The third GE Conversation with a National Leader: A Forum on Governance, Transparency, and Social Transformation was conducted last 11 March, Friday, at the DL Umali Hall, University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), with presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the guest speaker.
The event was spearheaded by the Department of Social Sciences (DSS), College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and UP sa Halalan 2016, through the initiative of Political Science 1 Cluster, and in partnership with the UPLB General Education Council and UPLB-based student organizations, namely UP Socius, UP Mindanawans, and UPLB Tubong Dabaw.
In his opening remarks, CAS Dean Felino Lansigan emphasized the importance of encouraging political participation from the public and the need to engage them in the process of governance. After DSS Assistant Professor Zoilo Belano, Jr introduced the guest speaker. Mayor Duterte delivered his message wherein he admitted that he was at first having doubts on running for the presidency in this year’s general elections, but eventually decided to pursue his candidacy.
Violence, Duterte proposed, remains to be a factor that can impede the progress of a society and affect the life of the people, an issue that his local government had focused on throughout the entire course of his mayoralty at Davao City.
“Ginawa ko ang trabaho ko, well, [maybe] not in a very magnificent way, which is not really a work of art, but is governance. But ginawa ko ang trabaho ko. I promised the people I will improve the local order of the place,” he said.
Duterte also stated that if he were to become president, it would be “bloody,” referring to his advocacy of addressing issues of criminality and promoting internal stability in the country.
In the open forum, Mayor Duterte was asked by students regarding his plans for education and his policy platforms, in which he said that education will be prioritized and will receive a larger chunk from the national budget.
The first two GE Conversation fora were held in 15 September of last year and 9 February with presidential candidate and Vice President Jejomar Binay, and independent senatorial candidate and former Akbayan representative Walden Bello as guest speakers, respectively.
The GE Conversations aim to raise the awareness of the public about the current socio-political issues confronting the country at present, highlight the value and significance of good governance, transparency, and accountability in addressing these issues, and enlighten them to become informed and critical in selecting the future leaders of the country. -Jison, John Raymond
Dr. Cornelia A. Aquino, a psychology faculty from the Department of Social Sciences, delivered a talk regarding stress during the GE conversation which was entitled Stress your STRESS last April 11, 2016. The GE conversation was spearheaded by DSS under the Psy 1 cluster and was attended by students and faculty members.
The activity aims to provide the participants a nuanced understanding of stress including its effects on well-being as well as ways to manage it. Aquino believes that the talk is very timely considering that both students and faculty members face a plethora of stressors as the semester commences.
Aquino also conducted a relaxation exercise in the hope of calming and managing the chronic stresses experienced by the participants. The activity ended with Aquino explaining that managing stress requires some basic understanding of what stress is and how it affects our body, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Furthermore, she stressed that stress should not be viewed as entirely bad as it can sometimes push people to become productive.
Mr. John Lorenzo Yambot has been very productive in the three years that he has been an instructor at INSTAT. He has already taught 10 different undergraduate courses, a high school statistics course at the UP Rural High School), and two national service training program (NSTP) courses. Mr. Yambot’s average rating over the most recent three academic years is the highest among the INSTAT junior faculty. He initiates and goes out of his way, spends extra hours in screening, training and reviewing UPLB contestants for the Philippine Statistics Quiz resulting in one national championship and one regional championship in 2013 and 2014. In 2013-2014, he coached and guided the INSTAT Student Team in the 1st SAS Academic and Analytics Contest in 2014 for the research paper entitled “Predicting the Currency Exchange Rate of US Dollars and Philippine Pesos Leveraging on Big Data coming from Google Trends” which garnered the first prize for the student category. As prize, he was given the opportunity to attend the SAS Global Forum in Washington, DC.
Mr. Yambot has also been actively engaged in many extension activities — as resource person in training courses offered by the Philippine Statistical Research and Training Institute and other government agencies, as organizer of the student faculty conference, as adviser of student organizations, among others.
Mr. Yambot is continuously exploring innovative approaches to teaching effectively. He implements positive reinforcement scheme in his class by rewarding students who excel academically. Aside from encouraging his students to do well in their studies, Mr. Yambot always tries his best to teach Statistics in a way that can be easily appreciated by his students. Delivering discussion in a lively manner and incorporating realistic and timely examples are some of his methods for students, especially in STAT1, to see the link between Statistics and their chosen fields.
Mr. Yambot has shown maturity beyond his age in ensuring that the tasks assigned to him, be it in the domain of instruction, research or administration, are done promptly to the best of his abilities. All of his accomplishments attest to his good work ethics, professionalism and outstanding performance.