The ever-supportive Congressman of Butuan City and 1st District of Agusan del Norte, who is the principal author in the CSU creation, our very own Hon. Jose ‘Joboy’ S. Aquino; our active and development-oriented City Mayor of Butuan, Dr. Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr.; our partners in the various programs and projects for the sustainable development of Caraga Region; esteemed members of the Board of Regents; the mainstay of CSU - the Faculty, Staff and Students; Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, a pleasant morning to you all.
‘A long journey starts with a single step’… This is a popular saying, which I believe everybody can relate since this is often stated when one hesitates to start working on a novel idea, take on a new engagement or tread on new grounds.
The Caraga State University (now popularly known as CSU) has just started this long journey… This is the journey on the delivery of its mandate as the catalyst in sustainable socio-economic development of Caraga Region. Today marks the 2nd year of the University’s journey thus, we celebrate the University’s 2nd year anniversary… As the University turns 2 years old, many events took place that brought considerable achievements of the tasks set in accordance with its mandate… These achievements happened because of the bold and determined steps the University has been taking…
The Caraga State University, being State-funded, is one of the many government academic institutions affected by the reduced financial resources allocated by the government. As such, the funds are not adequate to finance all the projects and activities in order for CSU to deliver the goods and services it is mandated to deliver to the communities in its service area… As a State University, CSU is tasked to supply Caraga Region with capable and proficient human resources to backstop the industries that sustain the economy of the region. Aside from this, the university is directed to generate information and technology useful in making decisions and policies in the management and implementation of development programs and projects to propel socio-economic development in the region, as well as in providing show windows of technology through its Production function. In all these mandated functions, the University requires financial support… Nevertheless, we beat these odds, we were able to transcend barriers and we gracefully delivered what we need to deliver to Caraga Region.
Allow me to share with you the successes that we made together during the 2nd year of our journey as a University:
On the performance in Licensure Examinations, the university reaped honors and recognition in Geodetic Engineering, Agricultural Engineering and Forestry for the Excellent Performance of the graduates.
In Geodetic Engineering Licensure Examination, Engr. Hospicio Pep Caluya Ebarle Jr. placed 5th in the Top Ten Passers. This has become a yearly achievement among Geodetic Engineering graduates. This remarkable performance places CSU among the ‘Best Performing Schools’ in the Philippines, putting it ‘in the league’ with prominent universities in Geodetic Engineering which include the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Visayas State University and the Mapua Institute of Technology.
In Agricultural Engineering, CSU obtained another 100% passing rate, capped by Engr. Karyl M. Bajao who bagged 3rd place in the Licensure Examination for Agricultural Engineers on August 22-23, 2011. If you still remember that last year, the pioneering batch also got a 100% passing, making it two in a row for CSU. This outstanding feat is indeed a landmark that reflects the quality of education we offer in the University.
The BS Forestry graduates likewise made the CSU banner fly high in the arena of Forestry Licensure Exams. In the July 2011 Exams, CSU grabbed 2 places in the Top Ten, with Herbert T. Sabac and Ram Hezron C. Cubao, taking the 6th and 9th place, respectively.. With this performance, CSU joins the top universities in Forestry Education. Last year, it landed 3rd among the schools with over 10 takers, by garnering 67% passing rate, next to Central Mindanao University’s 70% and University of the Philippines Los Banos’ 96% passing rate.
The latest exam results in the Electronics Engineering likewise gave another reason for CSU to rejoice. Though the number of takers is less than 10, a 100% passing rate was attained.
In terms of student enrollment, the university is attracting every semester a big share of applicants. However, due to lack of classrooms and other facilities, CSU only takes in and caters to about 6,000 students every semester this school year. These students are mainly coming from Butuan City and nearby municipalities. However, about half of the student population comes from adjacent provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and even from the 2 Surigao provinces.
