University of the Philippines Los Baños
Horizon online
The UPLB Horizon is a newspaper/magazine that features articles on instruction, research and public service initiatives and programs, as well as information of general interest to UPLB and its publics. Some articles that are featured in it appear on the UPLB website. For contributions, email [email protected].

 

IPB

 

Champions of inclusive business models in agriculture. Panel discussants and University officials pose for posterity during the forum on inclusive business models for agriculture. (L-R) IPB Dir. Sta. Cruz; Dr. Dinah PT Depositario, chair of the Department of Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship; CA Dean Supangco; Dr. Serlie B. Jamias, vice chancellor for community affairs; PCCI President Barcelon; Ambassador Dee; Former UP Regent Gonzalez; Former UP President Javier; PCCI Dir. Amores; Atty. Inciong; and CTTE Dir. Baticados   (Photo by CV Labe)

 

The Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) turned 41 on June 3 and to kick-off the celebration, hosted a forum entitled “Inclusive Business Models to Move Agriculture Forward,” at the IPB Seminar Room on June 2. The forum is IPB’s response to the continuing decline of the Philippine agricultural sector, and aimed to provide a solution by linking farmers to the food and beverage industries of the Philippines.

 

“The agriculture sector is not doing well,” said Dr. Emil Q. Javier, one of the founding pillars of IPB and chairperson of the Coalition for Agriculture Modernization in the Philippines (CAMP). He said that agriculture in the Philippines is based on small fragmented landholdings, which through the generations have become smaller and smaller. According to him, the solution is to organize farmers so that each small farm can be operated as part of a larger management unit through cooperatives.

 

 

George T. Barcelon, the event’s guest of honor, commended IPB on its choice of theme for its relevance and timeliness. Mr. Barcelon is the president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and has a continuing advocacy for a competitive and productive agricultural sector in the Philippines. He also believes that the inclusive business (IB) concept will mutually benefit farmers and the business community by alleviating the life of small farmers in the rural communities as they can become suppliers of higher value-added products. The IB concept has become an integral part of promoting growth of small and medium enterprises (SME) throughout the country. Barcelon expressed his hopes that it would be able to do the same for Philippine agriculture.

 

Mr. Barcelon was joined in the panel of discussants by the following: Ambassador Donald G. Dee, honorary chair and COO of PCCI; Robert C. Amores, president of PHILFOODEX, director of the PCCI Agriculture Committee and CEO of Hi-Las Marketing Corporation; Alfredo M. Yao, former PCCI president and founder of Zest-O Group of Companies; Dr. Nelia T. Gonzales, former UP Regent and pioneer agribusiness entrepreneur; Atty. Bong Inciong, president of United Broiler Raiser Association; Glenn N. Baticados, director of the Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship (CTTE) of UPLB.

 

Ambassador Dee pointed out that agriculture in the country is composed of various stakeholders that are all stand-alone and the linkages with one another are non-existent. That is why the need for IB is becoming more apparent and the inclusion of farmers in the supply chain is a must. Amores suggested that farmers organize themselves into small groups, not necessarily as cooperatives, but to promote the pooling of their produce to sell to one buyer. In defense of small-scale farmers, Atty. Inciong said that IB models that involve small-hold farmers cannot survive on private support alone.  The government needs to actively participate in terms of subsidy, credit and crop insurance support.

 

Los Baños mayor, the Hon. Cesar P. Perez joined in the discussion and expressed his opinion that devolution of agriculture to the local government has created a problem because of the lack of support from the national government. Furthermore, with the declining land area for agriculture, Mayor Perez suggested that control over land conversion policy should be handed over to the local government unit. He also talked about the declining number of young farmers who chose to be engaged in farming.

 

To move agriculture forward and to develop and promote IB models, PCCI said that it was considering future collaboration with UPLB and other research institutions.

 

 

In his closing remarks, Barcelon emphasized the importance of national consultation with different key players, especially with the new administration. “Change will not happen fast. Adapting the policies and implementing the actions might take years, even decades. However, with stronger partnerships and PCCI’s continued commitment to IPB and to UPLB, Philippine agriculture will continue to move forward one small step at a time,” said Mr. Barcelon.

 

Family day and alumni homecoming

 

On the second day of the celebration, the institute held a family day and alumni homecoming to celebrate milestones and successes achieved in its 41 years of existence.

 

In his welcome remarks, Dr. Pompe Sta Cruz, director of IPB, recognized the efforts of IPB’s constituents to make the Institute what it is today. He also recognized the Institute’s “lights and pillars” who continue to guide it in achieving its goal, which is to develop crop varieties to help farmers.

