State of the University Address
15 December 2021 Wednesday) |9:00 AM | Virtual Live Feed
- To the Honorable Chair and Members of the University Board of Regents
- Members of the Administrative, Academic, and Research and Development, Extension, and Innovation Councils
- Faculty Members and Non-Teaching Staff
- Student leaders
- Students and Alumni
- Our partner agencies
- Ladies and gentlemen
I welcome you to a day of celebration and proof of our sustainable resiliency.
As we start to feel more acquainted with the idea that the New Normal will be here for a while, I believe that all of us were able to start feeling a bit of hope again. It is my genuine hope that everyone is in their best health together with your families and loved ones.
I am sure that at least once, most of us, if not all, have asked ourselves “Until when will this crisis torment us?” After all, this pandemic did not only affect our physical health, but also the status of our mental and social health. Mentally, in the sense that this health crisis made us anxious in almost everything that we do; and socially, because as we physically distance ourselves from people, our simple acts of love and friendship, such as shaking of hands and giving hugs, which we used to take for granted, were stripped from us due to the possibility of contracting an invisible enemy.
These things, in the perspective of a silver lining, taught us a lot. One is to not take everything for granted, and another one would be to celebrate even the smallest victories that we encounter each day. Every day is a blessing, and doing something worthwhile each day is a milestone.
The uncertainties and difficulties of this unexpected outbreak are still at hand, yet it is my belief that if we were able to remain standing during its onset, there is more that we can do to stay strong now that we are beginning to apply the lessons we learned from our mistakes in the past.
As I have mentioned in my University Address last year, my leadership has faced a great amount of uncertainty and heavy decisions. This year, however, became a period of hope, which I love to share with you as I go on with my address. It has never been easy leading a great institution, but it has been bearable, and it was worth it because of the help of my colleagues in the Top Management and the Administrative Council, the unwavering support and contributions of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the USeP Board of Regents, the partners of the University, and of course, the whole USeP community. You have always had my back, and as a form of gratitude, it has also been my oath of commitment throughout the years to also lead you towards healing, empowerment, and rising together.
IN THE AREA OF GOVERNANCE
It is true that the Pandemic has greatly affected the operations and routine of all institutions, organizations, and businesses. Despite that, USeP has managed to get back on its feet through the support and commitment of the members of the USeP community and because we have concrete plans on the ways forward. Roberto Zoia once said, and I quote:
“Goals give us a clear picture of what we want to accomplish.”
(End of quote)
And indeed, these goals have led to the following successful programs, activities, and projects which I am proud to share with you. These accomplishments demonstrate not only the Top Management’s exemplary governance, but also the trust and dedication of the whole USeP community. I owe today to each and every one of you. I am only a representative of all the University’s organized groups and offices, reporting the reward for our work with immense pride.
COVID-19 Projects and Initiatives of the University
The Management issued several guidelines for the work arrangement of the University employees, as well as the vaccination of the employees and students, to protect them and minimize the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus and to maintain a healthy and safe environment for the entire USeP community.
USeP as Vaccination Site
As early as April 2021, the USeP- Obrero Social Hall was used as a vaccination site by the City Health Office Agdao District. It lasted until August 2021.
In June 2021 until this month of December, the University Gymnasium and Cultural Center has served as a vaccination site. This was made possible through the University’s partnership with the Association of Regional Executives and National Agencies (ARENA), the City Health Office, and the Department of Health (DOH). The University provided volunteer staff and augmented the utility and security personnel at the vaccination site. We also provided computers, tables, chairs, and internet connectivity. There were also days when we provided food for the workers.
Vaccination of Students and Employees
The USeP COVID-19 Task Force has continuously monitored the vaccination progress of the University. As of December 6, 93 percent of the faculty and 94 percent of all non-teaching staff, across campuses, have been fully vaccinated. Also as of December 6, 49 percent of the students were confirmed to be vaccinated. This figure is subject for updating as many of the students are yet to respond to the survey.
Outstanding Volunteer Award
It is also worth mentioning the active support of the University, through the COVID 19 Task Force, to students and employees who were contracted with the virus. The commitment of the USeP COVID-19 Task Force has earned the recognition of the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency, the Regional Development Council, and the National Economic Development Authority XI. The Task Force was awarded Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteer Award in recognition of its invaluable service in the country’s response to the pandemic.
Preparation for Face-to-Face Classes
It has become the goal of the University to bring back face-to-face classes in 2022, especially for programs which require laboratory experience. Although classroom population still needs to be minimized in order to observe proper social distancing and health safety, the University has already recognized classrooms and laboratories for the limited conduct of face-to-face classes. The University has already written the Commission on Higher Education about this.
This year, the University, per the approved General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2021, has a budget of 1.1Billion pesos that was appropriated for the expenses in Personnel Services, Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses, and the huge chunk is for Capital Outlay. If you will visit the campuses of the University, you can see the rise of infrastructure projects. Included in the Capital Outlay projects for 2021 are the following infrastructure projects. For Obrero Campus, there is 50 million pesos for the Construction of 7-Storey Multi-Media Learning Resource Center; 7 million pesos for the Establishment of Smart Facility in the Newly Completed IT Building; 90 million pesos spent for the Construction of Admin Building Phase 2; 30 million pesos for the Construction of College of Applied Economics Building; 15 million pesos for the Construction of IT Building; and, 25 million pesos for the Construction of Technology and Business Incubator. For Tagum-Mabini Campus, there is 104 million pesos which was used for the Construction of Academic Building.
There is also a 5-million peso-budget for the OneUSeP, oneDATA: Turning Data into Information with Data Warehousing, 121 million pesos for the Increase in Carrying Capacity of the College of Medicine, 9 million for the Procurement of Books and Equipment for USeP College of Medicine, 652 thousand pesos for the Turnstile with ID System, 500 thousand pesos for the Conduct of Activities for Sports and Culture Development, and 500 thousand pesos for the ICT Connection and Other Equipment.
