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Albay, Legazpi, Philippines


BU expands instruction, research, extension to CamNorte; establishes BUCET testing center

To strengthen the educational horizon and advance research extension activities, Bicol University (BU) have solidified a commitment to expansion with the Local Government Unit of Vinzons, Camarines Norte (LGU Vinzons) through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at Vinzons Municipal Hall on March 27, 2024.

The partnership will anchor on the BU RDE Research Agenda 2024-2028 which will focus on agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources (AANR); industry, energy, and emerging technology; health and health systems management; climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management; and inclusive education and lifelong learning. 

As a part of the partnership agreement, both BU and the LGU Vinzons will embark on a University Extension Program that is inclined towards Bicol University Extension, Community Engagement, and Learning Services or BU EXCELS.


BUCET in CamNorte 2024

Included in this collaboration is the establishment of a BUCET testing center in Camarines Norte. 

For the first time, a BUCET testing center will be established in Camarines Norte, LGU Vinzons this year onwards. This has opened opportunities for interested students in the province and nearby communities to take BUCET without traveling far from their residences. 

Present at the MOA signing were BU President Dr. Baby Boy Benjamin D. Nebres III together with Hon. Eleanor F. Segundo, Municipal Mayor of Camarines Norte.The collaborative efforts between the institution and local government signal a significant step towards promoting higher education and community development. | by Jamaica B. Divina, BUCPRO Intern & Arnold C. Noda, IO III-BUCPRO

📷 Cherry Grace H. Calisin, IO II-CPRO

DTI’s consumer education, programs to launch in BU 

To promote an environment for transparent and self-regulatory ethical business practices, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Albay Provincial Office, and Bicol University College of Business, Economics, and Management (BUCBEM) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to discuss and engage in consumer education and programs, signed at the Ricardo A. Arcilla Conference Room on March 26, 2024. 

Through this collaboration, DTI-Albay will provide its services and conduct consumer education and advocacy seminars for the students and faculty members of BUCBEM. DTI-Albay may provide speakers, resource persons, and facilitators in the relevant field for seminars, workshops, and training, organized by the university .

Students can also be given the opportunity to participate in DTI-Albay programs such as local trade fairs and business development activities, as well as collaborate on research and extension engagements. 

With this partnership, BUCBEM will constitute “Bantay Bilihin,”  a consumer protection committee, and will also lead the distribution of DTI’s consumer protection literature and related publication materials within the university. 

Present in the meeting were BU President Dr. Baby Boy D. Nebres lll, Noel B. Bunao, OIC DTI Provincial Director, Dr. Dimson Rivero, BUCBEM Dean and BU International Relations Office Director, Atty. Daryl A. Redoblado, University Legal Officer, and other invited officials and personnel from both parties. | by Jamaica Divina, BUCPRO Intern

📷 Cherry Grace H. Calisin, IO II-CPRO

BU KUGOS TESDA for research, extension projects

Bicol University (BU) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)-San Francisco Institute of Science and Technology (SFIST) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for a collaboration on research, extension, and projects on the improvement of technical education, skills development, including capacity building at TESDA SFIST, San Francisco, Malilipot, Albay, on March 12, 2024. 

These partnerships include projects for development and enhancement, training programs and workshops, research and development initiatives, outreach and community engagement activities, capacity building for trainers and educators, knowledge sharing and exchange programs, and skills development and competition. 

BU, through the College of Industrial Technology, and TESDA, through SFIST, will jointly provide technical assistance and expertise in the planning and development of the activities. 

BUCIT will lead and identify areas of collaboration and propose project initiatives, mobilize its personnel to support its implementation, offer facilities and infrastructure, submit necessary reports, and recognize the involvement of its personnel.

SFIST on the other hand, will also provide its facilities and infrastructure, allocate necessary funding, facilitate coordination with stakeholders, evaluate and monitor the implementation and its impact, and credit its personnel’s involvement. 

TESDA taps BUEMD for technical, training assistance

On the same day, another joint alliance between TESDA-SFIST signed a MOA with BU, through the Extension Management Division for a community development project titled “BU KUGOS TESDA: Technical and Training Assistance for Community Development Program.”

The implementation of livelihood programs and technical support in program development will be initiated along with other development-related activities such as technology transfer, capability-building training, people’s organization development, including product development and marketing, and linkage support.

