Prof. Sofia Aliño-Logarta’s column in Cebu Daily News/inquirer.net
When Liza became the dean of UP Cebu, she declared that she actually wanted this position of leadership. Such simple directness was very refreshing.
In this beginning, she had set her task clearly: “to generate resources for expansion plans and to transform UP Cebu into a vibrant and dynamic institution of higher learning.”
UP Cebu had actually been working to become a constituent unit of UP. This would mean greater autonomy in formulating its vision and mission as well as more freedom in the management of its resources. Its faculty and staff would then have first priority in availing of grants and other opportunities, instead of having to wait for those in the mother unit. But of course, this was also very demanding in terms of meeting the requirements of a constituent unit. This was the major challenge which Atty. Liza Corro confronted head on.
Her many achievements actually changed UP Cebu not only physically but also in spirit. When I arrived for the investiture, I immediately sensed the good morale among the faculty and staff. This is not surprising because their administrator had been appreciated as an outstanding president of Rotary’s Gloria Maris — all-female Rotary Chapter. She had been an effective president of the UP Law Alumni Association. As president of the UP Alumni Association Cebu Chapter, she was among those who institutionalized “Tatak UP” to give recognition to Cebu-based UP graduates. When she was president of the Federacion International de Abogadas (FIDA), she sat in the Cebu Provincial Women’s Commission; she suggested that something be done about women arrested for petty crimes and suffering in jail. She became president of the Legal Alternatives for Women Center, (LAW) Inc. when the organization was troubled with many challenges. She faced them serenely and used the law to the maximum in dealing with the concerns, and so LAW Center, Inc. transcended these problems.
In one of his visits to UP Cebu, then UP president Alfredo Pascual said that he hoped that UP would model good governance and effective management. I believe that Atty. Liza had adopted such an objective. In her investiture speech as she looked back at her performance in the past, she narrated how she worked to erase the stereotype of a government functionary. She exerted effort to speed up processes and used her knowledge of the law to move confidently and efficiently with her duties.
Together with the endeavor to establish professionalism in the unit’s operations, there is the adherence to UP’s principles of leadership in academic instruction and research always with consideration of community service in the various transformations that have been introduced.
After settling down in front of the library, I viewed on the TV screen our colleagues who were in different continents, with greetings and gratitude for the event’s honoree for she had been very instrumental in providing them with these opportunities for professional growth.
UP Cebu, the eighth constituent unit of our national university, and the Cebu community are blessed to have an inspired and inspiring first chancellor. Like Mother Teresa whom she quoted, she will do good no matter what!
President Danilo L. Concepcion Co-Chair of the Board of Regents and President of the University of the Philippines, Honorable members of the Board of Regents, UP System officials, Hon. Hilario Davide, Governor of the Province of Cebu, and his wife, Government Officials, AFP representatives, Consular officials, University Presidents, our partner school Shu-Te University’s representative, Chancellors, Vice Chancellors and Deans from all the CUs of the University of the Philippines, my colleagues in UP Cebu, my family, guests and friends, it is a great honor and a privilege for me, personally, and for the whole of UP Cebu, to have you on the occasion of my Investiture as the First Chancellor of UP Cebu. For after its 99 years of existence, UP Cebu finally has a Chancellor to represent its status as a constituent university.
It is indeed a special honor for me to have the majority of the Honorable members of the Board of Regents in attendance in my Investiture. Likewise , with all the 6 Chancellors of the University of the Philippines present, I feel like a Bunso, with all the kuya and ate around. I think, just like a bunso, our parents and older siblings will have a soft spot for us, as manifested by their full force presence here with us.
To my family and my UP Cebu family, dako nakong dungog ug pasalamat sa inyong pagsalig sa ako, usa ka Cebuano nga nahimong unang Tsanselor sa UP Cebu.
UP Cebu, is the youngest, among the 8 constituent units of the University of the Philippines, and the oldest regional unit at the same time. Youngest, for we were granted our constituent unit status only last October 27, 2016, converting UP Cebu into a full university, with 4 Colleges: the College of Science, College of Social Sciences, College of Communication, Art and Design and the School of Management. UP Cebu is the oldest among the regional units, for we started as a regional unit of UP Diliman on May 3, 1918. We are turning 100 years old next year.
This includes the 10 years down UP Cebu’s history, when we were closed down, when no budget was allocated for UP Cebu under the Government Appropriations Act. This happened when a Cebuano politician was angered by the outcry of UP Cebu students over the acts of armed, bearded goons of powerful Cebuano politicians during the presidential election in the late 40s. UP Cebu students lampooned these politicians in editorial cartoons of their campus paper, “The Junior Collegian”, thus, getting the ire of then powerful politicians of Cebu.
And no, I am not going to mention to you who were those politicians who got so antagonized and caused UP Cebu’s closure. It is for you to do your own research on that. But yes, UP Cebu’s history is also intertwined with Cebu’s political history.
Actually, I was thinking we should not have an Investiture anymore since “nakakabawas lang” sa MOOE ng UP Cebu. But seriously, this is for us UP, as part of our tradition, and for UP Cebu to celebrate our establishment as a constituent university, and our forthcoming 100 years of existence. We here in UP Cebu, had agreed as part of our 100 years’ celebration, to have an 18 month run-up of activities beginning November of last year, with the unifying theme: UP Cebu in its 100 years of Public Service. So let me share with you my thoughts and what I feel about “Challenges and Opportunities in Public Service”.