Regarding the financial performance of the University, it is observed that despite the current health crisis, the University has good performance based on GAA budget with an overall utilization rate of 91 percent as of November 30.
On behalf of the entire USeP community, I give my sincerest thanks to the National Government through the President of the Republic of the Philippines, for the huge capital outlay investment extended to USeP and for the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act or RA 10931 which has truly transformed lives.
Formulation of the USeP 10-year Strategic Plan for FY 2022-2031
The Catch-up Plan of the University will end this year; hence, we are working on a new 10-year strategic plan covering the period 2022-2031. The development of the new Strategic Plan was done through a series of workshops, meetings, and consultations with the stakeholders and partner-agencies of the University. These activities were conducted and facilitated by the USeP Technical Working Group under the guidance of a hired consultant.
ISO 9001:2015 Recertified
The University has successfully passed the ISO 9001:2015 Recertification Audit last April 26-27 which was conducted remotely by the SOCOTEC Certification Philippines, Inc.
It can be recalled that USeP had the certification audit visit on September 5-7, 2018 and was recommended for the immediate certification of ISO 9001:2015. The University also passed the first and second surveillance audits on May 27- 28, 2019 and November 3-4, 2020 respectively.
The University has successfully conducted its remote Internal Quality Audits (IQA) last March and October. The IQA is conducted mandatorily by the University at least twice a year in compliance with the ISO 9001:2015.
In compliance with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and to ensure that the relevant information and processes determined by the organization as being necessary for the effectiveness of the Quality Management System are properly documented, defined, maintained, and updated, the Campus Quality Management Coordinators (CQMCs) of the University created the USeP Business Process Map and assessed the relevance of the existing processes of the University. The Committee came up with a list of new procedure manuals which are relevant and essential to the functions, mandates, attainment of institutional goals, and continuity of business and operations of the offices in the University even in a crisis. This is also based on the identified core and support processes reflected in the revised Business Process Map (BPM) of USeP.
Also, in the University’s quest for continuous quality improvement, USeP has formulated various trademarks or brands in response to the requirements of accrediting bodies. These include the USeP Core Competencies for the Philippine Quality Awards and the USeP Educational Philosophy for the AUN-QA. USeP will also be revising the University Quality Policy to align with the new Strategic Plan next year. All of these will be for Board approval in the first quarter of 2022.
To guarantee the quality of higher education we serve our stakeholders, the University subjected eight (8) academic programs to accreditation during the remote survey visit of the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines or AACCUP on November 23-26.
The accreditation results is yet to be released by the AACCUP. This is part of the University’s commitment to ensure and maintain the quality of education and services for its primary stakeholders, the students. With the relentless support and collective efforts of our University officials, faculty, students, and staff, the University was able to achieve its annual accreditation targets as of third quarter this year.
The University’s annual accreditation target for undergraduate programs is 88 percent and USeP achieves 97 percent or 30 out of 31 accreditable programs were accredited. For graduate programs, the target is 60 percent and USeP achieves 78 percent as of third quarter this year.
The University Administration has always been committed to Quality Assurance and we have not once, set it aside. Currently, we are preparing for institutional accreditation, and we already had the orientation by the AACCUP towards this undertaking. Also, we are pursuing the ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) certification of programs which promotes quality higher education and collaboration with international bodies for the benefit of the ASEAN community. In our efforts towards QA, USeP was included in the first batch of SUCs for the program: Fostering World Class Philippine Universities Project. However, it is just sad that we were unable to implement the program as we failed to enter into an agreement with the QS Intelligence Unit because of bottlenecks in government procurement. It is unfortunate that our application for QS Stars did not go as smoothly as we hoped it would be. To share it briefly, our Bids and Awards Committee received the intention of our very own Quality Assurance Division to be evaluated by the accrediting body of QS Stars. Sadly, due to the bottlenecks in government procurement, we are still unable to secure the services of QS Intelligence Unit. I am pleased that USeP is still included in the second batch of SUCs for Fostering World Class Philippine Universities Project. We continue to find means and seek guidance from other government agencies like the CHED and the Government Procurement Policy Board on how go about this undertaking as we are sincere in this QA activity.
On Personnel Development
As of November 30, the University has recorded a total of one thousand eleven (1,011) employees, with 366 regular faculty, 161 part time faculty, and 484 non-teaching staff.
This year, 32 faculty and 11 non-teaching staff were added to the University family. We also promoted 25 faculty and three (3) non-teaching staff this year.
For 2021, a total of five (5) faculty members have availed of the University scholarship, eight (8) faculty whose studies are funded by the DOST, and forty-five (45) faculty whose studies are funded by CHED. We also have one (1) faculty scholar who is currently abroad.
As of December 7, the University, through the HRMD, has conducted 17 inhouse trainings for this year with a total of 1,622 trainees or participants. The trainings conducted include topics on Gender and Development, on Effective Communication Skills, and on Disaster Resilience, as well as awareness seminar on Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management or PRIME-HRM, on Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resource Actions, on COA’s Documentary Requirements, and Pre-Retirement Seminar Series. The University has spent 650 thousand pesos for these awareness and capacity building activities.
Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM)
The Management organized a series of online orientation, from April 6-27 for the Administrative Council members and Human Resource Management Division personnel regarding PRIME-HRM, a mechanism to assess the maturity level of an agency’s HR systems. The University is in the process of complying with PRIME HRM requirements.
Strong Gender and Development Programs
The University was awarded as champion during the 2021 Gender and Development (GAD) Summit of HEIs in Davao Region last January 22. The USeP’s Gender and Development Office (GAD) was announced as the first placer in the Best Practice on the Implementation of GAD in the Tri-focal Functions, Best Practice on the Implementation of GAD in the Extension Function of HEIs, and Best Practice on the Implementation of GAD in the Research Function of HEIs bagging the overall champion title for the 2021 GADTimpala.