Both partnerships will provide services and technical expertise from the BU College of Industrial Technology, Sentro ng Wika at Kultura, BU College of Arts and Letters, BU Polangui, and the BU Association of Non-Teaching Staff. 

This was made official and signed by BU President Dr. Baby Boy Benjamin D. Nebres III and Archie A. Grande, TESDA Regional Director. | by Arnold C. Noda, IO III-CPRO; with reports from Kathy Vee V. Monreal, BUCPRO Intern

📷 Cherry Grace H. Calisin, IO II-CPRO

VIVES Prof visits BU for International Faculty Mobility

To further strengthen the partnership between the two institutions, Prof. Valerie Rits from VIVES University of Applied Sciences in Belgium is in Bicol University (BU) for an Inbound International Teaching Mobility Program from March 5-20, 2024.

Prof. Valerie Rits is a professor and has been teaching for 15 years in market research, general marketing, and entrepreneurship. She is currently the Coordinator of the Advanced Bachelor in International Management and a Responsible Training Centre for Finance and Insurance at VIVES University College.

She visited the offices of the BU administration, where the personnel, staff, and faculty members warmly welcomed her on the first day. Afterward, she had a quick campus tour at the Start-up Incubation and Limitless Integration of Dynamic Entrepreneurial Leaders of Innovation (SILI-DELI), University Library, and Office of Student Affairs and Services (OSAS), where she witnessed the mini-exhibit murals of the talented students of the university.

Prof Rits expedition at BU

During her stay, she had a luncheon meeting with the BU Institute of Physical Education Sports and Recreation (IPESR) administration, faculty, and staff and had an engaging conversation about plans and collaborations; followed by an afternoon refreshment meeting at the BU College of Business and Economics Management (CBEM) Dean’s Office with its council on March 6, 2024. 

Prof. Ritz conducted a two-day team teaching research, in which she taught the students of BUCBEM and BU IPESR about research and marketing in the subjects of International Marketing, Basic Marketing Research, Research 1, and Business Plan Preparation from March 7-8, 2024.

She was also welcomed by a variety of cultural performances titled “Cultural Diversity, A Dance Unity” on March 9, performed by the Magayon Dance Troupe dancers and IPESR students; The visiting professor also visited the Camote Creation Farm at Anislag, Daraga on March 13, 2024.

Prof. Ritz’s last venture culminated with a “Fireside Chat on Sustainable Business and Ethical Leadership” at the BU Amphitheater, attended by BUCBEM students, faculty, and staff. The program engaged in an open forum on business sustainability and discussed its impact on the environment and future generations on March 15, 2024. 

In her message, the visiting professor expressed her hope that she would return to BU if given another opportunity. | by Jamaica Divina, BU CPRO Student Intern

BU Durugtungan orients graduating BUeños on financial literacy

Bicol University – University Student Council (BU-USC) organized “BU Durugtungan, 2024″ event in collaboration with the Social Security System (SSS) and China Bank, together with former student leaders,  on March 13, 2024 at the Bulwagang BUeño to give orientation on financial literacy and share college life stories, . 

The program commenced with a welcome from Prof. Daves Tonga, the Dean of the Office of Student Affairs and Services, who acknowledged the presence of guests and BU officials, highlighting the presence of BU President Dr. Baby Boy Benjamin  Nebres III. 

Prof. Tonga emphasized the significance of “Durugtunan,” a Bicol term signifying extension, connection, and inclusivity, reflecting the university’s commitment to collaborative efforts for societal progress.

In a recent development, the university showcased its dedication to inclusivity through a resolution presented by the Director for Gender and Development, supported by the University Student Council. The resolution aims to enhance inclusivity within the university, with initiatives such as the proposal for gender-neutral restrooms.

Central to the event’s agenda was the promotion of financial literacy, with Jeanette T. Mapa, Acting Team Head/Regional Communication Officer of SSS Legazpi Branch, addressing topics such as the issuance of SSS numbers, contributions, and the worker’s investment savings program. Additionally, representatives from China Bank, including Nina Crizelle Relucio, Patricia Matias, and Danilo D. Arispe Jr., provided insights into financial management during the seminar.