The concept of “public service” I am referring to, is one about being able to provide service to the public, and knowing what makes good service, and what does not. It is one wherein you work with the government, either as a politician, or an appointive official, or as a career personnel, because you believe, that this is where you know you can make a difference.
It is about us having a mission, and turning our vision into a reality, in the arena of government service where we are in. I think this purpose of what public service is, resonates, in most of us here.
For most of us here, can you remember the exact moment you chose to go into public service?
Did it happen right away upon graduation, or even before you had graduated in school? Or was it along the way in your career, when you realized after an encounter with a politician, or a poor and lousy service from a government career personnel, when you said to yourself, ‘I know I can do better than what they are providing me’, and “I can contribute a lot more for the betterment, not just of the services provided to us, but to the conditions of the government employees themselves”? Or was it after your retirement, and it dawned on you that the public can benefit from the wealth of experience you had gained in your earlier career in life?
In my case, it was not the usual route I took. UP Cebu was then in difficult times when I was nominated by UP Cebu Alumni, and my appointment was approved then in December 2012 by UP’s Board of Regents to become the 9th Dean of UP Cebu. My lifelong learning and experiences, as a corporate lawyer and a civic leader, fortunately honed me in what I needed to do inside the academe.
As the well-known Greek Philosopher Aristotle said, “everything happens for a reason.” And that every experience in our life was designed to shape us, and reform us, into the greatest version that we can be. We will always be an evolving person, growing, learning and experiencing, regardless of our age. Then along the way, we realize, that this is where we fit, and where we can make a difference. To quote Steve Jobs, we cannot connect the dots looking forward, we can only connect them looking backwards. And we have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in our future.”
Presently, I had been tasked to safeguard the ideals of this institution, but likewise, to be a visionary at the same time. This, is quite a feat, but I will rise, to the challenge.
For those who joined before in government service, I believe salary rates was not much of a consideration, because government pay was not that competitive with the private sector. Unlike now, especially after passage of the salary standardization law, government employment had become so attractive, if salary is the consideration in joining government service.
Not only then there was disparity in the salary, there was, or still is, likewise, a perception of an inferior service rendered by employees, in public sector. There is a common perception, that employees in private sector provide better services. And so, employees from private sector had to be brought in, to bring in their work ethics, and culture, into the public sector.
Although right now, pay may be high, but I know a case of a parent’s ambivalence, in letting a son join the government service. Because she knows the son will start off as a contractual, or what we commonly know as Job Order or J.O., with no idea when a government item will be available, even though how well qualified, and outstanding, an employee might be. It is not uncommon, that there are some, who get regularized after 5 or 11 or 21 years of public employment, before they would finally get an item, in the government’s plantilla.
I know my people here in UP Cebu are listening right now, hoping, I can relay and mention, to the Chancellors of other UP units, na baka kayâ puede kaming makahiram ng ITEMS in the meantime, while you are not using them? Hiram lang, then these will be returned once DBM releases new items for us, complete with internal agreements to document the loan, and of course, its return.
For those new in government service, there is a certain feeling that things take so slow to accomplish, even though how much we want to fast track them. There will always be the “red tape”, to ensure policies are being followed. Sure, there are agencies who have one-stop shop. And there are the exceptions, those who really do not have the “malasakit”, to provide excellent service. But what I am talking about is the majority, those who strive to render their best, and outstanding service, whether they get, or they do not get, a performance based bonus.
Very often, it is the policy at fault and not the people who work for them. The thought of making a wrong decision which will violate auditing rules, with grave consequences, slows people down.
We want to ensure we make the right decisions, and all the needed signatures appear in the document. Maybe, I am just lucky, and probably, so as as with you who are lawyers, for it gives us the feeling of confidence when we make decisions and affix our signatures, due to our familiarity with the law. But a lot of people do not possess this advantage, that lawyers have. I know that different government agencies, like us, we try to capacitate our people so they can effectively manage, the daunting challenge of expediting procurement. We know suppliers, and contractors, are wary in providing, and supporting our procurement needs, because they say, we take forever, in settling our accounts.
What do I do here in UP Cebu, which you might also be doing in other government agencies, is, we try to capacitate our people. Commonly in government offices, a lawyer is appointed to become the head of the bids and awards committee. But here in our University, our BAC is headed by a Doctor, and not the usual doctors which abound in a university. Our BAC head is a Doctor of Medicine, but she is a government procurement policy board or GPPB certified. Our Vice-Chancellor for Administration is also a lawyer, which doubly gives me, more confidence, that papers have been properly reviewed, after they had been cleared also from the Office of Legal Affairs.
Yes, we do a lot of multi-tasking here in UP Cebu, and for UP, in general.
Because of the multi-tasking, UP employees are loaded, and burdened. There are employees who decline to accept additional administrative functions. But there are also some, who feel slighted when they do not get appointed, to positions they like. But afterwards, I notice a sigh of relief, that no additional functions had been given to them. Here inside the University, if no added function is provided, especially for faculty, means more time to do research, publications and extension works. And this translates to better chances for promotion.
