“Sa susunod na anim na taon na ating pagsasamahan, malasakit ang magbibigay bigkis at buhay sa lahat ng ating layunin, sa lahat ng ating mga kilos, at sa lahat ng ating mga galaw,” thus declared President Danilo L. Concepcion during his acceptance speech as the 21st president of the University of the Philippines (UP) on Feb. 10.
President Concepcion’s speech followed the ceremonial turnover of the UP presidency from Dr. Alfredo E. Pascual, UP’s 20th president, to President Concepcion, at the lobby of Quezon Hall in UP Diliman (UPD).
Malasakit, or “compassion” has been at the core of President Concepcion’s articulations on his road to the UP presidency. In his Vision Statement, he restated UP’s mission as “honor and excellence with compassion,” by way of encouraging the UP community to serve the people.
“Pagmamalasakit ang siyang dapat na maging adhikain ng bawat isa sa atin: pagmamalasakit sa isa’t-isa; pagmamalasakit sa ating propesyon; pagmamalasakit sa ating unibersidad; at pagmamalasakit sa bayan at lipunan,” President Concepcion said, as he emphasized the role of compassion during his presidency.
In his speech, he said that he accepted the challenges that the University is facing, such as the procurement system, the need to increase the quality of academic programs, internationalization, strengthening of faculty development programs, contractualization and health care, modernizing offices, equipment and laboratories, admission and free tuition fees, increasing salaries and stipends of scholars, and rehabilitating old structures.
President Concepcion said that he recognizes the value of unity and teamwork in the UP community in helping solve these problems, and was quick to underscore that compassion would be a key to realize these two.
This is the second time for President Concepcion to assume a university presidency position and to hold office at the Quezon Hall. In 2000-2002, the law professor and practitioner was De La Salle Araneta University (DLSAU) president, while in February 2011, he was named as UP’s vice president for legal affairs.
In June 2011, he was appointed as dean of the UP College of Law, and in 2015, served as the executive director of the UP Bonifacio Global City.
He finished BS Agricultural Engineering, summa cum laude, at DLSAU in 1979 and Bachelor of Laws, cum laude, from UP. In 1986, he earned a Masters of Law from the University of London as a Chevening Scholar.
He is married to Atty. Ma. Gabriela “Gaby” Concepcion, a professorial lecturer at the College of Law, a practicing lawyer and a media personality.
New UP officials
President Concepcion also announced the members of his executive team after the turn out.
Dr. Ma. Cynthia Rose Bautista of the UPD College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Nestor Yunque of the UP Visayas College of Arts and Sciences, vice president for administration; and Dr. Jose Dalisay, Jr. of the UPD College of Arts and Letters, vice president for public affairs.
Dr. Elvira Zamora, Prof. Joselito Florendo and Atty. Hector Danny Uy, all of UPD, have retained their posts as vice presidents for development, planning and finance, and legal affairs, respectively.
Dr. Teodoro Herbosa of the UP Manila College of Medicine was named as executive vice president, while Atty. Roberto Lara, a practicing lawyer, is the new secretary of the University and the Board of Regents.
Meanwhile, Dr. Pascual made his final appearance as UP president during the ceremonies. In his valedictory, he presented the accomplishments of his administration for the past six years. He also expressed confidence that UP is in good hands with President Concepcion’s outstanding qualifications.
Dr. Pascual received an artwork-trophy from President Concepcion as the latter’s parting gift, which was named “Malasakit ng tao sa sandaigdigan” and was created by Manolo Sicat of the College of Fine Arts.
The UPLB contingent, headed by Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr came in full force to witness the two-hour program. Dr. Crisanto Dorado, vice chancellor for administration, and Dr. Serlie Barroga-Jamias, vice chancellor for community affairs, also attended the program .
Also joining them were deans of colleges, namely: Dr. Felino Lansigan (arts and sciences); Dr. Willie Abasolo (forestry and natural resources); Dr. Raden Piadozo (human ecology); and Dr. Virginia Cardenas (public affairs and development).
The UPLB Edible Landscaping Team provided the decoration and styling of the Quezon hall lobby during the program . (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)