On student scholarship, the mining firms such as Carrascal Nickel Corporation, Cagdianao Mining Corporation, SR Metals Incorporated and Taganito Mining Corporation have provided scholarships to poor but deserving students enrolled in Mining Engineering, Information Technology, Environmental Science and Forestry. VP Jejomar Binay is also opening a Scholarship Program as part of his PDAF. Dr. Luisito I. Tabada, VP for Academic Affairs, is representing CSU in the Orientation about the scholarship right now. Scholarships sponsored by AbaMin and Senator Ralph Recto are also available in the University. These scholarship programs are on top of the scholarships regularly offered in the university.
On Faculty strength, I wish to report that the faculty line-up of the University to backstop Instruction is getting stronger and more diverse in terms of specialization. With the return of the faculty-scholars, the faculty at present is composed of 27% with PhD degree, 51% with MS/MA, while the remaining 22% are BS holders. Over 70% of the faculty members have specializations in Science, Technology and Engineering that correspond with the curricular programs offered in the University.
On program accreditation, the Department of Mathematics continues to be the Center of Development (COD) and the delivering institution for Mathematics in the region. In addition to Mathematics, the university is also applying for accreditation of the Biology and Information Technology programs to become Centers of Development. In line with the application of CSU for the accreditation of its Biology and Information Technology programs as COD, CHED granted funds worth 1 M for each program in support to the modernization of the laboratory equipment and other facilities.
On July this year, AACCUP (the accrediting organization for SUCs) assessed 7 curricular programs which include the BS in Agriculture, BS in Forestry, BS in Computer Science, BS in Information Technology, BS in Environmental Science, BS in Biology and BS in Geodetic Engineering for accreditation. Of these programs, 3 are for Level I and 4 are just preliminary survey for readiness in the Level I accreditation. So far, the AACCUP gave positive feedbacks on the performance of all the programs subjected to accreditation.
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT
On Human Resource Development, the university reaps the biggest harvest this year among the faculty-scholars pursuing PhD or MS degrees in various prestigious universities in the Philippines. Of the scholars, 12 returned with their diplomas this year - 3 for Ph.D. degree and 9 for the MS degree. Dr. Raquel M. Balanay and Dr. Van Leeah B. Alibo brought home their Ph.D. diplomas in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Science, respectively from the University of the Philippines Los Banos (or UPLB). Ms. Aisa O. Manlosa also graduated from UPLB with MS in Environmental Science and Mr. Kenneth L. Ciudad with MS in Chemistry. I wish to make special mention that our scholars in UPLB finished their degrees with flying colors. Ms. Manlosa and Dr. Alibo garnered the ‘Award for Academic Excellence’ while Dr. Balanay clutched the ‘Outstanding Dissertation Award’ from the College of Economics and Management.
Likewise, Dr. Tomas M. Austral, Jr. reported back to active service with his Ph.D. in Animal Science diploma awarded by the Visayas State University on April 2011. From the Ateneo de Manila University (or ADMU), 3 scholars successfully hurdled the requirements in their MS programs and subsequently clutched their diplomas this year. Mr. Henson M. Dejarme graduated with MS in Chemistry degree, Ms. Deomila Basnig with Master in Chemistry and Mr. Joey Arles O. Vergara finished the Master in Physics degree. Of those enrolled in the MS in Forestry program at the Central Mindanao University (or CMU), 2 scholars (For. Rey N. Cossid and For. Amelyn Ambal) have graduated from their program. Their educational advancement is seen as impetus to further strengthen the offering of the BS in Forestry program of CASNR. Lastly, but definitely not the least, are the scholars of CEIT: Engr. Michelle V. Japitana and Engr. Alex T. Demetillo. Engr. Japitana received her MS in Remote Sensing diploma from the University of the Philippines Diliman while Engr. Demetillo received his diploma in Master of Engineering from Xavier University.
To augment the needs for competent personnel in the Finance and Administrative Division, some staff were also sent to graduate studies. This year, Dr. Armie Liela M. Mordeno returned with her diploma in the Ph.D. program in Public Administration from Xavier University.
