UP Open University

UPOU MPM Conducts Program Planning and Study Visit

mpm2MPM Program Planning 1

Faculty members under the UPOU Master of Public Management Program pose during their Program Planning and Study Visit in La Union and Baguio. (Photos by Asst. Prof. Rita Ramos, Ana Desamparado)


The UP Open University (UPOU) Master of Public Management (MPM) Program under the Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) conducted its program planning and study visit in La Union and Baguio City last 26-28 May 2016. The activity was organized by the MPM Program Chair Juvy Lizette M. Gervacio, in coordination with the Office of the Dean and participated in by MPM affiliates and lecturers.

Program Planning

Some of the immediate plans of the MPM Program included exploring and forging linkages with government agencies, as suggested by Dr. Gwendolyn C. Bambalan, a Senior Lecturer. This strategy can increase enrollment figures and provide a good opportunity for the public servants to obtain quality degree. The program planning also provided an opportunity for the faculty-in-charge (FICs) to clarify certain administrative matters which were properly addressed.

Twenty-eight applicants for admission to the MPM Program for 1st Semester AY 2016-2017 are due for evaluation by the Program Admission Committee, composed of Asst. Prof. Juvy Lizette M. Gervacio, Chair, and Ms. Tricia C. Ascan and Mr. Larry N. Cruz as members. This entails the submission of the Graduate Admission Test (GAT) scores by the examiners, Assoc. Prof. Wilhelmina L. Cabo and Assoc. Prof. Jocelyn C. Cuaresma.
It was reported during the program planning that 17 courses are under development/redevelopment using the UPOU’s resource-based course package (RBCP) approach and the course authors were assigned their respective courses. Sixteen courses are for offering this coming 1st Semester AY 2016-2017 and respective FICs were identified as well. Orientation sessions will be held prior to the start of classes and all FICs were encouraged to participate.

As far as program completion is concerned, it was reported that 17 candidates for graduation as of the end of 1st Semester AY 2015-2016 were approved in the UPOU University Council (UC) Meeting held on 13 April 2016. The next batch of candidates will be finalized after the UC Meeting for 2nd Semester AY 2015-2016 on 13 July 2016.

Study Visit

The first institution that was visited was the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)Region 1 office. Regional National Greening Program (NGP) Coordinator and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Maximo F. Soriano, Jr. and For. Zenaida Mariano provided the MPM Program Faculty a backgrounder on their National Greening Program while Ms. Analiza Viray gave a talk on Region 1’s Protected Areas. The highlights included their good practices on environmental management, the challenges they encountered, and the relevance of the participation of Local Government Units (LGUs) and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Dr. Gwendolyn C. Bambalan, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, moderated the open forum.

The faculty members were also given the chance to visit the La Union Timber Company (LATIMCO), a wood processing plant in La Union. LATIMCO boasts of its sophisticated machine, Woodmizer WB200, which increases the efficiency of wood production and significantly decreases the volume of saw dust by 50 percent. Mr. Serafin Chan, Operations Manager of LATIMCO, said that they are the first and the only company which owns this kind of machine in Asia.

San Fernando Sanitary Landfill was also one of the places visited by the MPM faculty members. The landfill caters to 41 barangays of San Fernando, Pampanga. Garbage collection is arranged in clusters in order to facilitate the orderly flow of the collection. The visit further strengthened the realization on the importance of the cooperation of barangays and the public with regards to solid waste management.

The faculty members also visited model barangays in La Union and Baguio. The visit to the two barangays in Baguio, which was facilitated by Ms. Maria Victoria D. Bautista, also a Senior Lecturer, gave the group a glimpse on barangay administration. The first barangay visited was Barangay Bahong, La Trinidad, Benguet – a home to many different kinds of flowers. The barangay officials explained how they manage their flower industry.

The Program Faculty also learned a lot from Barangay Imelda Village, the Hall of Famer (2008-2010) for Best Performing Barangay in Baguio City. Barangay Captain Arturo M. Rapelo, Jr. shared their best practices on good governance that led to their recognition. The barangay’s full disclosure policy, mandatory filing of reports, feedback mechanisms, basura jingle and carousel calendar were just some of the barangay’s innovative policies that made them a hall of famer for being the best barangay. Aside from that, they were also the first barangay in Baguio City to introduce a physical center for trainings and livelihood, “bull sessions”, tri-sector appraisal system and first to install closed-circuit television or CCTV cameras in strategic areas of the barangay.

The planning workshop and study visit ended with a little recreation amongst the faculty members. Bringing with them examples of good governance, lessons learned and stronger bond, the MPM faculty is ready to take the semester ahead. (Ana Coritha J. Desamparado and Larry N. Cruz)