 

On behalf of Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez , Prof. Rex B. Demafelis, vice chancellor for research and extension, commended IPB on its “brilliant science and public service” and assured the support of the University as IPB continues to face challenges.

 

Dr. Enrico P. Supangco, dean of the College of Agriculture, emphasized the importance of service and collaboration in the achievements of CA and IPB. He called upon IPB to continue its service and reminded them that they are working together “for the farmers and for the Filipino people.”

 

For the inspirational message, Dr. Emil Q. Javier, founding director of IPB, former UPLB chancellor and former UP president, commended IPB for its innovative ideas and its leadership by citing contract farming, an agricultural scheme which the institute advocates.  “UPLB and the agricultural system should shift their focus from just [developing] small farms to integrating them with the food and beverage sector,” said Dr. Javier.

 

 

Also present at the anniversary celebration and homecoming were National Scientists Dr. Dolores Ramirez and Dr. Ricardo Lantican, and Dr. Eufemio Rasco, Jr., former director of the Philippine Rice Research Institute and IPB director.

 

The Institute also gave service awards to its staff who have been serving for 10, 15, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years. IPB was established on June 3, 1975 to be the national biotechnology research and breeding center for all improved crops except rice. It traces its roots from the College of Agriculture – Plant Breeding Division.

 

 

 

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If there is one thing that could aptly describe Giselle P. Hernandez, she is a woman who does not shy away from challenge. Her courage and determination paid off when, with a rating of 86.10%, she ranked sixth in the 2015 Philippine bar examination.

Giselle is a UPLB alumna, BA Communication Arts class 2005, cum laude. She taught English subjects at the Department of Humanities from 2005 to 2010 before studying at the UP College of Law.

According to her, she credits UPLB as fundamental to her law studies. “UPLB taught me to embrace who I am and to have confidence in my capabilities.  UPLB helped me develop my self-confidence and communication skills, both of which are important to me in my career as a future lawyer.”

Studying law was wrought with challenges, she said. Most of her time was devoted to reading and though she was an eager learner, she was not exempted from stress. She told of how she experienced the much-feared terror tactics of law professors in UP Diliman. “I cried after one of my professors took me to task for my terrible recitation in his class,” she said. However, she was quick to acknowledge that she was at fault for coming to class unprepared. She now says that the professor is one of her favorite professors.

Giselle persevered in her studies. She realized that she could be a good law student if she chose to, and thus, pushed herself to become even better. “I refuse to shortchange myself,” Giselle said.  She made the most of her time and supplemented her studies with experience from work as a legal researcher at the Department of Agrarian Reform and, later on, at the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

Law school was tough but Giselle found a way to make it fun. She made many friends and became part of UP Portia Sorority. She was also a volunteer of the UP Law Bar Operations Commission. At the end of law school, she triumphantly declared that it was all worth all the challenges and tears.

Giselle is delighted to reap the benefits of her hard work and to celebrate her victory with her loved ones. “I was happy when I learned that I placed in the top ten, but happier because I made my family proud” she said.

Asked where she wants her legal career to take her, Giselle said, “I do wish to be the Ombudsman someday.” But for now, she just wants to learn everything there is to learn about the practice of law, especially those that are not taught in law school.  She is now working for a firm that offers excellent training to young and future lawyers.

With each challenge that she courageously faces up to with grit and determination, Giselle is certain to go places and have a successful career.

UPLBHEADS2016

Service to the nation through instruction, research and extension served as the main theme of the first day of the Higher Education Administrators’ Development Seminar (HEADS) on June 8 at Shercon Resort and Ecology Park in Mataasnakahoy, Batangas. The seminar is being attended by vice chancellors, deans, directors and chairpersons of UPLB.

Powerhouse speakers, which include Dr. Emil Q. Javier, former UP president, and Prof. Randolf S. David, professor emeritus of sociology at UP Diliman, highlighted the importance of addressing the needs of the country as UP fulfils its mandate as the national university.

Joining the two were Dr. Grace Aguiling-Dalisay, dean of the UP Diliman College of Social Sciences and Philosophy and former director of UP Pahinungod, and Dr. Merlyn Mendioro, director of the Institute of Biological Sciences and former coordinator of the National Service Training Program (NSTP) of the College of Arts and Sciences. The discussions of Dr. Dalisay and Dr. Mendioro also centered on public service as they tackled the principles of Pahinungod and the NSTP, respectively.

