Mindanao Times » Salud Isabel Petalcorin http://mindanaotimes.net Fri, 21 Sep 2018 02:22:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.25 Representing UM, Representing the Philippines http://mindanaotimes.net/representing-um-representing-the-philippines/ http://mindanaotimes.net/representing-um-representing-the-philippines/#comments Sat, 28 Oct 2017 02:01:14 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=49553 ]]> OBTAINING college level education and being able to travel outside of one’s country may seem like a luxury available only to the moneyed, but luckily, at the University of Mindanao, there are programs available to the determined and deserving that can enable them to do both, even for just a semester.

NICK Julia

NICK Julia

The University of Mindanao’s Outbound Exchange Program has so far enabled four batches of students since 2013 to experience studying in partner schools in Asia either through the AIMS (ASEAN International Mobility for Students) or the UMAP (University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific) scholarships; bringing with them the values and education learned here in UM, and also the warmth, amiableness, and smarts of a global Filipino.

RUBEN Tilona Jr.

RUBEN Tilona Jr.

For most of the exchange students, it is their first time to travel outside the country and immerse in a different culture, and here are some of the insights from the 2017-2018 batch who left last month to their host schools in Taiwan (NJ & SJP), and Thailand (RTJ). TIMES asked them on their insights about travelling for education:

What was it like for you growing up in your family? Did you have to work while attending college?

SARAH Joy Pasa

SARAH Joy Pasa

Nick Julia (NJ): I finished my basic education in Tagum city, and my mother raised me and my younger sister by herself after my father died in an accident in 2001. I was a working student in my first year of college taking up BS in Human Resource Management, and it sustained my expenses for school until I decided to stop working to focus on school. I applied for the scholarship and fortunately it was granted to me.

Ruben Tilona Jr (RTJ): My family went through a rough time in my last few months of high school after my parents’ business wasn’t doing very well, and it really seemed I would not be able to go to college. Luckily, a family member informed us of the Student Assistant Program (STAP) at the University of Mindanao, and I prayed so hard for it and was accepted. I’m glad to say it has been three years since I applied as with UM’s STAP, and now I filed a leave for this outbound exchange program and when I get back home I will still be an STA.

Sarah Joy Pasa (SJP): I applied with the STAP in UM Tagum College to help my parents finance my education, as my mother is an elementary school teacher and my father works with the local health office. Growing up, I’ve always loved meeting new friends and exploring new places, and was very active in the youth ministry of our church.

Is this your first time to travel outside the country? Describe the experience.

NJ: Yes, and it’s been a slice of heaven experience! I feel like I’m on top of the world. I experienced different things for the first time: meeting friends and establishing good rapport with other students from other countries, experiencing a life that is quite different from my daily routine in the Philippines, and living in a place where language can be a barrier but an opportunity to for better communication practices, and many more.

RTJ: I’ve been to different parts of the country due to church participation, but going on an international plane ride was a really different experience. I was scared at first when my family and I said our goodbyes, but I was lucky on that plane ride because I found out there were Filipino students from UP Mindanao who will also study in KMUTT (King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi) for Master’s Degree and I felt that I was safe and I made friends with them.

SJP: Yes, it is my first time to travel outside the country. My student exchange in Taiwan is one of the best experiences in life. In my new environment, I can say that I really grew into my confidence, my independence, and got to know myself better. Student exchange has impacted me greatly, as I have become a lot more open to new things and a world bigger than just my comfort zone.

Will you recommend UM’s Outbound exchange programs to other students?

NJ: Yes, of course, I would love to recommend this program to other students. This is one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my whole life. Money can be a big consideration but there are scholarship programs that would help you realize your dreams. It has been said, “Better spend your money to gain experiences than possessions.”

RTJ: I will really recommend the UM’s outbound exchange program to my friends and co-UMians because studying abroad helps you to gain more experiences and also it is your advantage in applying for a job in the future.

SJP: Yes, I will strongly recommend UM’s Outbound Exchange Programs to other students because in my part, even if my parents spend money just to send me to Taiwan for this purpose but my experiences there cannot be bought by money.

In what way has studying abroad helped broaden your perspective on education here in our country? What do you think can be adopted here in UM that you experienced in other schools?

NJ: One of the things that I observed in my host university is that it does not offer specialized programs particularly in Business Management and instead integrates Financial, Marketing, and Human Resource Management into a single course called “IB” International Business. Tamkang University believes that in the corporate world, being flexible than being specialized helps you to become more valuable. Also, it would be better if UM offered dormitory housing to students from outside the city, like they do in Tamkang.