These scholars were under the scholarship grants from CHED, DOST and SEARCA. With these scholarships, the University incurred little financial burden in building the capability of its faculty and staff.
Aside from the capability building under degree programs, the University sent several faculty members to various training under non-degree programs here and abroad.
On linkaging and networking towards internationalization of CSU’s programs, the university has expanded its global connections. The university continues nurturing its linkage with National Pingtung University of Science and Technology (or NPUST) in the southern part of Taiwan. This partnership focuses on faculty and student exchange as well as on joint research undertaking. This partnership was solidified with the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation last year. Recently, another team composed of Dr. Luisito I. Tabada, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Engr. Michelle V. Japitana and Engr. Karoll J. Mordeno, both faculty members of the Department of Engineering under the College of Engineering and Information Technology visited NPUST to discuss matters pertaining to the sister university agreement. During this visit, 2 scholarship slots for Ph.D. are slated for CSU faculty in the 2012 academic year.
Under the concept of Public-Private Partnership (or PPP), CSU also firms up a partnership with Toyo University in Tokyo, Japan. The Memorandum of Agreement was signed in November 14 this year at Toyo University during the Asia-Pacific PPP Conference. This agreement lies mainly on the area of research and extension and again on faculty and student exchange. Development of industries on the generation of Green Energy from biomass, Agri-tourism and Agricultural Modernization, as well as Cultural and Language study among Filipino and Japanese students are among the major projects lined-up in this partnership. Faculty and researchers of the university are expected to undertake joint projects with Toyo University, and with Butuan City and the Province of Agusan del Norte as the LGU-partner.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
On the conduct of research and development projects and on capability building to strengthen Research and Extension, CSU also networks with international Research and Development Institutes, Universities and Organizations. This year, at least 6 international linkages are made with the following organizations:
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in Los Banos, Laguna
University of Utah at Utah, USA
Southeast Asia Graduate Research Center in Agriculture (SEARCA) based in Los Banos, Laguna
Wetland Link International-Asia (WLI-Asia) organized by the Wetland and Waterfowl Trust (WWT) based in London, UK
South China Botanical Garden in Guangzhou, China
Academia Seneca of Taiwan
Nanjing University at Nanjing, China
Moreover, during the year, CSU stretches its wings wider into the global arena in the dissemination of information and technology generated from research and extension projects. This year, the university faculty-researchers presented 15 papers in international scientific conferences, symposia and workshops.
- Engr. Meriam M. Makinano-Santillan and Engr. Michelle V. Japitana each presented a paper in the International Conference on Remote Sensing (ICRS 2011) in Taipei, Taiwan on October 3-7, 2011;
- Engr. Michelle V. Japitana and Engr. Karoll J. Mordeno also presented a paper each during the 4th International Conference on Green Technology (ICGT 2011) in NPUST, Pingtung, Taiwan on October 12-15, 2011;
- Dr. Rowena P. Varela and Ms. Eve V. Fernandez traveled to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia on July 15-18, 2011 to present a paper during the Asian Wetland Symposium in Sabah;
- Dr. Rowena P. Varela likewise presented a paper in the International Conference on Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change at PICC, Manila, Philippines on February 1-3, 2011; and another paper was presented in the International Workshop on Biodiversity Conservation and Management at South China Botanical Garden in Guangzhou, China on November 6-26, 2011;
- Mr. Meljan T. Demetillo and Mr. Jess H. Jumawan participated in the 1st International Plant Science Conference at the National Museum, Manila, Philippines on November 15-18, 2011 where each presented 1 paper;
- Ms. Aisa O. Manlosa presented the findings of her research in the International Seminar on Natural Resources, Climate Change and Food Security in Developing Countries in Surabaya, Indonesia on June 26-28, 2011;
- Dr. Van Leeah B. Alibo likewise presented a paper during the 10th Asia-Flux Workshop in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Johor Bahru, Malaysia on November 9-11, 2011;
- Ms. Levitah C. Mapatac and Dr. Natividad R. Mamaoag likewise presented a paper during the Asian Conference for Academic Journals and Higher Education Research & Asian Conference for Research Journalism at Pryce Plaza Hotel, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines on August 17-20, 2011;
- Ms. Deomila Basnig will travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 19-24, 2011 where she will present a paper during the International Chemistry and Environmental Education Conference;
- Dr. Esamel M. Paluga and Dr. Rolando N. Paluga will also be presenting 1 paper each during the International Conference on Mathematics and Applications on December 17-19, 2011 in Bangkok, Thailand.
