Twenty-four UP Mindanao Administrative Services staffmembers and unit heads embarked on a Lakbay-Aral tour to the province of Davao Oriental on 26-28 June 2015. They were led by the Vice Chancellor for Administration, Prof. Antonio Obsioma, and Human Resource Chief, Prof. Dominica Dacera. The staff engaged in benchmarking by taking note of best-practices as described by city and provincial officials, extended community services, and took in the scenic views and infrastructure reconstruction after the effects of Typhoon Pablo.
At the Mati City Hall, City Councilor Ma. Gracia "Ging" Tiago, Officer-in-Charge of the City, gave a briefing on the city programs relating to tourism, agriculture, waste management, disaster mitigation, and procurement.
At the Provincial Capitol, officials Freddie Bendulo and Ricardo Velasco gave briefings about the provincial programs on tourism infrastructure development, environment and cultural heritage, anti-insurgency, and resource mobilization.
At San Victor Island, Baganga municipality, the team did a coastal clean-up and tree-planting of mangroves. Professor Obsioma inspected the grown mangroves that were planted by UP Mindanao constituents in the past years. In San Victor Elementary School, Prof. Obsioma gave a talk to adults on goat-raising and the care of livestock, while other staffers led group games for the pupils. School supplies, clothing, and snacks were also given to the pupils.
The group engaged in team-building exercises before, during, and after the various activities.
The UP Mindanao team also visited the tourist sites of Carolina Lake, Aliwagwag Falls, San Victor Island, Balite Hot Springs, Banganga Sunrise Boulevard, Dahican Beach, the Mati Baywalk, and experienced first-hand the beauty of these natural resources.
The culmination of the tour was a visit to the awe-inspiring Subangan Provincial Museum, created though the efforts of Provincial Governor Corazon Malanyaon. There, team learned more of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mt. Hamiguitan, the natural and cultural heritage of the province, and the widespread suffering that was experienced in the aftermath of the super-typhoon.
The team members were rejuvenated and envigorated by the tour. The Lakbay-Aral also served as an observance of Eco-Month that is celebrated in the month of June.