as a chief executive and part of senior management of companies in the shipping and ship-building industries, insurance and finance, mining and energy, and diversified food. (
Vice President for Administration Nestor G. Yunque served in this capacity from 2017 to July 2023. The Office of the Vice President for Administration is directly responsible for the UP System’s Office of Administrative Personnel Services, the Physical Plant Office, the Security Division, the Property Division, the Cash Division, the Internal Audit Division, and the Accounting Division. VP Yunque also previously served as UP Visayas Vice Chancellor for Administration. He is a faculty member of the UP Visayas College of Arts and Sciences – Division of Biological Sciences. 
Atty. Janis Louis Esparcia represented Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte. She is a UPMin BA Social Science alumna and current Acting Assistant City Administrator.

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