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FMDS Conducts Research Forum on “Creating Virtual Corridors: Social Network Discovery and Landscape Patch Connectivity of Permaculture Projects and Initiatives on Facebook”

The Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), UP Open University, organized a Research Forum entitled "Creating Virtual Corridors: Social Network Discovery and Landscape Patch Connectivity of Permaculture Projects and Initiatives on Facebook" on 27 July 2016 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm with Mr. Jabez Joshua M. Flores as the Resource Speaker. The co-authors of this study are Rick Jason Obrero, Edward Allan Foronda, Luisa Gelisan and Rikki Lee Mendiola. The Research Forum was held at UPOU Audio Visual Room (AVR).

Mr. Jabez Flores is a graduate of the Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management (MENRM) Program of UPOU.. Aside from being a Course Coordinator for the Personal Entrepreneurial Development (PED), one of the courses under the Continuing Education Program offered by FMDS at UPOU, he also serves as a Farmer Support Manager for Good Food Community, Inc. He is also an Organic Farmer and Permaculture Designer for Kainos Farm.

According to Mr. Flores, the research forum was a great opportunity for him to share his knowledge about permaculture. By sharing their study, he hopes that he can inspire others to conduct more research in this field because there are limited studies about permaculture here in the Philippines. He also wants to show other students the advantage of collaboration in conducting research.

He discussed several concepts to give a background of the study. Aside from talking about Permaculture and Permaculture Design, he also explained the concept of social network connectivity, landscape patch connectivity, concepts from landscape ecology (such as patches and corridors), and social network analysis.

In the study, the team mined data from Mr. Flores’ Facebook account to determine the connectivity of the people (his Facebook Friends) and the patches of land in his network based on the number of Facebook groups and several other factors such as the likes and comments on his posts about permaculture. They developed a scoring system which also took into account the factors mentioned before to determine who among his Facebook Friends were able to develop Virtual Corridors. Mr. Jason Obrero, one of the co-authors, explained how this can be simulated using a netlogo rumor mill simulation.

He concluded by sharing that permaculture practitioners are connected not only physically, but also virtually because Facebook realities can actually translate into the connectivity of ecological patches. He added that we should promote the types of studies which focus on the relationships of offline and online worlds because these two are actually related: whatever we do online has manifestations on the physical world. Lastly, he said that we have access to all kinds of technologies and tools right now, but it is up to us how to use these technologies for the benefit of the Earth.

Prof. Primo G. Garcia, Dean and Asst. Prof. Rita C. Ramos, Secretary to the Faculty gave the opening and closing remarks, respectively. Ms. Jeniffer F. De Pasion served as the moderator.

FMDS-UPOU Lecturer Appointed as New ASEC For Promotive Programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

UP Open University Lecturer and Course Writer under the Faculty of Management & Development Studies, Ms. Maria Lourdes T. Jarabe was named Assistant Secretary for Promotive Programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). This appointment comes amid the start of the new administration under the leadership of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Ms. Jarabe has been handling courses under the Diploma in/Master of Social Work specifically SW 201 Social, Economic & Political Structures and Processes and SW 221 Clinical Social Work Practice since 2014. On top of teaching at UPOU, she is also the Executive Director of the Institutional Network for Social Action at Miriam College.

Prior to her post as ASEC, Ms. Jarabe’s public service leadership experiences include being the President of the National Association for Social Work Education, Inc (NASWEI) NCR CL Cluster, Board Member for the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) Philippines, Treasurer for the Philippine Coalition on Volunteerism (PhilCV) and Vice Chairperson for the CEAP-NCR Advocacy Committee and Quezon City Council of Sectoral Representatives, QC Development Council.

In her new role as ASEC, Ms. Jarabe will be focusing on the flagship poverty reduction programs of DSWD such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), Kapitbisig Laban sa Kahirapan - Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI- CIDSS) and sustainable livelihood. She will be working closely with Dr. Judy Taguiwalo, DSWD Secretary, and also a frequent resource person and partner of UPOU Office of Gender Concerns and Diploma in Women and Development on gender and women concerns.

Ms. Jarabe finished her Bachelor of Science in Social Work in 1997 at Miriam College where she graduated Cum Laude and most notably topped the Social Work Licensure Examination in the same year. In 2008, she earned her Master of Social Work at the University of the Philippines Diliman. Currently, she is taking up her PhD in Family Studies at Miriam College.

UPOU Course Coordinator Participates in the Spring 2016 Professional Fellows Program


From April 26 to June 3, 2016, New Enterprise Planning Course Coordinator, Brian Amante Belen, embarked on a 6-week Professional Fellows Program in the United States. He spent five weeks in the State of Arkansas, at Wye Mountain Flowers and Berries LLC, a beautiful farm in Roland owned and operated by Butch and Beth Eggers and Letchworth Farms, one of the larger rice and soybean farms in Des Arc, operated and managed by the Morton Family.