The University also supported the Women’s Celebration Month by holding various events for the entire month of March. Awareness activities on Magna Carta for Women, Anti-Sexual Harassment and Safe Spaces Act, Online Human Trafficking, and Cybercrime Awareness were also held.
In support of the Philippine government’s goal of protecting the human rights of women and girls, the University conducted the 18-day Anti-VAW campaign last November 25.
The University also strongly promotes equality by conducting various webinars and workshops especially on the mainstreaming of gender in education, use of gender-fair language, SOGIE Awareness, and roles of women in disaster risk reduction.
Management Information Systems
The University, through the Systems and Data Management Division under the supervision of the Vice President for Planning Quality Assurance, has developed various systems which are essential to the continuity of business and operations in the University.
- We have developed a Customer’s Feedback System which is an online platform in the University that enables stakeholders and guests to evaluate the offices’ services based on their satisfaction level. SDMD together with PMMED, developed this system to cater to the broader scope of participants, unlike the embedded Customer’s Feedback in the Student Portal that only caters to students as respondents. Since its inception in the first quarter of 2021, the system has catered to 1,364 respondents with 598 feedbacks which were all relayed to and acted upon by concerned offices in the University. The student portal, on the other hand, generated a total of 12,946 responses from students.
Aside from this system, the University also diligently responds to complaints received via 8888. In 2021, USeP received 11 notices from 8888 and 100 percent were already closed.
- Another system that was developed is the University Document Archiving System (UDAS) – Recent developments are Trash Bin, Routes to All Pages, and Index View in all directories. These enhancements allow ease-of-use of the system.
The University received a recognition as Finalist in the “Gawad Edukampyon: Flexible and Responsive Management Category” for the Project Entry: University Documents Archiving Systems and Customer Feedback and Online Feedback System (OFS).
Gawad Edukampyon, developed by REX Education and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), is a platform that aims to recognize outstanding initiatives in the field of adaptiveness, innovativeness, and resilience of Philippine HEIs in implementing flexible learning approaches in teaching and learning, research and development and community engagement amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The University also has developed a Document Tracking System that can track and monitor the status of a document. Last December 1, SDMD conducted an online system orientation and training on the use of the University Document Tracking System with about 90 participants.
All Heads of office were directed to assign at least one staff to serve as the office admin who shall manage the incoming/outgoing electronic documents of the office, communicated via the UDTS. In January 2022, this system is expected to be used by all offices in the University.
- Added to the list of systems which the University has developed is the Human Resource Information System which allows personnel to access their Personal Information online, view Daily Time Records (DTR), view payroll and encode their evaluation for self, peer and as supervisor. The system automatically generates the consolidated performance evaluation of personnel. Soon to be implemented are modules for leave application and tracking, service credits monitoring, financial dashboard, employee scheduling and service record management.
- We have the Online Verification System that automates the verification of student records particularly the authenticity of University graduate’s Transcript of Records (TOR), Status and Date of Graduation.
- The Admission System automates the admission process in the University. When USeP was not able to administer the USeP Admission Tests this year for incoming freshmen, this system automatically generated the list of students to be admitted to the University based on a set of criteria that includes their grades in High School.
- Another system that was developed is the Online Virtual Testing that automates the testing operations of the University Assessment and Guidance Center. To date, the system has been deployed and training is underway for the system users.
- The Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) System is the platform for the BAC to post and manage Invitation to Bids for University projects. We aim to continue with our transparent procurement activities through this system.
- We also have the University Virtual Environment (UVE) Enhancements. To date, the UVE, which is also the official Learning Management System (LMS) of USeP has 13,135 users; 5,847 courses and 105,358 activities uploaded. This year, USeP procured the mobile version of the UVE in both android and iOS platforms. It now has a messaging system for technical support, public forum, accessibility widget and student feedback features.
- Of course, we have the Student Portal. This system allows students of the University to access their grades online, view their accountabilities, provide feedback on University services and evaluate their instructors/professors at the end of every semester.
With the development of the earlier-mentioned systems is the Upgrading of University ICT Resources that includes the University-wide Establishment of University’s Digital Data Storage Facility; Subscription of software licenses (Microsoft Office, Windows Desktop Operating System, SQL and Windows Server) amounting to 1.1 million pesos; Subscription of Zoom License (45 meeting licenses and 1 webinar license); University-wide Improvement of Campus WIFI; Establishment of Onsite Disaster Recovery Equipment; Improvement of ICT Infrastructure Security; and Subscription of additional internet domains. We also upgraded the Internet Bandwidth and interconnectivity of campuses. The University is paying 955 thousand pesos per month for this subscription. The internet connectivity in each campus is now up to One (1) Gigabytes per second (Gbps).
With Google’s announcement that Google Meet Recording service will no longer be part of the free package by January 2022 and that by June 2022, Google will be implementing capping in its storage service, the Office of the President has approved the procurement of Google Teaching and Learning Edition for 352 licenses, equivalent to the number of faculty in the University, amounting to 975 thousand pesos.
Rise of Infrastructures and Significant Procurements
For 2021, an amount of 240 million pesos was spent for the construction and repair of buildings across campuses.
This year, ten (10) projects were completed, while twenty (20) are currently constructed or being repaired.