RTJ: Through the program, I understood better our recent K-12 implementation in the country. I think that it is one of the reasons why the students in the Philippines fail in their subject courses and some shift to other courses in college because they are not yet prepared to go to college and had not yet decided what they really want to enroll to in college. Also, I really like the student and school relations here, the administration really listens to the concerns of the students.

SJP: The program helped me to be able to learn various things including the future trends, businesses and on how to deal with diversity. We must go to places wherein we can learn various things because experience is the best teacher.

 Lastly, what do you hope to contribute to your community here at home through the experiences learned from studying outside the country?

 NJ: I will simply act as a functional citizen in our society by adhering to all the rules, policies and regulations of our country and by simply doing the right things. I observed the Taiwanese are well-disciplined. They take the initiative to fall in line while waiting for a bus or train. In restaurants or fast food chains, they also take the initiative to clean the mess before they leave the table, and they mostly don’t need security guards in department stores because people don’t steal. I think, if would be better if we, Filipinos, would also act like this.

 RTJ: I think that the thing that I can contribute to the community and at home is be an inspiration to other people. I want to tell my peers to dream big and strive to make that dream a reality. I would like to tell them to go out from their comfort zones, since if I never went out from my comfort zone in the Philippines I will never have this opportunity.

 SJP: I will always share my experiences and the lessons that I have learned outside the country particularly in Taiwan and encourage my fellow students to apply for exchange program.

 The Outbound Exchange Program is an initiative under UM’s External Relations and International Affairs Office, and interested students may visit their office located at the Embassy campus for more information on how to apply for the program.

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UM Chorale: Making the city proud http://mindanaotimes.net/um-chorale-making-the-city-proud/ http://mindanaotimes.net/um-chorale-making-the-city-proud/#comments Sat, 23 Sep 2017 02:11:06 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=48070 ]]> AFTER they emerged victorious in the 13th Busan Choral Festival and Competition Grand Prix last September 9 in Busan, South Korea, you would think the University of Mindanao Chorale (UMC) would eye bigger competitions outside of Asia, but this is not the case.

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Instead, UMC conductor Peter Ian Buaya said they are looking forward to using their talents to nurture more talents here in the city and then around the region.

“We believe choral singing in Davao city isn’t really that known; what we can do is instead of competing more, why not promote choral singing in the community, hold workshops, or help aspiring groups wherever they don’t know how to execute properly [a choral piece],” Sir Peter told the TIMES.

While he said a few workshops and seminars to be conducted by the UMC are already in the pipeline, Sir Peter also works independently to train singers through his voice coaching and conductor training school.

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Also a big dream for the UMC is the establishment of a University of Mindanao Alumni Chorale, because as he put it, it’s best to utilize the talents of those who have been already trained extensively to also teach the newcomers.

“We’re looking forward to that because members won’t be limited to four years of training, it can be a lifetime membership to those interested,” he said.

In the meantime, he is enjoying developing the talents of some senior high school members in the 23-strong chorale.

A brief history on the UMC: it was founded in 1993 and has been entering local and national competitions, but the highlight in its career came in 2015 with a victorious NAMCYA (National Music Competition for Young Artists) debut.

Then the following year, UMC made waves by bagging gold medals in three categories: namely Church, Folklore, and Chamber, at the 9th Concentus International Choral Festival held in Singapore, a major feather in the hat of the group composed of mainly of college students about to finish their courses.

Sir Peter said their first international competition was different from local ones because the in Philippine competitions, it usually goes that chorales can choose one contest piece, and then render two songs of their choice, whereas international competitions have their pieces categorized.

“The Busan competition played to our advantage because the categories (Classical Mixed and Ethnic) were already in the strengths of our chorale,” said Peter, adding their pieces were by Filipino composers.

As with the Busan victory, Sir Peter said it was important that the chorale never slacks off just because they won in international contests.

“We always keep it to heart that when we train, we always train like newbies,” because when one feels that everything is new, he or she tends to be more focused and eager to always do better than the last time, he said.

“But when we perform, we perform like we’ve been doing this all our lives. You don’t want the audience and judges to think you are neophytes,” he added.

Also, the chorale performs in such a way that their pieces never highlight only one member.

 “There is no single star in a choir,” he added, as all the members work to build each other up.

