UP signs MOA with developers for Mindanao professional school

| Written by UP Media and Public Relations Office

UP, Anflo Management and Investment Corp. (Anflocor) and its affiliate DamosaLand Inc. (DLI) formally entered into a contract to establish the UP Professional School for Agriculture and the Environment (UP PSAE), an extension of UP Los Baños, in the Agriya mixed-use development area of Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed by Dr. Alfredo Pascual, then-president of UP, and Anflocor Senior Vice President Ricardo Floirendo and Vice President Ricardo Luis Mateo Lagdameo on January 30, 2017 at the UP Board of Regents room, Quezon Hall, UP, Diliman, Quezon City.

According to the MOA, Anflocor will donate more than three hectares of land, buildings and facilities to UP, which will offer graduate UPLB courses and short courses through the school. Initially, the courses will be offered on off-campus mode, starting academic year 2017-2018. This means UPLB faculty will have to fly back and forth between UPLB and Mindanao. The residential phase – when the school will have its own faculty and staff to offer courses – is expected to begin in six years.

The UPLB Graduate School is already conducting an off-campus MS Entomology program with the UPLB College of Agriculture at the Anflocor Corporate Center in Davao City.  The UPLB College of Public Affairs and Developmentis also already offereing a PhD in Development Studies program in UP Mindanao in Mintal.

According to the project concept paper, UP PSAE is the university’s response to a knowledge capital gap, particularly in postgraduate education, in Mindanao. With its huge agricultural, fishery and forestry output, which has gained brighter prospects with new infrastructure and access to ASEAN, Mindanao could use expertise that can be provided by UPLB to manage growth and make it inclusive.

According to the paper, accredited postgraduate programs in Mindanao schools comprise mainly basic sciences and engineering. UP PSAE will help address the need for master’s and doctoral programs more focused on agriculture and environmental science.

Initially, these would include: Master of Science programs in Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, Animal Science, Development Communication, Entomology, Environmental Science, Food Science, Forestry (Wood Science and Technology), Horticulture, Plant Breeding, and Plant Pathology; Master of Management in Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship; Master of Forestry (Forest Resource Management); and, Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies.

The industry demands of the area, together with enrolment data, will be further studied to tailor-fit future education, research, and extension offerings of the professional school.

Anflocor Senior Vice President Ricardo Floirendo (left) and then UP President Alfredo E. Pascual (right) shake hands at the conclusion of the signing of the Agreement. Photo by Bong Arboleda, UP MPRO.

The MOA signing was attended mostly by UPLB officials, headed by Chancellor Fernando Sanchez, his executive staff, and UPLB deans led by Dr. Jose Camacho of the Graduate School.  Former UPLB officials, including former chancellor, Rex Victor Cruz, and former deans, Domingo Angeles and Cecilio Arboleda, also attended, together with former UP regents Gari Tiongco and Gladys Tiongco, both of whom Sanchez credited for initiating the partnership.

Sanchez, Vice President for Development Elvira Zamora, and DLI Business Development Manager Marguerita Carmina Bibat signed the MOA as witnesses. (Jo. Florendo B. Lontoc, UP MPRO)

For more photos of the event, please click through the album here.