In the desire for public service to be more fast and efficient, there are clients and colleagues at the same time, who have the impression, that those who work in the public sector are burdens, rather than dedicated professionals, who work hard to improve the quality of people’s lives. This leads to the stereotype, that public sector provides poor service, while private sector provides, fast and efficient service. That is why we hear statements like bringing in, the private sector efficiency to the public sector, to teach them how to perform better. Do not get me wrong. Yes, we want to bring in, to the public service all the best practices happening in the private sector, like streamlined management, cost-saving strategies and increased efficiencies of employees.
Right now, it is not so much a problem in accessing government funding, but it is our absorptive capacity, and being able to spend in an expeditious way, the funds provided to us. We must not only be able to obligate, but likewise, we should really be able to disburse the funds. How we spend, is as important now, as to how much we spend, and when we get to spend it. Anyhow, this is a happy problem for us.
I believe that to have faith in people, as being basically good and smart, is necessary. And this trust will bear good outcomes. I believe that most public servants are dedicated to what they do, given a leader who will inspire and motivate them, and who will value, and respect them. And of course, if public servants are provided with clear and categorical policies to execute their jobs, with enough flexibility to exercise their innovativeness and creativity, and if given the right resources, to provide a good service.
You might say, if there are cynics among you here, where are these dedicated public servants I am talking about? I see them here in UP Cebu, and in the whole of UP. I do see them, without doubt.
I know, you too have them in your respective government offices.
So today, I acknowledge, and give tribute to my constituents, and to UP as a whole, its officials and employees, past and present, for delivering excellent education, and for all of its accomplishments as a national university. I offer this occasion as a tribute for all public servants who dedicate their lives to public service. Today, I celebrate public service, together with my co-public servants.
You might think this is self-serving. I don’t think there is anything self-serving, in matters of acknowledging accomplishments, where, it is due. I hope we can continue to encourage and attract talented, knowledgeable and genuinely committed professionals to public service.
Yes, there are public and civil servants who redefine objectives, for personal and party gain, or to cater to the interests of the provider, and not the citizen. This does not only happen to politicians, it can happen anywhere, even for us here in the University. To counter, political will is needed in taking action that is for the good of public service, regardless of its negative impact on the voters, and on the appointing authority, and not in the short horizon view to ensure re-appointment or re-election.
Public service being a public trust, accountability and transparency plays an important aspect. So together with it goes greater public scrutiny, greatly aided by media. Having many media people as alumni of UP Cebu, I consider them as an opportunity for us. Although sometimes I would wonder, why is it, when I disallow Oblation Run inside UP Cebu campus during a final examination period last year, it gets more media mileage, than as against, the turn-over of hazard and resource maps produced by UP Cebu’s team for the Light Intensive and Detection Ranging or LIDAR team?
Maybe, we just need to let the general public know on what good things are happening inside the campus, and not just presume, that they know what we provide and what we can do for them. Because there are a lot of opportunities and good things we can do, being in the public service.
The reason why we are all here today, is because you all bear witness to this formal Installation to the official function of a Chancellor. This is called Investiture, from the word “investire”. It comes from a latin word whose etymology is the word, “vestis” which means robe or clothing, and as a verb, “vestire” or to clothe one with a rank, or endow, with authority. And this is familiar to us among Cebuanos, because we use the word “vestida” in reference to a dress. We say, pag bestida na diha, when we want someone to dress up already.
But I would like to take up another meaning that this event connotes, which is that of investment, or the laying out of money or capital in order to gain more money or profit, when we invest. And public service is one such avenue.
Public service is an opportunity for investment, in the hope we get returns out of it. And it can happen in public service, where it is used as a lever to generate jobs and growth.
We as UP officials, or for that matter, other government administrators, we provide the vision and the direction, and ultimately, it is our people’s execution and implementation, which will make its realization.
For UP Cebu, we visualize ourselves to be a lead university in pioneering research, ICT driven innovations, creative design, responsible governance, and community service in Central Visayas and the global community.
While being true to our mandate as the national university to provide excellent teaching, research and extension, I look at the opportunities available, on how we can give better returns, not just to our institution, but to the whole community as well. And I see this in us by being responsive to all those challenges in public service. Even if we are UP, the national university, it is incumbent upon us, that we should not rest on our laurels and depend on our reputation. As our Former President Alfredo Pascual is known to say: “We must succeed, not because we have a reputation to keep, but because we have a country to serve.”
It is therefore our duty, to innovate, and be creative enough, to fit our services and our programs, to the challenges of today, and the future. This is best articulated in UP Cebu’s tagline, we are “Nurtured to Create, Inspired to Innovate and Destined to Serve.”
How will we make a difference in our mandate as an institution of higher learning whose mandate is also to provide public service?
It is not only BPOs and Call Centers who provide shared services facilities. We here in UP Cebu does that too. As levers for growth and jobs, UP Cebu has institutionalized shared services facilities or SSFs. These SSFs do not only serve as learning laboratories and research facilities for our faculty and students, but likewise, these serve the community.