The ten (10) completed projects are the:
- CED Bldg. – Fourth Floor West Wing;
- Quality Assurance, Accreditation, TLE Bldg. – Phase II;
- Industrial Electronics & Mechatronics Training Center Phase IV-B;
- Admin Building – Phase I; and
- Information Technology Building Phase VI
in OBRERO CAMPUS and the
- New Cattle Barn;
- Conversion of Speech Laboratory Classroom to Agri-Industrial Research Laboratory;
- 2-Storey Generator Shed with Transformation Pad on Top and Road Asphalting
- New CEDU Layer Poultry Production; and
- Science Laboratory Building
in Tagum-Mabini Campus
Among the twenty (20) ongoing construction projects are the:
- Phase V of the Information Technology Bldg;
- Phase 2 of the Multi-Media Learning Resource Center, College of Engineering Laboratory Bldg; CGB Graduate School Building; Science Laboratory Building; and Admin Building
- Phase 3 of the Quality Assurance, Accreditation, TLE Bldg;
- Completion of School of Applied Economics Building;and
- Technology Business Incubator of the OBRERO CAMPUS and the
- Upgrading of Banana Tissue Culture Laboratory Building;
- Rehabilitation of Electrical System;
- Upgrading of Button Mushroom Production Facility;
- Construction of Gazebo; and
- Peripheral Fence of the TAGUM-MABINI CAMPUS.
Significant procurements this year include the Supply, Delivery and Installation of Civil/Architecture Works, Millworks and Other Machinery Equipment for The Establishment of Smart Facility of I.T Building Obrero Campus with 9.1 million- peso budget; Procurement of the Various Titles of Books and Education E-resources for ULRC with a total of 8 million-peso budget; and the Procurement of One Data Project with 2.6 million-peso budget.
Amidst the ongoing pandemic, the accumulated efforts of the officials, faculty and staff of the University have led to several partnerships.
To date, we have 14 active international partners such as the:
- Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University in Thailand
- Magic 7+ Universities on research collaboration and academic engagements with universities in Canada
- Charles Darwin University in Australia
- China Jiangsu Overseas Education Service Centre
- Institute of Botany, Jiangsu Province and Chinese Academy of Sciences Nanjing, China
- Nam Cam Tho University, Vietnam
- Suan Dusit University in Bangkok, Thailand
- Tan Trao University in Vietnam
- Technical University of Babahoyo in Ecuador
- University Mobility in Asia and The Pacific
- Chandigargh University in India
- University of Yogyakarta in Indonesia; and
- The British Council UK with CHED for the Access and Competitiveness Through Internationalization of Higher Education
For 2021, the University has inked a total of 32 Memorandum of Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding with national, and local organizations and agencies. Among these include the University’s MoA with the Commission on Higher Education on Project FLEET: Flexible Learning Empowerment through Educational Technology and for the IDIG Grant to USeP School of Medicine for the Project: Procurement of Technical and Scientific Equipment.
Onboarding of the Official University Gazette in the University Website
As part of the University’s commitment towards transparency in governance, the OSU-URO on boarded the Official University Gazette to our website.
The USeP Official University Gazette is the official online publication of the Office of the President organized by the Office of the Secretary of the University and the University Records Office (OSU-URO) in coordination with the Office of the Executive Assistant (OEA). It contains policies and matters acted upon by the Board of Regents, State of the University Address (SOUA) speeches of the University President, the University Annual Reports as well as Administrative Issuances like Special Orders, Memoranda and Memorandum Circulars.
From December 2020 to date, there have been 44 designations with uniwide scope of duties, 46 designations under offices, and 213 designations with college-wide scope of duties.
USeP emerges Champion, bags Special Recognition at the 2021 Philippines Freedom of Information
I am pleased to share with you that our sincerity in implementing policies and mechanisms which enable our students and stakeholders to have access to important scholarly data for research, as well as relevant information concerning non-sensitive University dealings and operations has been recognized. USeP has received two prestigious awards for its full implementation of the government’s Freedom of Information (FOI) campaign at the 5th Edition of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Awards spearheaded by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on November 25 in Cebu City. USeP won as the 2021 FOI Champion in the State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) Category for its exemplary performance in the implementation of the FOI program that has made significant progress in providing Filipinos their right to access information on matters of public concern.
Likewise, the University Records Officer and USeP FOI Decision Maker, Mr. Robert Satorre, was one of the eight awarded as Best FOI Officers from a pool of more than four thousand FOI Officers across the country, for having driven the USeP’s efficient and effective compliance with the FOI program and processes, including zero delays in handling requests.
2019 and 2020 Performance-Based Bonus
On December 21, 2020, the University was informed by the AO25 Secretariat that it was eligible for the grant of FY 2019 Performance Based Bonus (PBB). The bonus was released to the qualified USeP officials and employees.
In compliance with the Memorandum Circular released by the AO 25 IATF, the University submitted to AO25 Secretariat the required reports and requirements for the 2020 PBB a few days ahead of the deadline.
Based on the initial results, USeP satisfied 100 percent of the PBB Good Governance Conditions, Procurement Requirements, Common General Administration and Support Services, and Support to Operations (STO) requirements. However, the University is still awaiting the evaluation results of its Physical Accomplishment to be released by the CHED-Office of Institutional Quality Assurance and Governance (OIQAG).
Establishment of Futures Thinking Consortium of SUCs in Davao Region
The Office of CHED Commissioner Aldrin Darilag, in coordination with the Office of Senator Pia Cayetano and the Philippine Futures Thinking Society, has initiated a program to improve and strengthen the Futures Thinking and Foresight in practice with the four SUCs in Region XI. This initiative aims to collaborate with the mutual goal of achieving a region with future-proof institutions and future ready graduates who shall respond to society’s regional, national, and international demands.
One of the significant preliminary activities about this initiative was the conduct of the virtual seminar titled Envisioning a Shared Future of Education for Region XI: A Futures Literacy Seminar. The activity, hosted by the USeP Continuing Education Center last November 16, aimed to capacitate the participants with the basic competencies in Futures Thinking Literacy. There is a plan to offer a Master Class in the First Quarter of 2022.