On the side, Brian had the opportunity to meet and participate in dialogues with Farmers, State Legislators, Agricultural Extension Agents and NGOs. He visited the Bernice Garden, a weekend Farmers’ Market where he met the people behind the Dunbar Community Garden Project. He also visited and learned from Researchers of the University of Arkansas (UA) Fruit Research Station, the UA of Little Rock Extension Office, the UA Rice Research Station in Stuttgart, the County Extension Office, Keo Fish Farm, Vineyards and Wine Makers, Rattle’s Garden of the Foodshed Community-Supported Agriculture Project, Riceland and Producers Rice Mill, Bemis Bee Farm, North Pulaski Organic Farms, Little Rock Urban Farming, and Leiva’s Coffee. He also enjoyed the tour of Heifer International’s Headquarters in Little Rock and Heifer Ranch in Perryville.

Aside from professional development activities, Brian was also given opportunities to experience and understand American culture and history through visits to the US Capitol Building, the Clinton Presidential Center, the State of Arkansas Capitol, and the Central High Museum. He also visited National and State Parks – the Hot Springs National Park, the Petit Jean State Park and the Mt. Magazine State Park. Brian was hosted by the lovely couple, Toni and Jim Carr of Little Rock.

According to the United States Department of State, “the Professional Fellows Program provides focused professional development and support to emerging leaders working in the fields of Economic Empowerment, NGO Development, Legislative Process and Governance, Environmental Sustainability, and Conflict Resolution. The PFP provides participants with practical fellowships to broaden their professional expertise. Placed in private, non-profit and government offices, Professional Fellows learn how issues in their respective fields are addressed in the United States, interact with a broad network of colleagues, and develop a deeper understanding of Americans and American society. The program offers a unique opportunity for international fellows and their American colleagues to work together to address issues of shared importance, develop new insights into professional approaches to common issues, and broaden their understanding of foreign working environments, practices and society.”

Out of hundreds of applications in the Philippines, Brian was identified as one of the finalists in the Economic Empowerment Cohort after passing through a stringent selection process. Applications were reviewed by Washington D.C.-based American Councils for International Education (ACIE) to come up with a short list. Jaimie Holmes, Program Officer of the ACIE Professional Fellows Program then flew to Manila to interview candidates and learn more about their works-of-life, advocacies and their platforms for economic empowerment. The four finalists were announced after a month.

Economic Empowerment Fellows from the ASEAN were Marliana Diana Ramli of Brunei, Myo Thant Kyaw of Burma, Kimsorn Ngam of Cambodia, Dissa Ahdanisa, Nia Febriyanti, Gunawan Primasatya, Lidia Naibaho and Nurmala Siregar of Indonesia, Vannaseng Ounalom and Chansamai Phommachan of Laos, Alice Mathew, Baitulhusna Ahmad Zamri and Siti Azeeza Mohamad Nasir of Malaysia, Joshua Leong of Singapore, Achitsak Pacharawaronwich, Werapong Prapha and Phonnabphan Wongtrakoon of Thailand, and Loan Nguyen, Trang Nguyen and Khuong Pham of Vietnam.

Aside from Brian who is the Corporate Secretary and Director for Knowledge Management Services of ABF Integrated Farms and Agribusiness Center Inc. in San Pablo City, the other Economic Empowerment Fellows from the Philippines were Manila-based Patrick Dulay, Founder and CEO of The Spark Project which helps start-ups secure funding for their enterprises. They were joined by Davao City-based Pauline Anne Ferrero, Development Management Officer III of the Mindanao Development Authority and Surigao-based Graciela Mante, Head of the Provincial Economic Enterprise Development and Management Office of the Provincial Government of Surigao Del Norte.

The Spring 2016 Professional Fellows Program supported a total of 265 Professional Fellows from 43 countries, placed in 29 American States and the District of Columbia. The program was capped by the Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, D.C. themed: ‘Impacting the Future: It Starts with Us.’ from May 31 to June 2, 2016. The Professional Fellows Program and the Professional Fellow Congress were made possible through grants from the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.


FMDS Comprehensive Exam Date Schedule 1st semester 2017-2018

Diploma in Social Work

Human Behavior & Social Environment (October 24, 2017)

Social Welfare Policies and Research (October 26, 2017)


Master of Social Work

Human Behavior & Social Environment

Social Welfare Policies and Research

(October 24, 2017)

Social Work Profession and Practice

Social Agency , Leadership and Management

(October 26, 2017)

Area of Specialization (October 28, 2017)


Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management

General Field (October 27, 2017)

Major Field (October 28, 2017)


Master of Public Management

General Field (November 6, 2017)

Public Policy and Program Administration (November 8, 2017)

Local Government and Regional Administration(LGRA) & Voluntary Sector Management (VSM) (November 10, 2017)


Master of Arts in Nursing (January 9 and 11, 2018)


Master of ASEAN Studies (January 12, 2018)


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