Photos courtesy of Christian Garay

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A boy In the forest: Helping the resistance http://mindanaotimes.net/a-boy-in-the-forest-helping-the-resistance/ http://mindanaotimes.net/a-boy-in-the-forest-helping-the-resistance/#comments Sat, 08 Jul 2017 03:44:03 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=45035 ]]> AS THE ELDEST of nine siblings, Daniel A. Cuizona was often by his father’s side as a much depended on assistant, growing up in their hometown of Mabini, Bohol in the 1940s.

It was no wonder then when World War II reached the shores of the country; he followed his father into the mountains to support the Filipino guerilla warfare against the Japanese Imperial forces.

VETERANS Federation of the Philippines Region XI President, Daniel A. Cuizona

VETERANS Federation of the Philippines Region XI President, Daniel A. Cuizona

He doesn’t recall his age at the time, but is certain he was supposed to be in elementary school but instead was gathering intelligence for the guerillas, ferrying messages or codes between camps, doing errands for guerilla commanders, and unfortunately, sometimes even saw people getting killed while out and about.

“I saw the guerillas execute two Makapili, saw a lot of firefight,” he recounted, referring to members of the Makapili, or Makabayang Katipunan ng mga Pilipino, a group which gave military aid to the Japanese army, which of course included sniffing out guerilla camps and reporting it to them.

He declined to divulge other gory experiences, saying it was not something he liked to remember, but said that life going in and out of guerilla camps became a routine, as he wanted to serve alongside his father as much as possible.

“I feel like a lot of us children at the time, really had to ‘grow up’ and act like adults sooner than normal,” he added, because being the eldest son and apart from assisting his father and the guerillas, he also had to hold the fort at home while his father was out, and help his mother keep his younger siblings in line and the house in order.

“For most of us, it was not a question of if we were old enough. Almost everyone enlisted, or found a way to help guerillas. You could really feel there was a resistance [against the Japanese],” he said.

Daniel added the usual difficulties in the guerilla camps was procuring food stuff like kamote, rice, and other much needed goods, but they had a visitor who checked up on them regularly.

Former President Carlos P. Garcia, who was then a senator when the war broke out, would often visit their place, using a rowboat between Leyte and Bohol even though he was wanted by the Japanese.

“He knew about our guerilla camp and also my father, who was a councilor in our place during the war,” he added.

After the war ended in 1945, Daniel enlisted with the Philippine army regular force after finishing highschool and again had to go to war, but this time, with fellow Filipinos.

“I had a rank of technical sergeant. We used to aid in clearing out Quezon province of Hukbalahap members in the early 1950’s,” he said. Hukbalahap, or Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon, was a Communist movement by peasant farmers that ended in 1954 with the surrender of their leader, Luis Taruc.

Garcia would again figure in Daniel’s life as in 1957, he was assigned as security detail to the office of the Executive Secretary when Garcia was elected as president.

After a colorful career, Daniel then moved to Mindanao and is now settled in Tagum city, where he is managing the affairs of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines as Region XI president. He is married and had three children, and now a number of grandchildren as well.

“In the organization, we always encourage our members, or their widows; their sons and daughters, to participate in our programs and meetings,” he said, adding that the road to providing full benefits to war veterans and their families was still a long way to go before all of them were rightly compensated and their memories honored.

Daniel believes that supporting the initiatives and programs for veterans is a way of nation building because it gives perspective of how war is never just the experience of those who were alive to witness it, as its effects trickle down into the succeeding generations.

At 87, he believes that now more than ever, with all the constant fighting of different groups, whether for principle, religion, or just plain old terrorism, around the world and especially here in our country; looking to the past to find ways to prevent the same mistakes in the future is one of the ways this generation can benefit from their experiences.

 “We encourage participation in the activities of the veterans, because I believe it is a way to preserve the sacred memories of the war dead, and all that they fought for,” he said.

Valor, the film

Philippine Veterans Bank, the Board of Trustees of the Veterans of World War II (BTVWWII) and Spyron-AV Manila have brought two of their acclaimed films to Abreeza Mall Davao in time for the Philippine-American Friendship Day last July 04, 2017.

“Unsurrendered 2: The Hunters ROTC Guerillas” (2015) is a multi-award winning documentary that tells the story of some of the bravest Filipinos in the 20th century. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines in 1941, no other country in the world rose up as did the Filipinos, forming an underground army of over 300,000, all of whom fought for a better future. Among the “Unsurrendered” were the Hunters ROTC Guerillas, one of the first and youngest of the Philippine resistance fighters.