Despite the pandemic, we continued with the planned activities in 2021.
Virtual Government Service Awarding Ceremony
The University held its Virtual Government Service Awarding Ceremony last October 8, which is our way of giving recognition to a number of USeP employees for their unwavering loyalty and continuous quality service to the University.
Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signing for the USeP Land Use Development and Infrastructure Plan (LUDIP)
A MoA signing for the USeP Land Use Development and Infrastructure Plan or LUDIP was also entered into by USeP with the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development – Region XI.
The Republic Act No. 11396, known as the SUCs LUDIP Act, requires all SUCs to prepare and submit their LUDIP to CHED. This is to ensure the optimal, sustainable, and holistic development, allocation, and utilization of the land and other valuable properties or resources within the campus’ geographical boundaries. The SUCs are given two (2) years to prepare the LUDIP from the effectivity of the law. As of third quarter of 2021, the percentage of completion of USeP LUDIP is 67 percent.
Conduct of the Campus Peace and Development Forum
The University, through the Office of Student Affairs and Services, has partnered with Tactical Operations Wing Eastern Mindanao and Philippine Air Force Civil-Military Operations Group in the conduct of the Campus Peace and Development Forum held on February 5. In the same forum, the Office of the University President issued a statement on USeP being targeted for radicalization and recruitment of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
In my message, I highlighted that that USeP does not condone activities of the CCP-NPA-NDF and other extremist groups. We will not let these people, these groups snatch our students, our children under our noses!
Conduct of Top Management Meetings
To discuss and act on pertinent matters involving the University, especially those that are urgent and within the authority of the President, the Office of the President has organized at least sixteen (16) Top Management Meetings in 2021. The Top Management meetings are regularly done prior to the Administrative, Academic, and Research and Development, Extension, and Innovation Councils’ meeting to ensure that matters to be deliberated by the Councils have been threshed out at the level of the Top Management.
Equally significant activities that we were able to push through as planned include the:
- Cascading of FY 2021 Targets;
- FY 2020 Annual Performance Evaluation;
- USeP FY 2022 Budget Review and Consultation;
- Virtual Wellness and Sports program;
- USeP Virtual Family Day 2021 held via Zoom platform and Facebook Live which turned out to be a very joyous event; and the
- Data Privacy Caravan Kick-off Activity spearheaded by the Office of Legal Affairs that aims to promote awareness of the legal implications of RA 1073 or the Data Privacy Act.
IN THE AREA OF INSTRUCTION
The University has recorded a total of 8,360 enrolees from January to May 2021 and 10,629 enrolees from August to December 2021. For second semester of school year 2020-2021 and off-semester of 2021, the University President has conferred 2,041 graduates from higher education and 445 from advanced education.
As of the current semester, the University offers a total of 43 undergraduate and 30 graduate programs spread throughout the campuses. Of the 43 undergraduate academic programs, 34 are with CHED Notation.
As part of our effort to strengthen the higher and advanced education programs of the University, we are pleased to share that 100 percent of the undergraduate programs are OBE aligned. At the start of 2021, USeP has only nine (9) programs with Certificate of Program Compliance. To date, the University has 26 programs with COPC and there are 21 more programs awaiting schedule of CHED evaluation.
Also to date, 94 percent of the undergraduate programs are accredited while it is 78 percent for the graduate programs.
Full Implementation of Flexible Learning and USeP Virtual Environment (UVE) Utilization
It can be recalled that in 2020, we held a Capacity Building Series on Flexible Learning to capacitate faculty members on various flexible learning options, module writing, and the use of USeP-virtual learning environment (VLE) as a learning management system (LMS). One hundred percent of the faculty have attended in-house trainings or participated in externally organized capacity building activities. As of the end of November, we have 497 completed course packs and 378 are still being developed.
For USeP Virtual Environment (UVE) Utilization, 96 percent of the 13,135 active users are students and the remaining four percent are faculty. We have 24/7 access to Learning Management System with standby tech support.
Implemented Flexible SAS
The pandemic did not hamper the implementation of activities to support students and faculty. Flexible modalities were adopted to sustain the conduct of activities in the areas of sports, culture and arts, discipline, and scholarship. As a result of the implementation of flexible student affairs and services:
- 100 percent of clubs and organizations were organized through virtual platform;
- Student leaders were elected through electronic voting system;
- Virtual sports and wellness programs were actively participated in by faculty and students;
- Student’s feedback and complaints were acted and facilitated;
- Various scholarship partnerships were forged; and we were able to
- Provide emergency assistance to students or faculty who were affected by the pandemic and other calamities.
Though we have the RA 10931, or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education, which ensures government full subsidy to students, the University still forged partnerships with several government agencies and private companies and individuals for the monthly allowances and other benefits of the students. As of November 30, one thousand seventeen (1,017) have availed of these monthly allowances and other benefits.
Successful Launching and Opening of the Doctor of Medicine Program
After five (5) years of continuous preparation and commitment to open the Doctor of Medicine program, the University finally launched the School of Medicine last October. We opened the first semester on November 8 with 20 students.
Strengthened Program in the School of Law and the Establishment of the Legal Aid Clinic
I am pleased to share our sustained compliance with the Legal Education Board’s requirements that resulted to continued issuance of year level permits. It can be recalled that the Board has approved the budget of 1.7 million pesos to start the School of Law – Legal Aid Center (SoL-LAC). The School of Law officially launched its Legal Aid Center last July 27. It serves as the extension arm of the University as it commits to take on the cases of the poor, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized.
Inclusivity Programs (CEBB, PCIPE, USeP MEC)
As a state university, we acknowledge our social responsibility that is why we offer programs that promote inclusivity like the support to students with special needs which resulted to increased students’ satisfaction and confidence, and strengthened student survival and graduation rate. Of course, we continue to offer programs through the College Education Behind Bars. After four years of operations and active partnership with SETBI and BJMP, eight (8) students earned a degree on BS in Agricultural Business this year. We also have five (5) graduates this year under BS in Computer Technology.
