Simply Nes

| Written by Fred Dabu

Vice President Nestor Yunque during his interview with the UP Forum. Photo by Abraham Arboleda, UP MPRO.


“I’m Nestor Yunque, the present Vice President for Administration. I started as VP for Administration way back in 2017.  And now, under the new UP President, I’m continuing to help stabilize everything.”

As a professor who taught zoology, marine biology, and environmental science courses at the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) College of Arts and Sciences-Division of Biological Sciences before taking on higher administrative positions, Vice President for Administration Nestor G. Yunque said he made learning interesting for his students by organizing class field trips.

“That makes life exciting.  Ayokong ma-confine sa four corners ng classroom ang pag-aaral… It is also a form of service to the students,” said VP Nes, adding: “Nag-uumapaw yung estudyante kasi alam nilang magfi-field trip…. From Iloilo, we pass by Antique, then Aklan, overnight sa Boracay, pag-uwi, dadaan sa Roxas. It’s a tour of Panay, and they spend so much less than if they’re going to do that on their own.”

In his lectures, he would emphasize that UP students should care. “Whatever your course is—business management or biology, or chemistry or math—always bear in mind na yung pag-aaral mo, eventually, should help people. Bigyan mo ng halaga ang mga mahihirap,” he would tell them.

VP Nes, who grew up during the First Quarter Storm era, recalls his student days at the Philippine Science High School in Quezon City and in the UP Visayas. “Gusto mo yung gobyerno, yung serbisyo, para sa tao, hindi sa kapitalista o sa kagrupo nila,” he said.

He and his peers belong to the generation that organized massive rallies and campaigned for the reestablishment of the student councils. “At that time [Martial Law], lahat ng student councils ng UP units ay tinanggal. Later on, may clamor na ibalik ang student council sa bawat CU. Sa UP Visayas, we did that. Lahat ng organizations nagtipon.” As chairperson of the aggrupation, he led the students in bringing back the student council in UPV.

After college, he served as a research assistant for work on agar production and commercially important seaweeds for two years, before becoming a faculty member of the UPV. Eventually, he was assigned as the station head of the UP Visayas Marine Biological Station in Taklong Island in Guimaras.

When he was the Vice Chancellor for Administration of UPV in Iloilo, from 2011 to 2016, he cherished establishing rapport with administrative personnel and the moments he got to know about their problems and how the administration would be able to address them.  “During that time, it was for two terms, we were able to initiate changes in how the administration is being run,” he said.


“Hopefully, magtulungan talaga ang lahat ng sectors para gumanda ang takbo, ang performance ng Unibersidad. Then, we could expect more.” – Yunque



VP Nes has been in charge of UP’s human resources, compensation and benefits, union and management relations, procurement and related administrative matters since 2017.

In UP Diliman, VP Nes feels at home at the tambayan in front of the All UP Workers Union office. Referring to the Union, he said: “I feel na nagtulungan kami. Kasi hindi ko naman pwedeng gawin yung trabaho na magiging effective ako without the cooperation ng ating mga admin personnel.”

VP Nes, whose favorite snack consists simply of Skyflakes crackers and a cup of coffee, is particularly jovial in the company of UP employees and faculty, enjoying casual conversations when outside of his office in Quezon Hall. He explained that he prefers to spend his downtime in campus in the company of UP’s administrative personnel, carpenters, plumbers, drivers.

Talagang dito ako tumatambay eh. Kasi once in a while, pupunta ang mga admin personnel, nae-encourage sila na magsabi ng mga problema nila.” He makes it a point to get them to feel at ease with one another “so they can be more open and you will know the real problem.”

Kung sa opisina pupunta, ‘yun na yung grabe na ang problema,” he pointed out.


Vice President Yunque explaining his thoughts on human resources, compensation and benefits, and union and management relations. Photo by Abraham Arboleda, UP MPRO.


VP Nes said his appointment to his current position under the leadership of UP President Jimenez gives him the opportunity to continue to be of help to the University, since he was already serving as Vice President for Administration since 2017 under then UP President Danilo Concepcion.

Gamay ko kung anong mga nangyayari. Nakita ni President Jimenez na, in the meantime, pwede akong tumulong para ma-stabilize naman yung relasyon ng ating mga admin personnel with the administration,” he said.

If he weren’t VP for Administration at the moment, what would he be doing instead? “I would really like to do integrated farming, aquaculture, para na rin I could share the technology with the local people,” he revealed.

Maraming nagawa si President Concepcion para sa ating admin personnel, pero baka mas madadagdagan pa ni President Jimenez, lalo na’t ang kanyang pinaka-motto is ‘serve the people,’” he said about the new administration’s focus on efforts to provide services to the community. For VP Nes, it’s about “making UP relevant to our communities, hindi yung puro tayo academics.”

Hinahanapan natin ng paraan na ma-improve ang mga benefits na makukuha ng ating administrative personnel. Dahil it’s one way of making all sectors of the University work together para mas mapaganda ang takbo ng UP. Hindi pwedeng may naiiwan eh,” VP Nes explained.

“Hopefully, President Jimenez will be successful in getting more items for our personnel. Yun (lack of plantilla items) ang pinakamalaking problema ng admin personnel,” he added.

Best advice he has ever received? “If you have problems, face them squarely. Do not feel frustrated if you don’t get the solution or the right answer to your problem. And always smile. Kasi less stressful yan. Kapag less stressful, mukhang magtatagal ka sa mundong ito.”

As a closing message, VP Nes in turn gave this piece of wisdom: “Ang advice ko is for all the sectors to work together. Hindi pwedeng mag-rely lang tayo sa administration. The different sectors should strive na makatulong sila for UP to achieve something… [for the administrative personnel, REPS, and faculty] to keep on working with the people, for UP to keep on being relevant to society.”

Dapat magtulungan ang lahat ng sectors. Nobody should consider their role as less than the others. Hopefully, magtulungan talaga ang lahat ng sectors para gumanda ang takbo, ang performance ng Unibersidad. Then, we could expect more,” he concluded.

Read more stories from the UP Forum
Read the latest News from UP
Read UP’s Announcements