“Valor: The Legacy of Col. Emmanuel V. De Ocampo” (2016) is a film about how an ordinary teenager from the Visayas, was transformed into one of the fiercest Filipino guerilla commanders during World War II. Armed with nothing but his courage and love of country, Col. De Ocampo was responsible for liberating many areas in Southern Luzon, including Makati, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig and many other towns throughout Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.

Bani Logronio, the writer and director of both movies, with Prof. Xiao Chua and Prof. Bernard Karganilla attended the event as resource persons. Preceeded by a short program, “Unsurrendered 2” and “Valor” were screened back-to-back at Abreeza Mall. The event was part of the team’s year-long national tour to inspire the next generation of heroes in the Philippines through these World War II documentaries. (with Marilyn Roque)

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UM launches Externship Program http://mindanaotimes.net/um-launches-externship-program/ http://mindanaotimes.net/um-launches-externship-program/#comments Sat, 08 Apr 2017 05:21:27 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=41405 ]]> IN A bid to ensure the career path of its students, the University of Mindanao through its External Relations and International Affairs Office recently launched Externship, a program intended for college freshmen and sophomores.

Externship is intended to introduce the students to the possible workplaces their chosen college course might open up for them, and also as a way to enable them to determine if they really want to pursue their course.

The program is touted as the first of its kind in Mindanao, and was presented to industry partners in a meeting last April 6, Thursday at the UM Main Campus in Matina.

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AVP for ERIAO Reynaldo Castro (seated, third from left) with industry partners coming from both the public sector and private companies, after their meeting and presentation of the Externship Program, which aims for early exposure of freshmen and sophomore college students to the possible workplaces their chosen courses will bring them, and allow them to determine early on if it is really what they want.

Externship is expected to pilot test its first batch of students this July.

The program however is different from internship as it will be voluntary, with interested applicants required to have good academic standing, and submit the following to the ERIAO: their Form 1, SPR, parent’s consent, medical certificate, a letter of recommendation from the dean of their college, curriculum vitae, and an essay detailing why they are interested to enter the program.

Externship is also shorter in duration, lasting from two to five days, and will not have credit units.

Reynaldo Castro, assistant vice president for the ERIAO, said the program was created in response to the occurrence of students shifting their courses late into their education, usually when they are nearly graduating, because they found that the workplace their course is training them for is not where they really want in the long term.

The program aims that through early exposure to the workplace; students can get a feel for their chosen course and decide if it is really for them.

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UM biodiversitystudy team set for field in summer   http://mindanaotimes.net/um-biodiversitystudy-team-set-for-field-in-summer/ http://mindanaotimes.net/um-biodiversitystudy-team-set-for-field-in-summer/#comments Sat, 04 Mar 2017 01:00:09 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=40031 ]]> pic1

RESEARCHERS for the Urban Biodiversity of Davao City project, which include Milton Norman Medina (in stripes) Research Director for UM-RPC, Analyn Cabras, and Dr. Adrian Tamayo (fourth from left), Director for Quantitative Studies at UM-RPC.

THE RESEARCH team coming from the University of Mindanao’s Research and Publication Center (UM-RPC) is finalizing the necessary permits needed in their biodiversity research of Davao city, and set to start fieldwork by April.

The study is headed by Milton Norman Medina, research director at UM-RPC, along with partner schools and agencies such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), San Pedro College (SPC), Central Mindanao University (CMU), and the Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology (DOSCST).

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DR. RONNIE V. Amorado, Vice President for Academic Planning and Services delivers the opening remarks

DENR and PEF will provide data on prior research done on the flora and fauna of the different areas in the city, while the SPC team will handle the study on mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, CMU to handle the fresh water component of the study, DOSCST for the marine component, and UM for the terrestrial or ground study of flora and fauna, as well as the economic evaluation of the city’s remaining biodiversity- rich areas.

The study titled “Urban Biodiversity of Davao city” was funded through the Commission on Higher Education’s  DARE TO (Discovery-Applied Research  and Extension for Trans/Inter-disciplinary Opportunities) grant in aid program, and the process to begin the study started in December 2016 and will run for two years, said Medina.

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ATTENDEES to the Environmental Forum on Biodiversity last Feb. 27

The study will aim to document and create a detailed assessment on the city’s ecological condition, and provide a base line information.

“After compilation and analysis, our data will be converted into instructional materials that can then be used in the classroom,” Medina said.