For the school year 2021-2022, we offer BS in Development Anthropology, BS Agricultural Business, BS in Social Entrepreneurship, and Bachelor of Elementary Education under the Pamulaan Center for Indigenous Peoples Education, made possible through our partnership with Assisi Development Foundation. We have a total of ninety-three (93) students, coming from twenty-six (26) ethnolinguistic groups in the country, who are currently enrolled at USeP-Pamulaan. However, due to the strict adherence of the Covid-19 protocols in all localities, there are only sixty-one (61) IP youth grantees who were able to return to Pamulaan.
In October, the Pamulaan Center for IP Education hosted the 16th KaAmbitan, the National Indigenous Young Leaders Summit. This event collaborates with various indigenous youth groups, IP emergent leaders, IP elders in the country, IP Advocates, local and international youth organizations, development partners, and other stakeholders.
Another effort of the University to promote inclusivity is the establishment of USeP Malabog Campus in partnership with the Department of Education, City and Barangay LGU, and the IP Community. There is already an approved MOA for this and the opening of classes is set in school year 2022-2023.
Integration of CDIO in Curriculum and Instruction
The USeP CDIO Initiative Committee under the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs in partnership with the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning successfully held the Basic Conceive, Design, Implement, and Operate or CDIO Faculty Development Course and its Advance Level last July. The activity aims to implement the CDIO as a holistic approach to cohere with the programs’ objectives, outcomes, and underlying philosophies along with their pedagogical practices. CDIO is now integrated in the course design of selected pilot courses in the University.
High Investment on Digital Resources
This year, we renewed and sustained the subscription of journals and other electronic resources. We also implemented innovative strategies to reach out to students and avail the library services, and conducted series of orientation to faculty and students on accessing digital library resources. Also, we widened our partnership with other HEI libraries for resource sharing and expanded student access. These efforts resulted to 24-hour access to library digital resources; 24-hour tech support; and multiple options for students to access library resources.
Intensified support for Mental Wellness
It is also worth mentioning that we intensified our telecounseling services, expanded services on psychological testing, and strengthened referral mechanism. These resulted to improved clients’ psychological wellness and we have 11 faculty and 144 students who received counselling services.
42nd Commencement Exercises
This year, we held our second Virtual Ceremony for the 42nd Commencement Exercises. The Philippine President, His Excellency Rodrigo R. Duterte; CHED Chairman, Dr. Prospero De Vera III; Senator Christopher Lawrence Go; and CHED Commissioner and USeP BOR Chair, Dr. Aldrin Darilag graced the event as Guest Speakers.
As a result of the commitment of the Administration and the teaching force to serve a better and improved academic year, our beloved USePians, in return, demonstrated excellence during the licensure examinations and different competitions held this year.
Consistent Graduates’ Performance in Licensure Examinations
For 2021, we are proud to say that the University is able to produce graduates who top in 11 different licensure examinations, namely:
- Top 1, 4, and 10 in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineer
- Top 1 and 10 in Electronics Engineers
- Top 2 in Electronics Technician
- Top 5 in Geologist
- Top 5 and 6 in Mining Engineers
- Top 6 in Civil Engineer
- Top 7 in Librarian Exam
- Top 7 in Registered Master Electrician
- Top 3, 5, and 6 in Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) Secondary Level
- Top 8 in LET Elementary Level and
- Top 9 in Registered Electrical Engineer (REE) Licensure Examination.
It is also worth mentioning that USeP is hailed as
- Top 7 in the August Licensure Examination for Mining Engineers; and
- Top 1 in the February Geologist Licensure Examination with a 100 percent passing rate.
It is also noteworthy that our strong support to our students have led to awards in national, Mindanao, and regional competitions.
USeP Team as 1st Runner Up in the 2021 Enactus Philippines’ National Finals
The Project iProseso Team composed of students from BS Entrepreneurship, BS Electronics Engineering, and BS Economics placed first runner-up in the 2021 Enactus Philippines National Finals Competition last August 28.
Project iProseso is a service platform software that facilitates automatic disbursement of medical and cash aid to its beneficiaries through a digital wallet app or a smart queuing kiosk; enabling a hassle-free and safer approach for the Lingap program of the City Government and other agencies such as DSWD, PCSO, and hospitals.
The USeP Team was also recognized as one of the Top 10 finalists of “QOMPETE: Intercollegiate Technopreneurs Challenge with a startup called “Agrero”. This competition was participated in by different HEIs nationwide. The Agrero team is composed of BS in Entrepreneurship students of the University and is also a current incubatee of AGILab.
The USeP i-FertigateNa was recognized as the 2nd runner up during the Impact Hackathon 5G Agriculture Competition last October 9. The team included students from CARS, CTET, and CBA.
Several awards were received by our students in Mindanao and in regional competitions, but I cannot mention them all as we do not have the luxury of time. I just want to thank all the faculty-coaches and mentors who really spent time with our students and made these accomplishments possible.
IN THE AREA OF RESEARCH, EXTENSION, AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
As one of the esteemed academic institutions in the region, we aim to become a premier research university not only in the country but as well as in the ASEAN and beyond. In the University’s 43 years of existence, we have developed programs, initiated projects, engaged in research of various sectors, and conducted extension activities geared at helping the community. Of course, all of these were fulfilled with the help of the different funding institutions.
