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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