As an offshoot of the international workshop recently attended by Dr. Varela in Guangzhou, China, research collaboration in the areas of Biodiversity Conservation and Medicinal Plants will be worked out to shore up the partnership with the China Academy of Science (CAS) specifically with the Bureau of International Cooperation and South China Botanical Garden (SCBG). This collaboration will take off with a joint research undertaking between CSU and the Jienfienling Forest Reserve on ‘Ecological Succession after Natural and Human-Induced Ecosystem Disturbances’ and on ‘Carbon Flux Monitoring in Natural and in Planted Forests’.
On Research and Extension Awards and Recognition, the paper of Ms. Elizabeth P. Parac entitled ‘In Vitro Induction of Polyploidy in Oil Palm, Elaeis guineensis Jacq.’ was adjudged as the Best Research Paper during the 12th Regional Symposium on Research and Development Highlights sponsored by the Caraga Consortium for Agriculture, Forestry and Resources Research and Development. Furthermore, her entry entitled ‘In Vitro mass Production of Malunggay (Moringa olifera) Using Different Types of Explants’ to the 7th National Biotechnology Week held on November 21-26, 2011 at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Quezon City was also a Finalist. Her 2nd entry entitled ‘Commercialization of Tissue-Cultured Abaca Plantlets with Rural Women Participation’ was showcased in the DA National Biotechnology Exhibits.
Mr. Rey Capangpangan and Mr. Cale Pineda’s research paper also garnered the ‘Best Research Paper Award’ during the UPLB CHED-Zonal Center’s Annual Review held on May 2011 at Lucena City.
In recognition of various activities related to Environmental Conservation and advocacy on environment-friendly practices, the Environment Monitoring Bureau of DENR (or EMB) declared CSU as the Regional Winner in the ‘Search for Environment-Friendly Schools’ under the Collegiate Category. I personally received the plaque and cash prize that go with the award during the ceremony held at Prince Hotel on September 17, 2011, with the key officials of CSU in attendance. As the regional winner, EMB automatically considered CSU a Finalist to the ‘National Search for Environment-Friendly Schools’.
With more and more faculty members in the University becoming research-oriented, new research programs and projects have been packaged for submission to external funding. Despite the steady increase in the faculty’s research interest, CSU maintains its program in harnessing the research capability of the faculty through various workshops and training, which involve mentoring from known scientists. Because of this, the university received funds this year from CHED, DOST-PCARRD, DOST-PCIERD and CICT for the implementation of R&D projects amounting to approximately PhP10M. These projects are in the area of Biodiversity Conservation, Agricultural Development, Forestry, Information Technology, GIS and Mathematics. As of this date, new funding for research and extension projects are coming in just as the Fiscal Year 2011 is ending. These include the project on Hatchery Management with funding from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) amounting to PhP1.2M; and the collaborative extension project on organic vegetable production with the Butuan City Agriculturists’ Office, with funding of PhP1.6M from the Department of Agriculture.