For year 2021, we have 12 completed research; 47 ongoing internally-funded research projects/studies; and a total of 32 externally funded R and D projects that have a total equivalent amount of 117 million pesos. The highest externally funded research projects are the Bangsamoro History and Culture (BHC): Development and Publication of Research-based Anthology and Modules with 10 million-peso grant from CHED, and the Integrated Management Response to the Spread of Fusarium Wilt of Banana in Southeast Asia (ACIAR Phase 2) with 9.7 million-peso grant from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
In the area of research, we were able to ink partnerships with 37 agencies and industries, and established 11 centers for 2021. Among our research outputs, 23 are being utilized by the industry. We have a total of 62 research projects published in refereed journals and 85 citations with a total incentives of 978 thousand pesos. Also, 47 percent of our regular faculty members across campuses are involved in research. We are hoping that in the years to come this figure will significantly increase.
Among our research projects that have great impact in the community include the PISOLAR: Payment Innovation of SHS Ownership via Lay Away Routine. The project has designed, developed, and deployed a pay-as-you-go solar home system (PAYG-SHS) using alternative wireless technologies. The pay-as-you-go solar home system is proven to overcome the affordability barrier since it has a flexible payment scheme that households with lower income can avail.
Another impactful research is the DOST-PCAARRD funded project titled Science for Convergence of Agriculture and Tourism or SciCAT-AGRI-VIDA: A project on the advancement and generation of reliable source of income through value-added innovations and continual dissemination of agri-technologies towards sustainable farm tourism. Now on its Phase 2 implementation, the project generated almost 5million-peso budget for two years. To date, the Dimpas Greentigrated Agri-Tourism Farm as SciCAT was recognized by Brgy. Caganganan and Banaybanay Municipality and was eventually accredited by the Department of Tourism XI.
There is also the IPTBM project or Sustaining the Intellectual Property and Technology Business Management of USeP and Establishing IP-TBM in Consortium Member Institutions (CMIs) of SMAARRDEC in Davao Region. Though this project, USeP acting as a big brother, capacitates the other SUCs in the region in the process of patenting application and in the inventory and management of the technology generated by their respective institutions. USeP has generated more than 3.5 million pesos for the implementation of this project, while other SUCs have an average budget of about 2 million pesos each.
Hosting of SMAARRDEC
The University’s hosting of the Southern Mindanao Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development Consortium (SMAARRDEC) since April 2003 has propel the University’s goal of becoming a Research University. With a yearly allocation of 500 thousand pesos in support to the Consortium’s operations, the University has implemented several collaborative research projects in the region which generated millions of funding from the external funding agency-partners. It is evident in the recent National Symposium Agriculture Aquatic and Natural Resources (NSAARRD) where the project “Synergize Academe-Industry Research Undertakings to Improve Productivity through Development of a Banana Diseases Surveillance System which is ROSANNA or Real-time Online Surveillance for Banana” was recognized. Project ROSANNA is a mobile agricultural disease surveillance system that uses both mobile-and web-based applications. It gathers and disseminates disease-related information at farm level. It is one project where the impact of government’s investment on research can be immediately felt and observed. This project, funded by DOST under the Science for Change Program CRADLE or Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy, also leads to the first collaboration between USeP and Hijo Resources Corporation (HRC).
Intellectual Property Registration
For registration of the Intellectual Property of the University in 2021;
- on Patents, there is 1 application, 2 Certificate of Registration Received, 3 for issuance of letters of patent and 1 under prosecution;
- on Utility Model, 2 were for issuance of certificates
- on Copyright, there are 9 outputs deposited
- on Trademarks, 1 was already registered
There are 11 technologies of the University being processed for commercialization. Four (4) of which, namely: Cacao Pod Bagger (PitiCao), Mango Power Spray Nozzle (MPSN), Modified Mango Fruit Picker (MMFP), and Mango Post Harvest Facility (MPHF) have already signed technology licensing agreements with Industry partners. Two of these technologies, the PISOLAR and SHOFAR are now in the process of drafting the agreement with another set of industry partners. The rest of the technologies, namely: Brailliance, MusaBag, Trichoderma Soil Injector, Banana Blossom Soil Injector, and Icing Smoother are on pre-commercialization stage.
It is also significant to note that USeP’s Project AGILab of the Technology Business Incubation (TBI) Unit has a total of twenty-six (26) incubatees. One of the University’s incubatees Mamay, a startup created through a college thesis under the College of Information and Computing, won the 2020 NASA Space Apps Challenge – Davao held on October 2-4, 2020. The Team got funding support and business mentorship and co-incubation with MSU-IIT Ideya.
Because of these accomplishments, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has bestowed to USeP a gold award. Out of more than 100 Innovation and Technology Support Offices (ITSOs) in the Philippines, USeP was one of only three (3) higher education institutions to be given the gold award.
Extension Programs and Projects
For this year, USeP has eighteen (18) active instruction-based extension programs. And all of these extension programs are implemented this year despite the pandemic. Among these programs are the:
- Sustainable Service for Social Transformation and Indigenous Peoples’ Empowerment and Development (SUSSTAINED);
- Tulong Alay sa Pag-angat ng Buhay At Kaalamaan ng Nangangailangang Kabataan, mga Magulang at Ginagabayan ng mga Guro (TABANG);
- EyeSee-Enabled Barangay II (EEB II) Program (Program Extension);
- Davao Region Water and Sanitation HUB;
- Amoma ug Giya Alang sa Kahamugaway (Care and Guide for Stability):
- ILAYAG UG IWAHIG: Household Electrification Sustainability and Water System Installation in Sitio Igang, Talaingod, Davao del Norte;
- HEAL Philippines;
- Braille Literacy Innovation For Educators (BRAVEd); and
- Climate Resilient Agriculture 2.0: Agri-Fisheries Cooperatives on Technopreneurship for Adaptation and Mitigation Initiatives in Agriculture
I am also pleased to note that after 15 years, the second Edition of the RDE Manual was approved by the Board last July 26. It is an enhanced version of the 2006 RDE Manual. The RDE Framework is incorporated in the approved RDE Manual. It serves as the guiding principle in the implementation of RDE PAPs ensuring that outputs will provide impact to our intended users. It also provides a dynamic synergy in achieving the vision of the University along with instruction and production highlighting the essence of innovation.