He said the data can also be used by government agencies to create policy on the protection and conservation of the city’s endemic plants and animals and their habitats.

Meanwhile, the UM-RPC also presented their study on the ecological state of the sprawling 28 hectare Matina campus last Monday, Feb. 27, and found that there is a significant imbalance between endemic species of plants and animals compared to invasive or introduced species to the area.

Medina said their data showed non-endemic species of plants and animals to the area came up to at least 90%, but said the ecology of the area could “still hold.”

“While there is an imbalance between endemic and non-endemic species, the ecology of the area can still hold, provided changes can be made as to campus development to include consideration of the environment,” he said.

Non-endemic species observed in the area included bigger ‘American’ frogs that were overtaking the food sources and even preying off the smaller native frogs, as well as tree species introduced in the area such as mahogany, that in the long run could cause soil acidity and endanger the endemic tree species.

Medina said while the UM Matina campus was but a small part of the city’s environment, it was still part of a greater chain of natural occurrences that if disturbed or lost, would impact the daily lives of human beings.

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UM Employees Association to hold blood donation drive http://mindanaotimes.net/um-employees-association-to-hold-blood-donation-drive/ http://mindanaotimes.net/um-employees-association-to-hold-blood-donation-drive/#comments Wed, 11 Jan 2017 17:11:42 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=37869 ]]> THE UNIVERSITY of Mindanao Employees Association (UMAEA) is expecting to cater to at least 60 blood donors in the 40th Blood Donation Program on Jan. 18 (Wednesday) at the Professional School Building in Matina campus.

The blood donation drive, which starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 12 noon, is in partnership with the Department of Health XI. Not only employees of the University of Mindanao are welcome to donate, but even those outside of the school community as long as they are deemed fit by the health volunteers.

The collected blood will be stored at the DOH for free use of the donor if needed at any time.

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UM Professional School sends off first foreign doctor in Business Administration http://mindanaotimes.net/um-professional-school-sends-off-first-foreign-doctor-in-business-administration/ http://mindanaotimes.net/um-professional-school-sends-off-first-foreign-doctor-in-business-administration/#comments Sat, 26 Nov 2016 03:31:13 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=36206 ]]> IT WILL only be good memories of his time at the University of Mindanao for Michael Eugene Carter II, who holds the distinction of being the first foreign student to complete his postgraduate degree in Business Administration at the University of Mindanao’s Professional Schools.

Carter, called Mike by his classmates and friends, marched with a thousand other Umians who completed their baccalaureate, masteral, and doctorate degrees as October graduates in the ceremonies held last Nov. 23 at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang.

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MICHAEL “Mike” Carter II with his father, Michael Sr. at the University of Mindanao graduation rites last Nov. 23 at the SMX Convention Center.

“The University of Mindanao is a prestigious university in the Davao region, and it makes it even more special that my credits are transferrable to the US, because it’s ISO (International Standardization Organization) certified. That means I’m a doctor’s degree holder here, and also in the States,” said Carter.

Carter lived in Davao City since he was 18 and greatly enjoyed his time studying in the country.

“Davao has been good to me and my family,” he added.

He was escorted in his graduation ceremonies by his father Michael Carter Sr, and said he is intending to give back to the university and the public soon.

“We want to establish a scholarship to help out deserving undergraduate students of the Business Administration course. Anything we can do to help. The Philippines and the university has done so much for me so any way that I can I want to be able to help the future generations of students in the Business Administration program,” he said.

Carter said entering the academe as a teacher is also a possibility, whether here or in the United States, but for now he is enjoying every option available to him.

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UM launches mobile application http://mindanaotimes.net/um-launches-mobile-application/ http://mindanaotimes.net/um-launches-mobile-application/#comments Fri, 25 Nov 2016 02:47:15 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=36103 ]]> THE UNIVERSITY of Mindanao launched a mobile application for download on Android smartphones in order to make updates and information about the school and its events more accessible to students.

Called UMnify, the mobile application was developed as a capstone project by graduating students from the College of Computing Education with the guidance of the Academic Planning and Services office headed by UM Vice president for academics Dr. Ronnie V. Amorado.

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DR. RONNIE V. Amorado, vice president for academic affairs and administrator for the development of the mobile app UMnify, shows the app on his phone.

The app was made available last Monday for download after a year in the making and contains information about the school such as a campus map, a news feed on the different activities of the administration and the colleges, faculty information, school calendar, with more features to be rolled out soon.

