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UPOU targets Ifugao Rice Terraces Conservation and Sustainable Development in New Project

UP Open University (UPOU), in fulfillment of its mission of widening access to quality education and its public service thrust, targets the Sustainable Development and Conservation of the Ifugao Rice Terraces (IRT) in its project with UP Los Baños, Kanazawa University, Ifugao State University (IFSU), the Ifugao Provincial Government, and selected municipalities in Ifugao funded by Mitsui & Co. Ltd.

Dubbed as the “Youth Capacity Building and Exchange Program toward Sustainable Development and Conservation of Ifugao Rice Terraces,” the project will focus on training the Ifugao youth on the concepts of IRT as a Satoyama landscape and a Globally Important Heritage System (GIASH), sustainable tourism, sustainable farming practices, local food security, agricultural heritage systems and the cultural heritage preservation of the IRT. Training modules and multimedia materials will be developed to aid in the capacity building of the youths.. Partnerships will also be linked between countryside and urban communities and provide hands-on experience, exchange programs and internship to rural and urban-based youths.

During the launch, Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, UPOU Chancellor, welcomed all partners and guests to the launch. She coined the term #Y4IRT as the shorter name to the project and explained how the project proves important to the University. All collaborators were given an opportunity to share messages. Dr. Koji Nakamura from Kanazawa University gave a short message about the importance of educating and supporting the young generation. Dr. Portia Lapitan, UPLB Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, says UPLB is proud to be part of the team that leads in the conservation of the country's National Heritage.

Dr. Marissa Bulong, the Director of the IFSU GIAHS Center, shares how IFSU commits its full support in the successful implementation of the project. Councilor Pablo Cuyahon of the Hungduan Municipal Government stated how much it means to the Ifugaos that projects like #Y4IRT are aimed at the sustainable development and conservation of their rice terraces, culture and way of life.

Mr. Masanori Sato, General Manager for Corporate Planning & Administration Division of Mitsui & Co. Ltd, the project's funding agency, explained that #Y4IRT is one the three projects chosen by the company out of about 90 proposals submitted within Asia.

Dr. Joane Serrano, #Y4IRT Project Leader, introduced the Project Team members.

Dr. Primo Garcia, Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), delivered the closing remarks. He thanked everyone for their presence and commitment to the sustainable development and conservation of the Ifugao Rice Terraces.

This capacity building and exchange program will empower the young generation of Ifugaos with the knowledge and leadership needed to sustain the IRT landscape. Participants will learn about the IRT culture and way of life, and involved youths will learn from each other to promote a holistic view of rural and urban linkages to appreciate interconnectedness of these systems. This project, which will run for two years, will create awareness of the GIAHS areas among the youth, and their relevance in the present world. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

FMDS celebrates World Social Work Day and National Women’s Month with LTIO Lecture Series

The Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) celebrated the World Social Work Day and National Women’s Month on 21 March 2017 with a Let’s Talk It Over (LTIO) lecture series entitled Kababaihan, Kalikasan, Komunidad, which discussed the role of social work to promote sustainable environments and communities and the role of women in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Two leading experts in women and development were invited to speak at the lecture series. Ms. Marita Castillo-Pimentel, the Director for Field Operations of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), presented DSWD’s tasks in terms of human capital development, improvement of the country’s social protection programs, and implementation of the responsible parenthood and reproductive health law. Director Pimentel also shared with the audience DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo’s phrase “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” meaning “From the Masses, For the Masses” which is central to the department’s promotive and protective programs characterized by maagap at mapagkalingang serbisyo, serbisyong walang puwang sa katiwalian, at patas na pagtrato sa komunidad. She urged everyone to continuously harness women’s participation towards change and advocate for people-oriented and people-centered policies, programs and initiatives at various levels to promote sustainable communities living harmoniously with their natural environments.

Dr. Thelma R. Paris, an independent consultant and formerly a gender specialist for Climate Change in Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), discussed the roles of women and men in agriculture and climate change, particularly in in rice-based farming systems, impacts of climate change in agriculture and on rural livelihoods, coping mechanisms and vulnerabilities of men and women in the face of climate change risks, research on climate change, agriculture, food security and gender as well as climate smart agriculture and farming practices.