USC relaunches ‘Bisikleta ng Pag-asa’ initiative

During the afternoon session, USC led a ribbon cutting and relaunched the “Bisikleta ng Pag-asa” initiative headed by Remee Estefany P. Baldorado, BU-USC, Chairperson and Student Regent, Dylan Tanji, Public Information Officer (PIO), Julia Mae Mendez, USC Councilor, and Stacy Daniel V. Alamarez, External Vice Chairperson.

The “Bisikleta ng Pag-asa” initiative aims to provide bicycles for use within the BU community. Guidelines emphasized that only BU community members can utilize the bicycles.

Borrowers are encouraged to voluntarily contribute to the bicycle’s maintenance. Identification cards are required for borrowing, with basic information logged for identification purposes in case of emergencies.

BU Durugtungan also featured a seminar titled “Thank U, BU–t What’s Next?” where esteemed panelists, who are former student leaders, provided insights to equip attendees for life after college while reflecting on life after graduation.

Among the panelists were Jave Andre M. Lotivio, recognized for his outstanding leadership as a university graduate in 2022. Mr. Lotivio served as the 11th counselor of the Order of the Blue Feather Society, an organization awarded as the most outstanding university-based organization in 2022. Notably, he also held the position of BU College of Nursing College Council President from 2019 to 2021.

Lotivio emphasized, “the pressure is always there, and emotional stress is inevitable. It’s important to acknowledge our feelings and seek support from friends to overcome stressors.”

Joining him was Carl Andre Bongalos, a media and creative specialist. Bongalos served as the interim PIO of BU USC from 2018-2019 and as Vice President of the BU College of Science Student Council from 2016 to 2017.

Bongalos described life after graduation as dynamic, stating, “…just imagine a curve in a graph – there are ups and downs. Prepare yourself mentally and professionally, as the first impression matters greatly in your career journey.”

Completing the panel was Prof. January M. Dechavez, a respected member of the Order of the Blue Feather Society and a faculty member of BU College of Education. 

“This is a time of discovery and affirmation. It’s essential to understand your purpose and values, relying on faith and mentors for guidance in navigating post-graduate life’s challenges and joys,” Professor Dechavez said. 

The open forum allowed attendees to engage with the speakers, further exploring the challenges and opportunities of life after university. Tokens and certificates were awarded to the speakers as a gesture of appreciation for their valuable contributions.

Overall, the BU Durugtungan project and the insights shared during the event underscored USC’s commitment to empowering its graduates with essential skills and knowledge for success in their future endeavors. | Loureen M. Kaibigan, BUCPRO Intern

📷 Jamaica B. Divina & , Kathy Vee V. Monreal BUCPRO Intern

BU IPESR launches ‘Padaraplusan’ in Bagumbayan, Daraga

To promote wellness and participation in physical activities, Bicol University Institute of Physical Education Sports and Recreation (BUIPESR), through the BU Extension Management Division (BUEMD), launched its flagship program, “Padaraplusan,” themed, “Towards Sustaining the Holistic Health of a Stronger and Resilient Community,” at the Barangay Bagumbayan, Daraga, Albay, on March 3, 2024.

“Padaraplusan” is a Bikol word that means moving, sweating, and perspiring while engaging in a physical activity. This program will also offer capacity-building activities, fitness, wellness activities, technical expertise, and information, education, and communication (IEC) materials. 

This community engagement partnership will undergo five programs under padaraplusan: (1) Integrated Physical Education Seminars and Roll-out of Training and Activities (IPESR TA); (2) Workout of the Day (WOD) Fitness and Wellness Session; (3) Sports League and Management (SLaM); (4) Technical Expertise and Assistance Management for Fitness and Sports Services (TEAM FitSS); and (5) IPESR Wellness Action Sports and Nutrition (IWASAN). 

The collaboration was formalized through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing, represented by BU EMD Associate Director Dr. Rowena F. Zoilo, on behalf of BU President Dr. Baby Boy Benjamin D. Nebres III, and Bagumbayan Barangay Captain, Hon. Mark Magallona. The launching was attended by the BUIPESR teaching and non-teaching staff and the Bagumbayan residents. | by Arnold C. Noda, MPS-I BUCPRO & Jamaica Divina, BUCPRO Student Intern

📷 by Diana Rose Marchan