Also, this year we activated the Office of Project Development and Linkages or OPDeL that will facilitate the creation of linkages in coordination with the RDE Divisions and the colleges where the expertise is lodged, thus, facilitating the invitations for RDE engagements locally and internationally. Currently, the OPDeL is assisting the projects on Impact Assessment of the Phil LIDAR Program, the Development of the Philippine Groundwater Health Index for Monitoring Groundwater in Agricultural Areas, the Balik Scientist Program of DOST-PCIEERD, and a Research Collaboration Project with Jakarta State University.
We also activated this year the Research and Extension Review and Monitoring Committee to review all RDE Proposals of the University prior to endorsement to the President. And still this year, we operationalized the University Research and Development, Extension, and Innovation Council (URDEIC) and Local Research and Development, Extension, and Innovation Council (LoRDEIC) as stipulated in the RDE Manual and which creation was approved by the Board in 2020. The LoRDEIC operates at the college level to review RDE PAPs and endorse the same for approval at the university level.
Relevant RDE activities for the year include the:
- Launch of the Southeastern Philippines Journal of Research and Development (SPJRD) Talks last August 27. SPJRD Talks is a scholars’ forum scheduled every third Friday of the month which aims to provide platform for selected researchers to discuss their studies and answer questions from participants.
- We also had the 2021 University In-House Review of Research with twenty-four (24) research proposals and two (2) extension proposals reviewed and evaluated by external experts;
- Series of Technical Training Seminars conducted in the colleges;
- Promoting Food Resiliency in Agriculture and Fishery Project in Region XI;
- Capability training on the conduct and management of Extension Programs and Services;
- SERDAC WiSER National Statistics Month Series;
- Research Manuscript and Proposal-Writing Writeshop for Faculty and Students; and
- Training on Publishing in High Impact Journals for faculty members, non-teaching staff, students, and external participants.
IN THE AREA OF PRODUCTION/RESOURCE GENERATION
In the area of Production, the University has continued the operation of its commercial stalls across campuses. There is also an expansion of the animal production. We are also renovating the University Hostel that will lead to better services to our clients and at the same time generating revenue for the University.
As of November 30, the University earned a gross income of 5.3 million pesos from the various income generating projects (IGPs) of the University. Eighty-six percent (86%) of this income came from crop production in Tagum-Mabini Campus, specifically from Lakatan Banana. Rents and lease of assets in Obrero and Tagum-Mabini Campuses, such as commercial stalls, water systems and house, contributed 13 percent to the income while the remaining one percent is from Other Business and Interest Income.
The construction of the USeP Gymnasium and Cultural Center Gate and Pavement and the renovation of its commercial stalls is currently on procurement process. Once done, the commercial stalls in the Gymnasium are expected to greatly contribute to the income of the University.
These accomplishments, ladies and gentlemen, are but few examples of the numerous things we may accomplish as an academic institution that is united to being good stewards of the different resources entrusted to us.
Several plans and projects may have been put on hold this year owing to the pandemic’s limits, but we remain hopeful for brighter days ahead, when we will be able to achieve our goals to our full potential, free of anxiety. Many incidents this year attempted to break the academic spirit of resilience, but we stand united and stronger than before, since we have learned to assess areas in the University where we can still improve.
I am now on my sixth year in the presidency of this institution where I have spent more than three decades of my life. Those who have closely worked with me can attest that my commitment to serve USeP has never waived since day one. My faith in the competence of this University to change lives and transform communities will always remain.
Herbert Spencer once said that “the true aim of education is not knowledge but action.” When we talk about education, people often think that acquiring knowledge is the sole objective. While it is indeed the key, taking action is its ultimate goal, for learning is not something you do for the sake of it, but something you do in order to achieve a greater purpose.
Having said this, I want to acknowledge our dear Board of Regents and the University officials for being the vanguards so that USeP will remain firm in fulfilling its special set of responsibilities to our region and country. I cannot thank you enough for your immense contribution in all decision-making processes, most especially during these past 21 months.
Let me also thank all our faculty and non-teaching staff across campuses for their invaluable service to the University. You all have greatly contributed to the success of USeP. You are the people behind the scenes, serving as the support that strengthened the foundation of the University. No amount of money could ever compensate for everything that you have done and will continue to do for the University.
I cannot help but believe that we were all destined to be part of the USeP community. I strongly believe that all of us are called together in the right place at the perfect time, because we are the ones who can navigate our way through any circumstance and lift USeP higher despite all the obstacles that would be thrown its way. No words can express how grateful I am to be working with all of you.
I urge everyone to keep on with the path that we are currently taking. We will undoubtedly face many challenges and experience momentary setbacks, but let us take heart and not lose hope. As Elizabeth Edwards said it, and I quote:
“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”
(End of quote)
The University of Southeastern Philippines will continue to strive for greatness while preserving the University’s core values as distinguishing features. May the accomplishments that I have just mentioned serve as incentive to do more, for the future of the students, the youth, our hope, depends on their educational experience in the University.
In a few years, we will celebrate half a century’s worth of achievements. Until then, let us work on propelling USeP to greater heights.
Thank you very much for your time and may the culmination of 2021, be a commencement of a brighter 2022.
I send my warmest greetings and wishes for blessings to you and your families this Christmas. And as we enter a new year, may we stand even stronger and hold on to our faith. Let us share our blessings to those who are in need and let us spend quality time with our families because sometimes the gift of “being there” is enough to complete a season.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Sa makausa pa, daghang salamat ug maayong adlaw kanatong tanan.