According to Dr. Paris, “the goal of reducing poverty and hunger, improving human health and nutrition, and climate resilience can be achieved if agricultural research institutions in partnership with extension agencies and NGOs will provide women and men equal access to opportunities and empower women to maximize their skills, talents and inputs for their benefit, their families, the society and the future generation.” Dr. Paris also serves as a faculty-in-charge for UPOU’s DWD program teaching Women and Work.

Thought provoking questions were raised during the open forum by the live and online viewers from overseas. The speakers and the audience engaged in a discussion of society’s perception of women empowerment, lessons learned in terms of improving women’s roles in preparing for and overcoming climate-related disasters as well as how can disaster risk reduction and management be gender sensitive. The forum provided insights on rethinking the concept of women's empowerment and gender roles and the interconnection of women, environment and community to further analyze and respond to the issues related to the said three concepts.

Held at the UPOU’s Audio-Visual Room with livestreaming via, the event was organized by the Diploma in/Master of Social Work (D/MSW) and Diploma in Women and Development (DWD) programs of FMDS in cooperation with the Office of Gender Concerns (OGC) and is in line with the National Women’s Month celebration theme “We Make Change Work for Women.”

The World Social Work Day is celebrated every 3rd Tuesday of March to recognize the contribution of social work and push for the promotion of the social work profession and its significant role in development. This observance is jointly organized by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), the School of Social Work Geneva (HETS-Genève) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) where UP Open University is an institutional member through its D/MSW program under FMDS. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability” which relates to the 3rd pillar of the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development. (Paula Grace Muyco)

UP Open University Renews its Institutional Membership to the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW)

The Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) renewed its annual institutional membership to the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) last 15 February 2017 as part of its efforts to widen UP Open University’s network through partnerships and linkages. Membership to the organization is seen as beneficial in learning about the current professional practice and trends in social work education thus enriching the faculty’s Diploma in and Master of Social Work curriculum.

The IASSW office is located at the Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano- Bicocca, Italy and is the global association of social work schools and social work educational programs at the tertiary level. It advocates for the development of social work education in the world, creates standards to improve social work education, boosts international exchanges, offers a venue for creating discourse on social work research, and conducts policy and advocacy activities to support human rights and social development. IASSW aims to engage social work educators in the whole world for the exchange of knowledge and expertise. IASSW has been granted consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as an NGO since 1947 and represented at the United Nations in Geneva. The association shares studies and research in social work through the International Social Work journal and conferences and seminars organized.

Besides IASSW, UP Open University through FMDS’ Social Work program is also a member of the Asia Pacific Association for Social Work Education (APASWE), the National Association of Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI), the Social Welfare Development Learning Network, and the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children-CALABARZON Region. Through these linkages, FMDS hopes to reach prospective Social Work students and contribute to the development of the Philippine social work curriculum through open and distance e-learning.


FMDS Comprehensive Examination Date Schedule (2nd semester 2017-2018)

Diploma in Social Work

  • Human Behavior & Social Environment Social Welfare Policies and Research (May 14, 2018)
  • Social Work Profession and Practice Social Agency , Leadership and Management (May 16, 2018 )

Master of Social Work

  • Human Behavior & Social Environment Social Welfare Policies and Research (May 14, 2018)
  • Social Work Profession and Practice Social Agency, Leadership and Management (May 16, 2018 )
  • Area of Specialization (May 18, 2018)

Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management

  • General Field (May 29, 2018)
  • Major Field (May 31, 2018)

Master of Public Management

  • General Field (May 28, 2018)
  • Public Policy and Program Administration (May 30, 2018)
  • Local Government and Regional Administration (LGRA) and Voluntary Sector Management (VSM) (June 1, 2018)

Master of Arts in Nursing

  • Content (June 5, 2018 )
  • Methodology (June 7, 2018 )

Master of ASEAN Studies (July 6, 2018)

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