This can be seen in the UP Cebu’s Technology Transfer and Business Development Office or TTBDO, under which are our Technology Business Incubation (TBI) Facility, supported by the DOST, which helps out start-up companies become viable business entities. The TBI is supported by 2 SSFs, called the Innovation Technology Support Office (ITSO) and Technology Transfer Office (TTO), which help protect the intellectual property rights of the creator and its commercialization. For the creatives here in Cebu, and nearby provinces and regions, we host the DTI-UP Cebu Fablab where you can create, test and prototype your designs. Or if you are a singer or a musician, there is the Digital Media Production Center, where you can sing you heart out and record it at the same time so you can submit your composition to the Visayan Pop competition if you are interested. There is also the Go Negosyo Center which can assist in scaling up the businesses of micro, small and medium enterprises, and the Co-Working Space, for those who do not have a permanent office to work on. All these facilities, are available, to the public community.
As a young constituent university, we strive for transformational researches, which will impact our community. This hablon sablay we are wearing, are woven either in Baguio or in Iloilo. We hope that we, soon, will not have to go far. From Governor Davide’s own town in Argao, we are currently doing a study on its weaving industry, both to safeguard it, as a cultural heritage and for cross-cultural collaboration on craft design and development. Recently, CHED awarded to UP Cebu, thru its College of Science, a substantial amount for the setting-up of a Regional Center for Molecular Diagnostics and Research; and Cebu being a coastal province, rich in biodiversity, we are doing a study on the Biorefinery of seaweeds for production of high value natural products for biomedical applications and animal feeds;
For climate resiliency, innovation and sustainability, aside from the ongoing hazard mapping and resource assessment under the LIDAR projects, we are likewise doing a “Geomapping and Nutrient Analysis of wild Edible Plants as Food Alternatives in Disaster-Prone Areas in the Central and Eastern Visayas Regions in the Philippines”.
These are just examples of our transformational research initiatives.
As part of our continuous innovative search, for ways to serve the region with relevant academic programs, we are currently offering degree programs, in collaboration with other UP constituent units. We are currently hosting a doctoral degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, both from UP Diliman; a master’s degree in pure Math from UP Los Baños; and just recently, we got the approval to adopt UPLB’s Master’s in Information Technology; and the latest, a transnational program for a Master of Arts in Applied Arts and Design from Shu-Te University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This is to cater to our creative industries in Cebu and the region. These programs are in addition to our existing UP Cebu undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
And lastly, we hope to harness, the very best of modern technology in extending public service, in order to tackle bureaucracy.
It is our hope to become the Data Science Center, wherein we can provide all useful and complete information, that can be easily accessed, and used, as a tool for public service. This is now in the offing, with the support of another government agency. I believe, digital transformation will provide leaps and bounds to efficiency in government service. It will give people at all levels of government, the tools to use for their confidence, and for them to unleash their ingenuity in solving problems, all for continuous improvement. It likewise becomes an enabler of choice, for better, and informed decision making.
We have just signed also our Memorandum of Agreement for Social Watch, with UP Cebu to set up the People’s Public Finance Institute, as our way in helping out for better governance, and enhanced accountability of our public servants.
The reward for public service is something intangible, but as Einstein had said, the life of a public servant is a life worthwhile, which gives immense satisfaction and gratification. I know a lot of us in this hall feel the same way.
We signed up for government service because we want to help people. I hope our energy, our motivation, and our desire to serve our country will never wane. Yes, sometimes, we might commit mistakes along the way, or there will be obstacles more difficult to hurdle, which will really make us feel low. But I hope, we will never lose the spirit of service, that brought us here in the first place. Let me end this talk with a quote on some few verses in Mother Teresa’s poem “Do It Anyway”, which goes this way:
“If you are kind,
People may accuse you
of selfish ulterior motives;
be kind anyway.
What you spend years building,
someone could destroy overnight;
The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow;
do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
give the world
the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It was never between you
and them anyway.”
In the name of public service, as the First Chancellor of UP Cebu, I wish for many realized opportunities for UP Cebu and for our local and global community.
Padayon UP Cebu, Padayon Unibersidad ng Pilipinas!
‘Always serve the country’ —Corro
“I vow to uphold academic excellence and steer the University of the Philippines Cebu in its mission of delivering quality education, research, and service to the country and the global community.”
These were the words of lawyer Liza Corro, the last dean of the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu as she was officially installed as the school’s first chancellor in a ceremony on Monday, April 3, 2017.
UP president Danilo Concepcion, in the presence of the university’s Board of Regents vested Corro with an academic collar and a medallion—marks of honor and excellence in the investiture rites held in UP Cebu’s Performing Arts Hall in Lahug, Cebu City.
He also gave her a mace, a symbol of the authority of her office.
“I hope our energy, motivation, and desire to serve our country will never wane,” the chancellor said in her acceptance speech.
“Yes, sometimes, we might commit mistakes along the way, or there will be obstacles more difficult to deal with, but I hope we’ll never lose the spirit of public service that brought us here in the first place.”
The ceremony was a culmination of UP Cebu’s ascension to the status of eighth constituent unit of the Philippines’ national and premier university along with Manila, Diliman, Los Baños, Visayas, Baguio, Mindanao, and Open University.
The Board of Regents granted UP Cebu this status in 2016, 99 years since it opened.
Representatives of various sectors in the UP Cebu community read messages for Corro during the rites witnessed by former UP president Alfredo Pascual and at least 250 guests from academia, the government and industries.
