Saturday, February 26, 2011

Milestones of Service in the University

Trusts begets trust. With this framework, working with then CPU President Juanito M. Acanto was worthwhile, blessed with significant breakthroughs as far as the trilogy functions of Higher Education Institutions are concerned. Some are mentioned in his Years of Fulfillment, Years of Bliss document. Refreshing my mind with these contributions has been therapeutic.

In the area of instruction, the formulation of Vision-Mission-Goal of the Department and revision of the curriculum during my term have lasting effect. The product is still used by my predecessor with modification in the curriculum to suit the needs and changes in the trends. Revival of the Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) program comes next. In three -year time, the University produced the first graduate during the Centennial Year in 2005, after more than three decades. Since then it has produced five more graduates including three non- social workers who subsequently hurdled the board exam. The revival was in line with the development of successor generation. Consequently, three young MSSW disciples are now teaching in the department.

Aside from solving the one- year back log of LINK and Kasanag, my research contribution consisted of three books, either authored or co authored. Worth mentioning are research works including my masteral thesis which was adjudged the best thesis of the College of Social Work and Community Development, UP Diliman, in 2001. Subsequently, it garnered the Leonora Serafica de Guzman Memorial Award from National Association for Social Work Education, Inc., and garnered the Leonora de Guzman award of the NASWEI. Of all my advisorship in student publications, the experience in Central Echo and Centralite for five years and one decade, respectively, created impact.

I considered the last of the trilogy i.e outreach more significant of all my contributions, as it has a bearing in the lives of people in community. Two University- based projects were saved from total collapse during my term. Foremost, is the Iloilo House of Refuge (IHR), Crisis Center for Women and Children. Started by an NGO network in 1993, the project experienced scarcity of funds, coupled with internal and organizational problems. It was temporarily closed but revived during my term as Department Head through volunteerism of students and faculty and linkages. Eventually the University directly assisted the project which resulted to the partnership agreement and subsequent turn over of management.

Tapping the government both the city and province, as well as senators and Presidential Management Staff, the project has been sustained. In team work with the University President, we were able to tap the CDF of Ilonggo senators. Through Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago and Sen. Franklin Drilon, additional two- storey edifice was constructed. With the University’s counterpart, it now houses the CPU Birthing Center, Kabalaka Reproductive Center and CPU (Medtech) Clinical Laboratory and the Office of the Presidential Management Staff-Region VI.

The other one is Katin-aran Center which started as social development laboratory of the Department for field exposure of students. Soon, it developed into a national and international model of self-help development. After engaging in a multi-million empowerment projects for 7 consecutive years, the Katin-aran separated from the University. Thereafter, it was bombarded with problems that shook its foundation. The timely intervention of the University has saved its sudden demise, which led back to the roots- the Department of Social Work. After two years of taking over the management of the Foundation, the skeletal staff with the support of the Department and voluntary effort of former staff, the Katin-aran has cleared itself from accountabilities to the funding agencies. Thereafter, a new life sprung out coming from the communities and former Katin-aran Center staff. The organization of the CPU Katin-aran Communities, Inc. ensured its sustainability since the governing board comes from the people themselves.

Worth adding here is the student volunteer network which was organized under my term in the University Outreach Center - the Volunteers for Integrated Public Service (VIPs). It garnered the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) award in 2007.

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