University of the Philippines Los Baños

UP and the Anflo Management and Investment Corporation (ANFLOCOR) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA)  that will pave the way for the physical development of the UP Professional Schools in Agriculture and the Environment (UP PSAE) in Agriya, Panabo, Davao del Norte. The MOA signing took place at 10 a.m. on Jan. 30 at the UP BOR Room in Quezon Hall.

The MOA formalizes the donation of 31,000 sqm of land by ANFLOCOR to UP and for the former to design, develop and construct buildings and facilities on the donated land. Its signing follows on the heels of the recent approval by the BOR of the establishment of UP PSAE in Agriya, Panabo City in Davao del Norte at its 1322nd meeting on Nov. 24.

UP President Alfredo E. Pascual and Ricardo Luis Mateo F. Lagdameo, vice president of Damosa Land Inc., an affiliate of ANFLOCOR,  signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.

In his message, President  Pascual shared how the formation of UP PSAE adds to the other efforts of the UP System to bring UP education to other parts of the country, with previous initiatives seeing the establishment of UP professional campuses in Cebu, Pampanga, Tacloban, and at the Bonifaco Global City in Taguig.

Lagdameo said that the project is in line with ANFLOCOR’s vision for the Davao del Norte land use master plan in which they hoped to include various components of  agriculture. According to him, UPLB was the ideal educational institution to partner with to achieve this vision and improve agriculture in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, who signed the agreement as a witness, said that with the opportunities and challenges presented by the ASEAN Integration, it is  “crucial and timely that an educational institution that specializes in agriculture be established at the heart of the center of agriculture in the Philippines.” He added that this partnership is an opportunity to bring UPLB’s expertise closer and make it more accessible not only in Panabo City, but the rest of Mindanao.

Establishment of the UP PSAE is an initiative of UPLB that is anchored on UPLB’s proven capacities in agriculture and environmental science.

The UP PSAE will progress in two phases. The first, covering five years, starts on the First Semester of Academic Year 2017-2018. UP-PSAE will offer off-campus graduate programs and short training courses under the supervision of the UPLB Graduate School through a program director.

On its Phase II,  UP PSAE will become a new school of UPLB and will have its own dean and residential graduate programs. A budget of PhP271 million shall be allocated for UP PSAE’s first 11 years.

(JJA Arana & MJE Gloria, with excerpts from the UP PSAE Proposal)