Van Owen Sesaldo, head of UP Cebu’s information technology center said Corro helped the administrative staff build teamwork through different activities that enabled them to “collaborate, talk and work together efficiently.”
“It’s the little things that you do that make us, in the administrative unit, feel valued,” said Sesaldo, who spoke for the administrative, research, extension and professional staff.
Justine Raphael Luis Balane, former student council chairperson delivered a wish list to the chancellor that included a workshop for fine arts studnets, a review of rental fees and protocols for the use of school facilities, disclosure of plans for sports facilities and more funding for gender equality advocates.
Balane also said students want the chancellor to hear them out in her first week in office.
The chancellor is meeting student representatives on April 6, 2017.
Prof. Tiffany Adelaine Tan, UP Cebu School of Management dean spoke for the faculty.
She complimented the the chancellor for moving forward and challenging the good with the best.
Speaking for the alumni, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said UP does not just aim for scholastic excellence, but also for social responsibility.
“UP belongs to the people. Therefore we, her offspring, belong to the people,” Davide said.
“For this reason, we owe the people and the Philippines, a constant service.”
He also said he hopes UP Cebu will collaborate with the provincial government in sustainable development programs.
Corro said she will rise to the challenge.
Corro assailed the poor public servant as a stereotype, saying public servants are dedicated to their profession as she sees them in the UP system.
“We hope to harness the very best of modern technology in extending public service in order to tackle bureaucracy,” she said.
“It is our hope to become the data science center wherein they can provide all useful and complete information that can be easily accessed and used as a tool for public service.”
WRITER RUTHY VALDEZ, UP Cebu Mass Communication student, EDITING BY UP CEBU PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
As her investiture as University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu’s first chancellor drew near, lawyer Liza Corro reflected on the new constituent university’s place in the community.
“We should not be closed in on ourselves,” Corro said in an interview.
“Our mandate as the University of the Philippines is not just teaching and research. It also includes public service.”
With her investiture on Monday, April 3, 2017, Corro said she envisions a UP Cebu with more research centers that benefit the community, internationalized students, and pedagogical tools in aid of learning and teaching.
The chancellor recounted UP Cebu’s most important achievements in public service.
“In a very short span of time, we were able to establish the shared service facilities,” she said.
“These did not just limit the university to the teachers and students, but also opened it to the community.”
The facilities include the Technology Business Incubator (TBI), Digital Media Production Center, Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab), Go Negosyo Center, and Coworking Space.
TBI is a space made available by UP Cebu and the Department of Trade and Industry where entrepreneurs are encouraged to start enterprises based on technology.
The Digital Media Production Center is a music production laboratory.
The Fabrication Laboratory attached to the College of Communication, Art, and Design houses advanced technologies in product design.
Go Negosyo Center provides access to services for micro, small, and medium enterprises. Coworking Space provides shared working space.
Coming of age
As UP Cebu opened community programs, it also went through the process of becoming a constituent university of the UP System.
“It was not an overnight process,” she said. “It was long and laborious. We even experienced meeting on at least three days just to reach our target.”
Corro crafted the proposal and consulted stakeholders to determine what UP Cebu will be as a constituent university.
The proposal was submitted to the University Council, UP’s Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and President’s Advisory Council for endorsement.
Previously a campus of UP in the Visayas, UP Cebu was designated an autonomous unit on Sept. 24, 2010.
It became a constitudent university of the UP System on Oct. 27, 2016 upon the UP Board of Regents’ approval of the endorsed proposals.
This means UP Cebu now shares equal status with other constituent universities of the system such as UP Diliman, Manila, Baguio, Los Baños, Open University, Visayas and Mindanao.
“A lot of government agencies are not yet aware that UP Cebu is a constituent University,” Corro said.
“The investiture is a way of letting everyone know that we are a Constituent University.”
The investiture rite with UP System’s president, Danilo Concepcion starts 4:15 p.m. at the UP Cebu Performing Arts Hall in Lahug, Cebu City.
The guest list includes former UP president Alfredo Pascual, members of the UP Board of Regents, the university’s vice presidents, chancellors and vice chancellors of the UP System’s constituent universities and the leaders of University of San Carlos, University of Cebu and Shu-Te University in Taiwan.
The honorary consuls of South Korea and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, representatives of Cabinet departments, members of the Philippine Congress, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide and other officials will also witness the event./WRITER MICHAEL ANGELO ALEGRE, EDITING BY UP CEBU PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
The technology business incubator (TBI) of the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu was recognized with a Gawad Pangulo award for excellence in public service by the Office of the President of the UP System on Jan. 30, 2017.
The TBI’s manager, Prof. Jedaiah Joel Lumagbas of UP Cebu’s College of Science and marketing specialist Jeffrey Montecillo, along with Chancellor Liza Corro of UP Cebu received the award from then UP president Alfredo Pascual in a ceremony at the UP Diliman Executive House in Quezon City.
“UP Cebu TBI is the most sustainable and operational” of the ones opened by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the country, said Montecillos quoting secretary Fortunato dela Peña of the DOST.
The theme of the awards, “Galing UP, Lingkod Bayan” turned the spotlight towards initiatives that exemplify “dangal (honor)” and “husay (excellence).”
Nominees were rated for project sustainability, replicability, public service, enhanced research and economic impact, Montecillo said.