Consultancy and contract research initiatives are also becoming widespread among the academic departments. This year, a team led by Mr. Romell A. Seronay implements contract research on Biophysical Assessment of Mt Hilong-Hilong. Our faculty members also provide consultancy services in the area of CBFM, Ecotourism development and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
PHYSICAL PLANTS AND FACILITIES
On physical development, we are blessed that President Aquino signed Proclamation No. 239 granting ownership to CSU of 232 hectares of land. In terms of infrastructure, the university continued the construction of the S&T Building with budget coming from the university revenues. This building is for providing laboratory rooms to both students and faculty-researchers. In addition, three (3) new buildings are undergoing construction: the classrooms funded by the Public Development Assistance Fund (or PDAF) of Congressman Joboy Aquino and Congresswoman Angel Amante-Matba, and the Student Center funded by Congressman Raymond Palatino. Thanks to Ms. Sonia Low, our External Affairs and Public Relations Director, for transcending obstacles and making all these possible.
The building previously occupied by the Department of Science and Technology of Caraga Region (DOST-Caraga) is likewise turned over back to the University. This will house the Office of the Vice President for Research and Extension, Office of the Quality Assurance and Monitoring System, and Office of the Director of Resource Generation. This addition will make room for a lot of offices cramped in the Administration Building.
The team of Dr. Raquel Balanay in the Planning and Development Office is also busy preparing proposals for building construction. Among these is the proposed Research and Extension building submitted to Senator Franklin Drilon for funding. Another is the proposed expansion of the Clonal Nursery, complete with grow-out greenhouses submitted for funding to DENR under the National Greening Program (NGP). I am very glad to inform you that I have signed the MOA in this transaction and for the release of PhP3.5M funding. These proposed buildings are apart from the previously designed ones such as the Library and the CEIT Building.
INCOME GENERATING PROGRAM
On income-generating projects, CSU embarks on Public-Private Partnership with Filipinas Palmoil Industries, Inc. based in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur specifically on oil palm seedling production project. This project aims to promote the oil palm industry development in Butuan City and other areas in Caraga Region through seedling provision, and information and technology support. It has also a standing partnership with Agri-Aqua Development Coalition on Moringa Tissue-Cultured Plantlet Supply and on the provision of technology assistance in the field planting of Moringa in Jabonga and Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte.
The university also continues to be the base agency of the Caraga Consortium for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (or CCARRD). Being the seat of the consortium, it undertakes collaborative projects with its partners. For the last 11 years, the university maintains its collaboration with DENR-ERDS 13 in doing R&D for Industrial Tree Farming Improvement. Through the consortium mechanism, the university also teams up with LGUs in promoting Science and Technology through the establishment of STBF and FITS Center.
CSU also maintains its network with the former Commission on Information and Communication Technology (or CICT) which is now transferred to DOST. During the year, the department is continuing its extension project in i-schools and e-skwela. These particular projects help in developing capability on IT and IT resources management in public high schools in the Caraga Region to wipe out the digital divide and make the barangays ready for e-community. The project is on the ‘closing in’ stage this year, however, more new projects may emerge integrating the ‘best practices’ of the i-schools and e-skwela projects.
The university also actively participates in the advocacy of the Gender and Development issues. In partnership with DSWD and the Paz y Desarollo, CSU implements researches that generate information needed in making plans for the mainstreaming of women and protect them and their children from trafficking and violence.
All these achievements and new developments are part of the milestones stipulated in the University Strategic Plan. The various stakeholders of the University crafted the Strategic Plan to be the beacon as the university continues to sail on. This was formulated based on the new mandate of the university.
With the collective efforts of the Board of Regents, faculty, the support staff and the students, partners from the private industries, together with the support from the community, the university braved the rough waters and emerged triumphantly.
Adhering to the newly crafted Strategic Plan, the university has lined up more projects and activities. Of these, the establishment of the Caraga Consortium for Responsible Mining, initiation of PPP projects, expansion of student scholarship program, construction of a state-of-the-art Library wherein a museum depicting the culture of Caraga will be a component, construction of modern audio-visual rooms, and renovation of the old buildings of the Administration, CASNR, CSE and CAS are in the priority list.
In closing, I wish to thank everyone… To all those who believe that together we can make CSU great, to all who labored such that the University could make a difference in this part of the Philippines, to all who shared their talent and skills to make this university worthy of its new name. Many THANKS to all of you.