World Bank Manila’s Justine Espina-Letargo, communications officer and leader of the Bank’s external relations team in the country, also graced the seminar. Her introduction of the Bank’s Knowledge Development Community also promoted the pursuit of national development through knowledge sharing and dissemination.

Nation first

Dr. Javier, who talked about “Raising the visibility of UPLB in the academic community,” called for the participant-leaders to cement UPLB’s status as “the best university of the Filipino people.” He said that UPLB’s purpose and first responsibility is to serve the country, and added the need for the University to keep up with the rest of the world.

With these premises, Dr. Javier proposed a paradigm shift for UPLB so that it would respond to the changing socio-economic landscape while harnessing the University’s intellectual assets. This includes focusing from subsistence farming to integrating farmers into agribusiness, particularly in the food and beverage manufacturing industry; aiming to be the best engineering university in the country; and pursuing academic programs on eco- and agri-tourism. “If you want to have visibility and impact, we must shift paradigm,” he emphasized.

Meanwhile, Prof. David, in his talk on “Academic freedom and ethics in the academe,” situated the role of UP in the Philippine society. “The nomenclature ‘national university’ suggests to me not just a recognition, but an explicit affirmation of the direct linkage between the University’s mission and the nation’s future,” he stated. “We are also taking upon ourselves a role to serve not only as the vanguard of the nation’s consciousness, but also to spearhead its transition to a fully modern society.”

Prof. David urged the academic heads to focus researches on various realities of the country and the world, including mass poverty, hunger, climate change and biodiversity threats, to name a few. He also emphasized the importance of integrating  research in graduate training, and reiterated the need to expand graduate programs.

Wisdom in management, pedagogy

Dr. Javier imparted to the participants three lessons in managing institutions. First is inspiring subordinates by having a clear sense of purpose in the organization. Second is crafting a strategic plan to articulate the directions and priorities of the organization. Third is managing by directly interacting and communicating with subordinates.

 On the other hand, Prof. David articulated two auxiliary or supplementary functions of UP whose “centrality to the University’s presence in the society” cannot be ignored. First is raising the level of public discourse. “Universities like UP are uniquely positioned to intervene in the on-going public discussion of issues and problems,” he said, and later discussed its ethical implications.

Second is forming UP students as future leaders of the nation. “Among the things we teach our students is precisely that they must learn to differentiate, for example, that what is good for their family is not always good for the country; that what is profitable is not always legal; that what is legal may not always be moral,” he explained.

Public service through NSTP, Pahinungod

“If you think about public service, you have to equate it with NSTP,” said Dr. Mendioro in her discussion on NSTP. She emphasized that the latter is as important as other subjects in the University. She revealed that students’ feedback indicate that it is through NSTP community outreach activities that they have realized the essence of being “iskolar ng bayan.”

Dr. Mendioro shared to the participants how the NSTP’s literacy program had helped public elementary schools improve their performance in the National Assessment Test and how its civic welfare programs  assisted the Los Baños Municipal Health Office to identify households that need health intervention.

On the other hand, Dr. Aguiling-Dalisay, who talked about UP Pahinungod, said that volunteering is an integral part of and a pathway towards achieving the goals and objectives of higher education, the latter being expected to ensure that UP graduates are relevant and good citizens. She said that for an activity to qualify as a volunteering activity, it should be done out of freewill, not for financial remuneration, and for the common good.

She said that through Pahinungod, UP students, faculty and staff who join volunteering activities in far-flung communities, are able to discern the real important things in life.

Knowledge sharing and dissemination

Ms. Espina-Letargo oriented the participants on World Bank’s Knowledge for Development Community (KDC). “KDC was envisioned to be a network of learning institution. It has grown into 19 centers,” she said. “It is committed to sharing knowledge for development, a hub for dialogues on development topic and a change agent for transformational leadership.”

As one of the member universities of KDC, UPLB enjoys access to knowledge resources, including print and online publications, of the World Bank. Ms. Espina-Letargo expressed her hopes that UPLB and the Bank would engage in further KDC partnerships.

The second day of HEADS will cover topics on rules and protocols of a national university, managing academic discussions, operational efficiency through information technology, and team and people building skills. HEADS is being spearheaded by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs under the leadership of Dr. Portia G. Lapitan. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)

 

 

ITCGroundbreaking

UPLB’s internet service is getting ready for a major overhaul.

The first phase for a better internet connection for the UPLB campus is now underway and is being supervised by the Information Technology Center (ITC) under the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Planning and Development (OVCPD).