Startups that graduated from UP Cebu TBI joined the Philippines’ small and medium enterprise sector that employs almost 70 percent of the country’s work force.
Nambal, Greater Heights Educational Solutions and Artisko Digital Music Content Production are some of the thriving enterprises that started out in the UP Cebu TBI.
Nambal is a free, online health information system for patients and doctors to keep medical to keep medical records with the help of the Nambal Health Card.
Greater Heights Educational Solutions offers online review services online to help students reach their full potential.
Artisko Digital Music Content Production provides services such as video and digital content production, rehearsal studios, songwriting workshops, music forums and music curation.
UP Cebu TBI has been replicated in a business incubator administered by the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation of Information Technology in Bacolod City, Montecillos said.
Turning seven this December, this facility currently has at least 14 tenants in UP Cebu’s Lahug campus and another two in the campus at Cebu City’s South Road Properties.
TBI representatives from across the country met in mid-March in Makati City, Montecillo said, to learn from one another’s best practices. Professor Lumagbas is representing UP Cebu. A restructuring of TBI programs aimed at improving each stage of incubation is forthcoming./WRITERS AMY MACALINAO AND MELANIE RUTH BOLO, EDITING BY UP CEBU PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
The administration of the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu under chancellor Liza Corro has earmarked at least P250 million for infrastructure projects in the runup to the school’s centennary that starts in May 2017.
The projects include the construction of new buildings for the College of Science and School of Management and a new students’ dormitory. The football field will be upgraded and the iconic Oblation sculpture will be replaced.
“These are not just venues of learning,” Corro said, referring to the new school buildings. “But we aim for them to become research centers.”
Work is ongoing on the first four floors of the seven-story Sciences building behind the clinic in the school’s Lahug campus. The project costs P150 milllion, Corro said.
The building will be operational in February 2018.
Two new buildings have been apportioned to the School of Management (SOM), the first behind the Undergraduate Studies building and the other on the current site of the SOM classrooms.
The first building, two stories high with a roof deck has been completed. The second building will also be two stories high.
A Product Design building for the College of Communication, Art, and Design is the priority infrastructure in the 2018 budget proposal, Corro said.
If approved, this building will rise on the current parking lot of the Arts and Sciences building.
The Greenovate Dormitory for students will be renovated for P5 million in the summer of 2017, Corro said.
A separate P-55 million students’ dormitory will also be built behind the UP Cebu Guesthouse.
These will enable UP Cebu to host 380 students on campus by the end of this year, an increase from its current capacity of 120 students.
Monument, other amenities
The Oblation statue in the Lahug campus will be replaced with a P-4 million sculpture similar to the Oblation in the South Road Properties (SRP) campus, Corro said.
The fences around the SRP campus will be improved for P3 million.
Construction of a 17-million Technology Innovation Center (TIC) is ongoing beside the UP Cebu Library. The center, to be finished in September will be linked to the Performing Arts Hall that is above the library.
The football field behind the Cebu Cultural Center will be upgraded to professional standards for P16.4 million./WRITER MICHAEL ANGELO ALEGRE, EDITING BY UP CEBU PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
Members of the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu community will participate in World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Earth Hour event on March 25.
In a memorandum, UP Cebu Chancellor Liza Corro ordered faculty, staff, dormitory residents, and students from different colleges to switch off lights and power sources from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on that day.
According to Corro, Earth Hour is a great avenue to remind UP Cebu constituents to conserve energy.
In line with the event, she asked university constituents to “be vigilant in conserving energy” and water consumption.
Corro also stressed “the need to optimize resources because of the limited funds.”
UP Cebu participation is in partnership with WWF Philippines and other constituent units of the UP System across the Philippines who were enjoined to observe the hour-long non-use of electrical power in a memorandum from UP System president Danilo Concepcion.
Earth Hour is an annual global movement participated in by countries from all over the world and spearheaded by WWF every 25th of March.
Participants are encouraged to switch off lights to minimize power use at home or in business establishments for at least one hour.
According to the WWF Website, the movement was begun as a commitment to the planet to reduce energy consumption and to take action to combat climate change.
Earth Hour marks its 10th anniversary on March 25, 2017.
Suggestions for Conservation
With UP Cebu’s effort to conserve energy, Prof. Patricia Nazareno of the College of Science (COS) also suggested in an interview the installation of harvesters in school buildings to catch rainwater for use in flushing toilets, watering plants, and cleaning the campus.
Prof. Crina Tañongon of the College of Communication, Art, and Design and researcher Cora Jane Lawas of the Central Visayas Studies Center backed Nazareno’s suggestion.
Tañongon added that solar panels should also be installed on rooftops to help generate more energy. She also said that applying net meters from the Visayan Electric Co. (Veco) could help reduce energy consumption.
Prof. Marilou Busano of the School of Management said “responsible budgeting or accounting is necessary”. She said Veco and water meters should be set installed in every unit to monitor water and energy use, pointing out that this “creates a deterring effect on waste but is a proactive approach to conserve power and water”.
