Chancellor’s Report - Dec 2015 -Jan 2016
As we entered 2016, encouraging news from all fronts in the University buoyed our spirits.
Our road network is going to get much needed rehabilitation and improvement work with the approval of the budget for the construction of various infrastructure projects under the General Appropriations Act for FY 2016 (otherwise known as RA No. 10717) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
On Jan. 7, the DPWH regional and district offices surveyed three projects, which the DPWH Regional Office IV-A will implement. These projects are:
- The rehabilitation of the asphalt pavement of IPB Road and its two bridges have been allocated PhP55 million. Almost the same amount (PhP57 million) has also been allocated to construct a road and a bike lane on Pili Drive. Rambutan Road—the road perpendicular to Pili Drive traversing one side of the main building of the College of Engineering and Agro-industrial Technology (CEAT) to the Supply and Property Management Services Office – will also be constructed.
- PhP67 million has been allocated for the construction of a two-lane reinforced concrete deck girder bridge that will connect both sides of Molawin River from Victoria Ela and Rambutan Roads. This will replace the footbridge that was permanently dmaged by typhoon Milenyo in 2006. To reinforce both sides of the Molawin bank, a pier and soil erosion mitigation program has also been included in the budget.
- The Laguna 2nd District Engineering Office, on the other hand, will oversee the completion of the APEC Road connecting the IPB Road to the Gov. FT San Luis Road in Bay, Laguna; this project has a budget of PhP24.70 million. It will also construct the UPLB Corps of Cadets building with a budget of PhP10.0 million. DPWH has already conducted a site visit and survey of the sites. The total cost of these projects is PhP213.70 million.
To help attain regional food security, we organized a forum and a conference aimed at contributing toward the integration of agricultural and biosystems engineering in agriculture production.
Through CEAT, we collaborated with the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in organizing the 3rd Regional Forum on Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization in Asia and the Pacific, the 11th Session of the Governing Council and Technical Committee at the 3rd ASEAN Conference on Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. This was held simultaneous with and in the same location as the 12th Engineering Research and Development Technology Conference on Agriculture (Dec. 9-10, 2015 at the Century Park Hotel, Manila). The forum, attended by 65 foreign delegates, explored the potentials of augmenting human resource to achieve sustainable agricultural mechanization.
In line with our objective of being a globally competitive university, we continue to expand our horizons and foster collaborations with foreign universities. On December 2, 2015, we formalized an agreement with Nagoya University to host the Nagoya University Asian Satellite Campus in UPLB. This agreement would enable Filipino candidates to take their doctorate degrees in international development and bioagricultural sciences—without sacrificing their career—to be a resident student in Nagoya University.
We are moving ahead into the future with the gains we have made in making UPLB a globally competitive graduate and research university. After months of taking care of required procedures and documentation, we are finally ready to construct the Graduate School International Student and Cultural Center. In fact, we held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark this milestone on Dec. 2, 2015.
Meanwhile, UPLB continues to demonstrate academic excellence with programs that the Commission on Higher Education declared as Centers of Excellence (COE) before the end of 2015. These programs include:
- Agriculture education of the College of Agriculture;
- Development communication of the College of Development Communication;
- Forestry education of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources;
- Veterinary education of the College of Veterinary Medicine;
- Environmental science of the School of Environmental Science and Management;
- Biology education of the Institute of Biological Sciences; and
- Statistics education of the Institute of Statistics.
Moreover, our chemical engineering program under CEAT was also named a center for development in chemical engineering education, recognizing its strong potential to become a future COE.
Two of our graduates brought honor to UPLB after being given the 2015 Magsaysay Future Engineers/Technologists (MFET) Award by the National Academy of Science and Technology and the Department of Science and Technology on December 16, 2015 at the Manila Hotel. Ryan Karlo A. Madamba bagged the top award while Ian Lorenzo E. Gonzaga earned second prize. Both are BS Chemical Engineering graduates of 2015. MFET aims to encourage young Filipino students to pursue careers in science and technology. Jan Tristan M. Acenas, also from UPLB, received a special citation. Congratulations to our MFET awardees!
With these accomplishments to wrap up 2015, we are inspired to soldier on in 2016, looking forward to more opportunities to grow as a research and graduate university at the forefront of national development.