The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA) celebrated its 25th anniversary on Oct. 24-27 at the Charles Fuller Baker Memorial Hall with the theme “PILAK: Pinalawak at Pinalakas na Gawaing Pangkomunidad.”
The week-long celebration featured various activities highlighting OVCCA’s thrust of maintaining an academic community that is safe, secure, healthy, environment-friendly, and inspiring for its constituents.
These included a housing fair, a health and wellness “fiesta,” a security and safety summit and orientation on gender sensitivity, and a recognition ceremony for its outstanding personnel who have served OVCCA for a long time.
UPLB Housing Fair
As a kickoff and in celebration of the National Shelter Month, the UPLB Housing Office (UHO), in collaboration with Pag-IBIG Fund, hosted the first-ever UPLB Housing Fair.
The fair aimed to encourage and assist UPLB staff in acquiring their own residential houses and lots. It featured home developers, consultants, and suppliers. During the fair, 308 UPLB personnel availed themselves of home loan services from Pag-IBIG Fund.
Marilene C. Acosta, chief executive officer of Pag-IBIG Fund; Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr.; Roberto P. Cereno, vice chancellor for community affairs; and Benevieve D. Villanueva, chief of UHO, officially began the celebration with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
In her keynote message, Acosta encouraged UPLB staff to avail themselves of and harness the benefits of the Pag-IBIG Fund’s support programs and services.
Also launched during the program was the proposed UPLB-Pag-IBIG Townhouses, a 16-unit two-storey housing project for qualified UPLB employees. Gracing the project launch was UP Vice President for Planning and Development Elvira P. Zamora.
The project launch was followed by the unveiling of UHO’s redesigned website, which now features a map of all housing units to enhance user experience.
A site visit to the site of the proposed townhouse project on D.M. Lantican Road immediately followed the program.
On the second day of the celebration, the University Health Service hosted the Kalusugan Fiesta featuring a tribute to all partners and volunteers of the UPLB Safety, Health, and Intra-community Engagements for Lifesaving Defense against COVID-19 (SHIELD), an umbrella program for UPLB’s pandemic response efforts.
Among the honorees were the Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH CHD) – CALABARZON, Region 4A Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Operations Center (RVOC), Los Baños Municipal Health Office (MHO), Makiling Medical Society, and the UPLB Community Chest, Inc., who extended invaluable support in the UPLB Vaccination Program.
Dr. Ariel I. Valencia of DOH CHD-CALABARZON, Dr. Restituta G. Magpantay of Region 4A RVOC, and Dr. Alvin A. Isidoro of Los Baños MHO, who received the awards on behalf of their agencies, thanked OVCCA for recognizing their efforts and for maintaining strong partnerships with them.
Volunteers from various UPLB units and offices were also recognized for their contributions in successfully implementing the program.
OVCCA also recognized the 297 officers of the Online Heath Monitoring System (OHMS), OHMS committee members, and the UPLB COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation committee members for their dedication in ensuring the health and safety of UPLB constituents.
After the program, the awardees availed themselves of free medical services and wellness products at the Kalusugan Fiesta, which ran until the afternoon and accommodated other UPLB staff.
The UPLB Gender Center (UPLB GC), in collaboration with LoveYourself Inc., also opened a two-day free HIV screening and counseling clinic to the public at the Kalusugan Fiesta.
Safe Space UPLB
The Security and Safety Office and UPLB GC joined forces on the third day to hold Safe Space UPLB, a security and safety summit to develop a campus security and safety framework.
The security staff and representatives of various institutions within and around the UPLB campus participated in the summit.
Gracing the event was PCOL Jacinto R. Malinao, Jr., chief of the operations division of the Police Regional Office 4A. In his keynote message, PCOL Malinao underscored the importance of coordination in maintaining security and safety in an academic institution.
For the breakout session, the participants were tasked to discuss and present coordination mechanisms in case of campus emergencies and plans of action to collectively preserve security and safety on campus.
In the afternoon, the participants attended a gender sensitivity orientation led by Sairah Mae R. Saipudin, a researcher at UPLB GC. To promote the Safe Spaces Act, Dr. Emilia A. Lastica-Ternura, coordinator of the UPLB Office of Anti-Sexual Harassment, led a discussion on anti-sexual harassment (ASH) and the UP ASH Code.
OVCCA’s 25th Anniversary Program
The anniversary celebration concluded with a recognition ceremony in honor of the outstanding and loyalty service personnel.
Recipients of OVCCA’s Loyalty Service Personnel Award are those who served the office for 25 years and beyond, and the outstanding personnel are those who rendered exemplary service to the university and the community.
Gracing the culminating activity were Dr. Virginia R. Cardenas and Dr. Serlie Barroga-Jamias, who had both served as vice chancellors, and Dr. Elpidio M. Agbisit, Jr., who had served as assistant to the vice chancellor.
Chancellor Camacho delivered an inspiring message, reiterating OVCCA staff’s commitment toward fulfilling UPLB’s distinctive role as a public service university.
“Let me congratulate not just the awardees but all the staff of OVCCA units and offices. Kayo po ang pilak ng ating pamantasan. Kayo ang nagbibigay buhay kung ano ang tunay na pampublikong serbisyong adhikain ng ating pamantasan,” he said. (You serve as the pillars of our institution. You exemplify the true meaning of public service which is at the core of our university’s mission). (Roi Mojado)
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