As part of environmental stewardship, Nazareno said she no longer prints her syllabi but only gives soft copies to her students, while COS professors print examinations on blank sides of used papers and do not use air conditioners when there is only one person in a room./WRITER ANDREA MAY SO, EDITED BY UP CEBU PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE, PHOTO FROM
In behalf of UP Cebu, I would like to welcome you all, starting off with Her Excellency Marion Derckx and her Spouse Sjief Ijzermans, the Honorary Consul of Netherlands to Cebu, Consul Gordon Joseph, who we would like to greet at the same time today for his …:
Before, the Province of Cebu is one of the safest places to be, in terms of typhoons, earthquakes and flooding. In fact, flooding was really unheard of here in Cebu, and rainy season is very predictable, which is beginning in June, when classes are about to start for the regular semester.
In 2014, the whole of the University of the Philippines system all over the country proposed to shift our academic calendar from June-March, to August-May. At the start, part of the argument for those opposing the shift was that August was when it is the height of the rainy season. However, this argument fell flat and could not persuade us anymore, especially here in Cebu, for it seemed like rainy season became the whole year round.
And yes, when it comes to typhoons, they used to be very far and few in between, and of such an intensity which we were used to already. But this was changed in 2013. It was the year when we had a double whammy. We were hit in October 15, 2013 by an earthquake with a 6.4 intensity, which luckily, resulted only into minor damages to our buildings here in Cebu, though we cannot say the same thing for our neighboring province of Bohol which was devastated, including their heritage churches, thus greatly affecting their tourism based economy.
Without us having gotten over yet the paranoia due to all the earthquake aftershocks, in less than a month, on November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda, international code name Haiyan swept us here in Central and Eastern Visayas, leaving several towns here in Northern Cebu practically devastated.
One consolation we had then, was that the whole international community came to our rescue and contributed to our immediate recovery and rehabilitation. Relief goods, housing materials and several other support for livelihood, came in droves, for which we are very grateful. And there even seemed to be a competition among the different international organizations in providing relief and rehabilitation support for us at that time, which became the subject of my research paper how important coordination is, in implementing relief and rehabilitation efforts.
Everyone is now very conscious that we can no longer take our climate and environment for granted. But what was very timely then in 2013, without us foreseeing then the devastating earthquake and Supertyphoon Yolanda, it was the same year when we embarked in one of our biggest research projects in DRRM. This was the Philippine Light Intensive Detection and Ranging projects, or Phil-LIDAR 1 and 2, where we do the hazard mapping and resource assessment of the Western Visayas region, with the support of the Department of Science and Technology. To date, I believe, we had turned over around 30 resource maps both for agri and coastal to 30 cities and municipalities in the Western Visayas region. Our project leaders will talk about this in a while.
In the whole of the University of the Philippines, as member of the Asian Pacific Rim Universities, we annually take part in the initiatives of the APRU-IRIDES Multi-Hazards Summer School in Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, of which I am an alumna of this summer program. And just recently, UP’s Board of Regents established the Resilience Institute of the University of the Philippines for DRRM. Faculty and staff in the whole UP System all over the Philippines, regardless of their fields of expertise, are given additional assignments as research and extension fellows, with functions and programs relating to multi-hazard, multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral, comprehensive DRRM, to do the following:
(1) Research and Creative Works: by undertaking policy research, action research, and interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary research or creative work; (2) Knowledge Sharing: disseminate research findings, creative works and innovations; (3) Education: establish non-degree educational programs and support degree programs within the UP System; (4) Institution Building: improve the capability of the UP System as an agent of change for disaster resilience in the Philippines and the Pacific Rim region.
So by co-hosting this symposium this afternoon with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, we are very happy to perform our mandate for institution building to be an agent of change for disaster resilience. But more than that, I am personally happy, that the help of the international community, through the Kingdom of Netherlands, to make us here in Cebu and in the Philippines disaster resilient, does not start and end only when a calamity strikes us. Through the innovations they are now going to generously share with us, we can look forward to a more sustainable disaster resiliency programs.
Thank you and let us all enjoy and learn from all our generous and distinguished speakers we have this afternoon.
I would like to greet and welcome our beloved Mayor of Cebu City, Mayor Tomas Osmena, our newly installed President Danilo Concepcion, Shu-Te’s Former President Chu who ably facilitated that STU’s program gets to be hosted here by us here in UP Cebu, UP’s Board of Regents Member, Staff Regent Alexis Mejia, Kenneth Cobonpue-RDC Region 7 Chair, UP VPs Dalisay and Yunque, STU Chair Prof. Eing Min Wu, Dr. Lu, Dean of College of Design of STU, Former Chancellor UP OU Gigi Alfonso, Colleagues in UP Cebu, faculty, staff and students, Representatives from the Creative Industry, Business Chambers, academe. I would like to welcome you all to this second campus of the University of the Philippines Cebu.
I would like to thank everyone who responded to our invitation to join us here today in the official launching of the newest addition to the roster of graduate programs of UP Cebu, the Master of Asss in Applied Arts and Design Program which we will host in behalf of the Shu-Te University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, of the Republic of China, a multi-awarded university in the field of design.
UP Cebu and Shu-Te are two universities bound to become sister universities, like we had been betrothed. In May 2016, UP System officials, led by our former president, went to Kaohsiung to visit different Southern Taiwan Universities and for the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement of UP with the SATU or Southern Alliance of Taiwanese Universities.