According to Rozano S. Maniaol, director of ITC and faculty member at the Institute of Computer Science, the project aims to upgrade the Fiber Optic Cables (FOC) from multi-mode to single-mode type fiber technology, which is more efficient and up to date compared to the former. This will be able to carry bandwidth speeds of up to 1 gigabits per second over a distance of 40 kilometers.  The project will also install conduit pipes underground to house and protect the FOCs, and make them easier to locate, making future upgrades and modifications easier to implement. 

ITCGroundbreaking2

 

The project is divided into five phases to cover the following five sections of the campus: First – core network to the Internet to cover ICS to IRRI where PREGINET is terminated and ICS to ISP service entrance. PREGINET is the country's National Research and Education Network. The next four phases are: lower campus,  upper campus, IPB, CTTE/BIOTECH areas, and the staff  housing area.

Dr. Marish Madlangbayan, vice chancellor for planning and development, said that the project is allotted PhP35 M, of which PhP6 M will be used for the first phase. He said that the University bandwidth has already improved in the past years, from 200 megabits per second to 2.155 gigabits per second. The project now aims to distribute this bandwidth properly across the campus and make it more reliable.

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. said that upgrading the University’s internet connection is necessary to keep up with the current pace of information and to allow easy collaboration with the international community. He said that this project will help create an enabling environment for the students, faculty, and staff of UPLB and is a foundation for future development. He further said that it is also a reminder for how UPLB must always improve and remain committed to progress.

 

 

In celebration of Earth Day, the University of the Philippines (UP) launches an online knowledge hub featuring UP’s expertise and resources on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) including both climate change adaptation and disaster risk mitigation.

RESILIENCE or REsources for Science-Informed LIteracy and ENgagement towards Building Community ResiliencE, is the UP website which will respond to the need for climate- and disaster-related information and services from the country’s experts in the engineering, geology, governance, community development and other fields integral to the mitigation and preparation of communities for the impacts of climate change and disaster risk.

The website is a product of the close collaboration of the university with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The three institutions signed a Memorandum of Agreement in June 2013, which spurred the cooperation and bore the RESILIENCE website into fruition.

“The RESILIENCE website reflects the university’s commitment as ‘One UP’ to make available to the public its expertise and knowledge products pertaining to climate change and disaster risk management,” said UP President Alfredo E. Pascual. “The online portal is one of the few academe-based initiatives in the world that houses a multi-disciplinary knowledge base to support resilience learning, teaching, capacity building, and policy development,” he added.

President Pascual also pointed out a parallel initiative by UP and partners to establish the Resilience Institute for DRRM Knowledge Solutions and Partneships. This will be an Asia-Pacific collaboration hub through which UP’s researchers, creative workers and other scholars continue to produce and share knowledge solutions through multidisciplinal and multilateral partnerships among scholars and policymakers, assisting the Philippines and other similarly vulnerable economies in attaining sustainable development goals. The Institute formation is coordinated by UP Diliman Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Benito M. Pacheco, himself a knowledge worker in DRRM.

As the national university, UP is mandated by Republic Act 9500, or the UP Charter of 2008 to exercise a unique and distinctive leadership in education, research and public service. The RESILIENCE website, with materials from the country’s foremost members of the academe, will be another project where the university expresses its continued commitment to serve the people.

UP Vice President for Public Affairs Prospero E. De Vera highlighted the significance of the website in enhancing the public’s capacity against the impact of climate change. “This website will be a very important resource for our people to better understand and prepare for the impact of climate change,” he said. “This will also greatly benefit members of the academe and students, particularly those in the SUCs (State Universities and Colleges), who will be involved in the teaching, research and public service mandates as public universities,” he added.

Experts from UP’s constituent units: UP Diliman, UP Los Baños, UP Manila, UP Visayas, UP Open University, UP Mindanao, UP Baguio and UP Cebu, were involved in the preparation of the website. These climate change experts have been working with their colleagues, through the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The website houses an inventory of faculty and staff, as well as colleges, institutes and centers in all UP campuses, whose line of work touches on the various aspects of climate change and DRRM. It also showcases the university’s various research projects, theses and dissertations pertinent to climate change and disasters, and offers a host of related informational resources such as videos, infographics, games, news, events and educational opportunities.

A video-making side competition “The Resilience Challenge” is also being launched to mark the introduction of the online portal. Mechanics and other details may be found on the RESILIENCE website at http://resilience.up.edu.ph.

(Original Source)