University of the Philippines Los Baños


          Public service underlies all the duties and responsibilities of the University. This was essentially the message of Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., in a talk he gave to the participants of the 1st Colleges and Universities Public Service Conference (CUPSCon1) held at the UP Open University in Los Baños, Laguna. He highlighted this in relation to a statement by former UP President Emil Q. Javier that “everything we do in UPLB is public service.”    

With the theme “From the ivory tower to the communities: engaging society with commitment and expertise,” the CUPSCon1 brought together public service and extension practitioners from various state universities and colleges (SUCs) and higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country.

Chancellor Sanchez discussed the public service tradition of UPLB during the plenary panel session on the second day of the conference on Nov. 27.

                “Instruction, the primary function of higher education institutions, is perhaps our most significant public service contribution. By offering world-class education to the country’s best and brightest, we shape them to become future nation-builders,” Chancellor Sanchez added.

He showcased the long-running public service programs of UPLB, such as the technology transfer endeavor of the National Farmer-Scientist Training Program and the voluntary service of UPLB’s Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, among others.

Chancellor Sanchez also identified several administrative issues that plague public service programs among SUCs and HEIs. He proposed steps on how to improve public service not only in the UP System but also among colleges and universities.

Joining Chancellor Sanchez in the plenary discussion were Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, UP vice-president for public affairs, and Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr., Graduate School dean.

Dr. De Vera recognized the diversity of UP’s public service programs. He emphasized the need to see the “whole picture” of UP’s public service efforts through UP Padayon’s coordinating mechanism among constituent universities. On the other hand, Dr. Camacho focused on UPLB’s off-campus graduate programs with different institutions as one of the University' effective ways of public service.

The two-day Conference also gathered key UP System and CU officials, including UP President Alfredo E. Pascual, UPOU Chancellor Grace J. Alfonso, UP Diliman (UPD) Social Sciences and Philosophy Dean Grace Aguiling-Dalisay, UPD Extension Director Aleli Bawagan, and UPLB Pahinungod Director Katrina Ross Tan.

CUPSCon1 featured parallel sessions on various topics that fall under public service, such as education, literacy, and training; climate change and environmental protection; local government empowerment; and technology-based development, among others. The Conference was organized and supported by UP. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)