We send a lot of faculty for their graduate studies in different parts of the world, many of them are in Europe and US universities and Australia, with UP spending millions to support their tuition, transportation and accommodation, among others, in our pursuit to provide them excellent education. And in the process when they come back, they will return this service, through the excellent education they will provide to our very own students.
UP Officials say we send our faculty to far away countries in other continents, when within our own region, there are excellent universities which can serve the purpose as well. So that educational mission by UP to Southern Taiwan was born.
When presentations were made by the Chancellors of different UP units to officials of STU, then STU Pres. Chu only addressed questions to the presentation I did for UP Cebu, manifesting STU’s interest in us.
As it turns out, then Chancellor Gigi Alfonso of UP Open University had relayed ahead to STU officials that UP Cebu was on the lookout for a partner university for our planned offering of a masters degree in the field of arts and design. By the way, Chancellor Gigi is the one who did our Oblation Statue that you see outside of this building.
You see, as early as in 2014, we in UP Cebu had been wanting to provide a graduate program in the field of arts, particularly in applied arts and design. When I brought this up with Chancellor Gigi, she told me she has in mind just the right university for us, with a strong track record in design, then referring to STU.
After that May visit made by UP to Kaohsiung, everything followed so fast. STU officials reciprocated our visit. In fact, they made about 3 different visits to us here in UP Cebu last year, aside from the visit they did to UP System officials in Diliman.
Maybe, this seeming familiarity between us two universities, is due to the existing relationship of Cebu and Kaohsiung, which dates back to as early as 80’s the 2 cities being sister cities. For those who do not know, there is a road somewhere in the North Reclamation Area which is called Kaohsiung. I presume, this was a testament to the sister city relationship between the 2 cities. Of course, you are not a Cebuano, if you do not know of the Kaohsiung buses donated to Cebu City. These buses are of big help to my students who get to avail of them oftentimes.
So after the 2 cities had bound themselves together, now it’s their respective universities. Both cities have a commonality in the undeniably strong presence of a culture and creative economy.
I would therefore like to acknowledge and thank the efforts of all the stakeholders that contributed in making this program come into fruition, the City of Cebu, UP System, Shu-Te University
I thank Mayor Osmena, for facilitating this collaboration. We are holding this event as part of our joining the City Government of Cebu in its Charter Day Celebration.
What better way to have this program initiated and launched but here in UP’s second campus in the SRP, whose lot was donated by the Cebu City government around 8 years ago, under Mayor Osmena’s administration.
This program is borne out of the collaboration of multiple stakeholders, from the City Government, UP System, Shu-te University, our creative industry in Cebu, and UP Cebu’s constituents. UP Cebu is proud and honored to be the conduit of these various endeavors. Details of this program will be discussed by the Acting Dean of UP Cebu’s College of Communication and Design.
This program is a testament of UP Cebu’s commitment to be a center of excellence for research, creative design and information technology – especially in promoting education within an industry that distinguishes Cebu from the rest of the country. We are just aligning our program offering to the core-competence of our host city, Cebu. We are making the most of our city’s strengths and creative talents, by offering this program. This is to complement and to harness what Cebu is known for.
But beyond that, this program offering is borne out of the desire of UP as a national university to provide relevance to its region and community, and contribute to the sustainable development and inclusive growth which we all aspire. This is timely, since we are going to celebrate UP Cebu’s 100 years as a public institution.
Cebu is known to be home to 700 copyright based industries or simply put, creative industries. This I believe is even a 2015 statistics, and possibly just covers the formal sector and does not include the informal economy, outside of those regulated and accounted for. This program is our way of harnessing our advantage in this sector, by providing this local capacity building through this knowledge generation under this graduate program offering. Through this, we leverage on our advantage, and increase our global competitiveness.
Right in front of UP Cebu Lahug campus, who is not familiar with the bamboo furniture maker, who had been there longer than many of us? The Santo Niño carvings, our famous haute couture clothes designer. UP Cebu is just aligning its vision to the core-competence of our very own host city of Cebu. Who will deny it, Cebuanos are so artistic. Cebuanos’ creativity are so intertwined in our every day lives. Who will deny it, that at one point, many of us here had been touched by Cebuanos creativity. Do you recall in the 70s the craze for puka shells fashion accessories, and rattan furnitures, then later on stone furnitures? We have a very strong arts craft in Cebu and the region as well.
Creative Economy Report of 2013 Special Edition, Widening Local Development Pathways by UNESCO and UNDP states that “investing in culture and the creative sector as a driver of social development can also lead to results that contribute in the overall well being of communities. UNESCO’s work over the years has demonstrated that when the creative sector becomes part of an overall development and growth strategy, it can contribute to the revitalization of the national economy where hybrid and dynamic economic and cultural exchanges occur and innovation is nurtured.”
Investments in identity, innovation and creativity can help to build new development pathways for individuals, local communities and countries. These new pathways are constructed when they are nurtured within an enabling environment based on fundamental values, which include sustainability.
We recognize the importance and power of the cultural and creative sectors as engines of sustainable human development. That is why we are offering MAAAD.
It is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy, not just in terms of income generation but also for job creation and export earnings.
A much greater proportion of the world’s intellectual and creative resources is now being invested in the creative economy. And this is exactly what we, in UP Cebu, in collaboration with STU is doing. In partnership with Shu-Te University, UP Cebu envisions to be a primary figure in this field for the years to come.