A project established by the University of the Philippines, in partnership with ANFLOCOR, the University of the Philippines - Professional School for Agriculture and the Environment (UP-PSAE) opens its Master's and Ph.D. programs for the Academic Year 2019-2020.
The school now offers both MS and Ph.D. programs for Environmental Science and is accepting enrollees for the graduate program which was offered during mid-year of 2019. It also seeks to continue the offering of MS Entomology, and introduce other agriculture and science programs, in the succeeding semesters. Furthermore, in the coming AY 2019-2020, UP PSAE will be offering a program in MS Chemistry.
Pre-registration for the said program is now ongoing for the first semester for the Academic Year 2019-2020. Classes will start on August 5, 2019, and will run until December 5, 2019.
UP-PSAE is part of the master-planned community of Agriya, an 88-hectare mixed-use development in Panabo City. Dubbed as the first Agritourism city in Asia, Agriya will feature a mixture of commercial, residential and institutional components with progressive agriculture at the center of its whole development concept. Temporarily, UP PSAE holds its classes at the Damosa Land, Inc. (DLI) complex while awaiting the construction of its permanent building in Agriya.
Plus, UP-PSAE gives the Davao Region access to world-class quality agricultural education without having to go all the way to Luzon. “We offer the classes every weekend to cater to those who want to study but could not leave their job. Instead of going to Cebu, Metro Manila, or Los Baños, they can go to PSAE which is closer to their homes,” said stated Dr. Filma Calalo, director of PSAE and a faculty member at the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS).
This also allows professionals to earn a postgraduate degree without disrupting their work is one of the reasons why UP PSAE was first established.
Ricardo Lagdameo, vice president of DLI, affirmed the importance of bringing UPLB education to Mindanao. “One of the major factors considered in the creation of UP PSAE was to enable Mindanaoan students to pursue further studies in agriculture without the need to leave their home region,” Lagdameo stated.
Last year, UP-PSAE was able to produce its first graduate in Richard Curilan. Curilan, an employee of the Research, Information and Compliance Division (RICD) - Entomology-Nematology Research and Development Department (ENRDD) of TADECO, ANFLOCOR’s other affiliate company, currently holds a master's degree in Entomology. He is one of the pioneering students of UP-PSAE who started the program back in 2016.
Furthermore, TADECO was one of UPLB’s partner in implementing the MS Entomology program off-campus offering at the said company in 2013. This is considered to be UP PSAE’s forerunner.
The ANFLOCOR group sought to partner with UPLB to put up UP PSAE to help pursue its vision of a strong agricultural sector in Mindanao. “The partnership hopes to improve the quality of agriculture, agri-business, and environmental studies, which will highly contribute to the improvement of the industry as well,” Lagdameo said.
Going back, Curilan shared that enrolling in UP-PSAE was both an achievement and a challenge for him to become more resourceful and organized in managing both his priorities and dealing with expectations of the professors.
"It was a struggle to balance work, family, and studies. In the end, I was proud of what I have accomplished as the only one of four students, who was [also] sponsored by the company, to finish my studies," expressed Curilan. TADECO covered the expenses that were incurred during the two-year program for four of its qualified employees.
Curilan bared that after graduating and getting his master's degree, he was promoted and transferred to the current department where he is working on right now. There, he was able to apply and share what he learned from the program. "The MS Entomology program helped me gain specialized knowledge [on] insects and its management, which is relevant to the organization that I am working in," Curilan stated.
Dr. Calalo stated that they aim to complete a three-unit course every four weeks by holding classes from 8 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Every student enrolled has four courses, which is equivalent to 12 units, every semester. “The faculty and students need to have a lot of patience because we have to ensure the quality of the course,” she added.
Dr. Decibel Faustino-Eslava, dean of the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) who co-teaches a course at UP PSAE, attested to this. “We handle courses at PSAE as how we handle them for our residential programs,” she explained.
Dr. Patricia Ann Sanchez, also a faculty under the SESAM who co-teaches courses with faculty members from UPLB and UP Mindanao, states that UP PSAE’s partnership with the latter is a huge milestone for them.
Furthermore, Dr. Sanchez adds that she looks forward to handling students’ thesis proposals and case studies, citing the fact that there are a lot of researchable areas in Mindanao that students can tap into. She further added about the potential partnership of UP PSAE with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Region XI for the conduct of the students’ thesis.
Dr. Eslava is also excited at the possibility of increasing the number of UPLB graduate programs in Mindanao. “There is a demand in the region and we are happy to be able to help in addressing it,” Eslava states further.
For admission requirements and other inquiries about UP PSAE, interested parties can contact Ms. Filma Calalo at mobile number 0917-651-7358 or thru email at firstname.lastname@example.org.