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FEATURES of UMnify that is intended for dissemination of the school’s history, news, and other updates. Students and faculty can register on the app to unlock features that can be used in as a teaching instrument in class. A version for iOs users in in the works and set for release before the year ends.

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“While non-students of UM can download it and sign in as guests, there is a function where students can register with their ID number and it can enable other functions not available to non-students,” said Dr. Amorado, and the app can also be used by faculty as a teaching tool as they can create groups for their classes where updates and the like can be posted.

Dr. Amorado added that they are fast tracking another version of the application for those with iOs processors.

UMnify is currently available for free download on Google Play Store.

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UM among schools chosen by Czech Republic for linkages http://mindanaotimes.net/um-among-schools-chosen-by-czech-republic-for-linkages/ http://mindanaotimes.net/um-among-schools-chosen-by-czech-republic-for-linkages/#comments Sun, 06 Nov 2016 08:11:23 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=35596 ]]> THE UNIVERSITY of Mindanao (UM) is set to enter into a partnership with the Czech Republic upon the invitation of Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olša, Jr., their first venture to schools in Mindanao.

UM President Dr. Guillermo P. Torres Jr. and his officials met with Osla last Wednesday and were able to discuss mutual interest in opening linkages with universities in the Czech Republic.

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CZECH Republic Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olša, Jr., presents universities and programs in the Czech Republic to UM President Dr. Guillermo P. Torres Jr. Looking on is Pedro B. San Jose, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

UM is among the top schools in Davao City that continuously works with partner schools in the Asia- Pacific. It hosted last month the first confab to introduce internationalization and linkage programs under the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) program to schools in Mindanao.

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CZECH Republic Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olša, Jr.

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UM President Dr. Guillermo P. Torres Jr. presents a token to Czech Republic Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olša, Jr., with Michal Prochάzka accompanying the ambassador.

The University of Mindanao, the largest private non-sectarian university in Southern Philippines, views linkages with schools in the country and abroad as vital to the school as it can serve as an avenue for expanded education opportunities to students and faculty alike.

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UM President Dr. Guillermo P. Torres Jr. and Czech Republic Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olša, Jr. pose for posterity.

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Sanitation and disposal awareness for World Toilet Day http://mindanaotimes.net/sanitation-and-disposal-awareness-for-world-toilet-day/ http://mindanaotimes.net/sanitation-and-disposal-awareness-for-world-toilet-day/#comments Sat, 22 Oct 2016 02:53:06 +0000 http://mindanaotimes.net/?p=34979 ]]> USING  the toilet is the most private of functions for a human being: since the advent of modern sewage systems, a clean, functioning toilet area is a prerequisite of the home.

But even in the cit, where your average urbanite would probably be aghast at the thought of a home lacking a toilet, lack of access to proper sanitation is something that still exists.

This poses a problem to both the environment and the health of the immediate neighborhood, wherein there are still cases of human waste being dumped in the river or other waterways, or even buried in the sand, as in the case of some seaside communities.

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On November 19, the United Nations will commemorate World Toilet Day, an event created to raise awareness on the lack of access to proper sanitation in parts of the world and how it contributes to disease and other social maladies.

In the city, this is already evident as according to the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources XI, the Davao River has far exceeded the total coliform “safe levels” of 200 milliliters for every 100 liter of water sampled.

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Ma. Soccoro Mallare, representing the EMB at the Watershed Summit back in September, said it was primarily unchanged human waste disposal practices that greatly affect the sanitation of our waterways and the health of those living in areas without proper human waste disposal.

“Laws like the waste disposal ordinance and septage law can only go so far, attitudes and practices of the residents really have to change,” she has said in a previous interview with TIMES.

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The Department of Health XI through their environmental and occupational health program manager Gloria Raut, has said among the effects of being exposed to water high in bacteria and other pollutants include nausea, diarrhea, cholera, other gastrointestinal complications, and even polio.

World Toilet Day is also part of the UN’s pledge to make sanitation a global development priority as it was included in the Sustainable Development Goals for everyone across the globe to have access to a functioning toilet by 2030.

Efforts by government offices like the Davao City Water District to provide communal toilets in communities with no access to piped sanitation, and a planned P300 million septage treatment facility by the local government to collect and treat waste before it is released to the waterways; are some of the methods official are looking into to improve practices and attitudes about where our bodily wastes end up. (with reports from Jesse Pizzaro Boga)

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