“Leaders do not only know where they are going; they also know how to get there.”
Our two Vice President, Dr. Belen S. dela Peña, Dr. Joy C. Capistrano, Student Trustee Hon. Fernando Espina Jr., Alumni Trustee Hon. Ellene C. Wasil, Faculty Trustee Hon. Larlynne P. Samoranos, the deans of the main campus, the Administrator of Satellite Campus, Directors, members of the College Administrative Council, and the Academic Council, department heads and the heads of offices, faculty and staff, our dear students, guests and of course my ever supportive wife (Rhodora Garcines), ladies and gentlemen, Good morning.
First of all, I would like to welcome all of you to this convocation. This is the 1st Annual Academic Activity which can be seen as event that highlights the status of the College and our plans for the future.
As I was telling you in my investiture address on November 26, 2014, the centerpiece of my administration can be compressed in thirteen letters in three words.
AIM HIGH ASSCAT!
What are the meanings of these words?
A – Accreditation of all programs
I – Intensive faculty, staff and students development programs
M – Mobilization for support scholarship programs
H – Highly responsive and relevant research and extension and
I – Investiture in service infrastructure, ICT facilities and equipment
G – Good governance characterized by assertiveness, self-esteem, spiritually motivated
H – Harnessing the alumni, government-agencies, LGUs and private sectors in generating additional support for the College.
A – Assertive
S – Self-esteem
S – Spritually motivated
C – Compassionate
A – Accountability
T – Transparency
In the book of John C. Maxwell entitled, “The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader’s Day”, I came across Nehemiah’s inspiring story. When he heard from his brother that the wall of Jerusalem was ruined by Chaldeans, he had wept for days and prayed to the Lord God of heaven for mercy. Such a devastation of the city wall greatly affected Nehemiah because, during this era, there was a belief that a ruined wall of a city suggested a bad thing. Not only did it leave a city open to attack, but it also prompted ridicule from neighboring powers. With Jerusalem, the unrepaired wall also gave foreigners a reason to scorn God, whose holy city it was. Consequently, this burden purified Nehemiah’s motives. He intensely felt the necessity to do something which was beneficial not for himself but for others above all.
What inspires me in the life of Nehemiah is his concern for the people. Like Nehemiah, I felt it too. The problems which I have encountered since I got employed here actually capture my heart. These problems precede my vision for leadership. Additionally, they purify my motives, cultivate my persistence, and cement my conviction.
Despite my limitations, I have to play a very significant role for the transformation of Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology into a reputable agro-industrial university in Southeast Asia. This is gradually happening as there are several proofs and evidences of development in the four areas such as, Instruction, Research, Extension, Production and Administration.
In the area of INSTRUCTION, I am proud to tell you that during the Academic Year 2016 – 2017, ASSCAT has been blest with personnel whose commitment to excellent service is indubitable. The members of our faculty, then, have discharged their duties and responsibilities as good stewards of education. The members of the administrative staff, on the other hand, have worked earnestly to keep all aspects of the Institution running. Indeed, both of them have expressed support to my administration in the realization of my primal goal that is to produce graduates who are highly competent and globally competitive in the field of agriculture, education, forestry, fishery, engineering, arts and sciences.
In this academic year 2016-2017, the population of students who were officially registered had reached to 3,874, and 517 of them were conferred graduates in the nine (9) programs. Moreover, the PRC performance of the College in the Licensure Examination for Agriculturist had garnered 50%; the Licensure Examination for Teachers – Secondary Education, 28.57%; the Elementary Education, 33.33%; and, the Agricultural Engineering, 20.83%.
Eight (8) programs of the College namely: a.) Bachelor of Elementary Education; b) Bachelor of Secondary Education; c) Bachelor of Agricultural Technology; d) Bachelor of Science in Agriculture; e) Bachelor of Science in Agroforestry; f) Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness; g) Bachelor of Science in Information Technology; and h) Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering were Level II re-accredited by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines, Inc. (AACCUP). Certification for Level III for the eight programs will be released as soon as mandated requirements will be complied with its validity from January 2017 to December 2017. While Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering will be submitted to Level III (Phase II) on December 4-9, 2017 to comply the Level III certification.
Moreover, three (3) graduate programs, such as MS in Agriculture, MS in Animal Science, and MS in Horticulture were awarded by the AACCUP with a candidate status, and its validity is from December 1, 2016 to November 30, 2018. Moreover, out of the nine (9) programs, seven (7) programs were awarded with Certificate of Program Compliance (COPC) by the Commission on Higher Education. The two programs (BSAE and BSECE) will still be working in progress for the CHED Regional Office to issue the COPC this year.
This morning, my beloved stakeholders, I am pleased to announce that the College of Arts and Sciences are offering three (3) new programs for this academic year 2017-2018, and these are AB English Language, BS in Applied Mathematics, and BS in Biology.
So, these are some of the changes that we have all experienced and witnessed in ASSCAT, and there are still more to come. These have happened because we believe in our capacity to lead ASSCAT to its pedestal and to make it visible in the map of Southeast Asia.
The program of activities which we have done during the period of 2016-2017 benefits our student clienteles. This includes embedding review classes in the curriculum, orientation to incoming students, applying new approaches to maximize learning such as, applied learning, project-based learning, and theme-based learning for the next two years through our general education initiatives, trainings and leadership seminars for students such as moral recovery and values formation basic seminar and job search and pre-employment seminar, and recognized student organizations.
Ensuring employment after graduating, we provide our most promising students with counseling and tutoring. On the other hand, we provide resources and technical assistance to our students from the support and funding received through scholarship and grants from various line agencies such as, Commission on Higher Education for Expanded Students’ Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA), Tulong Dunong, Student Financial Assistance Programs (STuFAPs); Department of Agriculture for Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF), Provincial and Local Government, NGO’s and other private sectors. As a result of our intensified partnership with prospective donors and partners, the number of scholarships has increased. A total of 1,443 students or 37.25% of the enrollees were granted scholarship for AY 2016-2017, and 594 of which were ESGP-PA grantees.
Upgrading themselves professionally, most of the members of our faculty and administrative staff have availed of CHED scholarship, participate in local, regional and international conferences, and engage in writing workshops for developing instructional materials. In effect, there were eleven (11) faculty members who were re-classified or promoted through NBC 461 (7th cycle). Sixty (60) members of the faculty and staff were awarded under the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) K to 12 scholarship program. Also, there were three (3) scholars funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) as well as local scholarship funded by the ASSCAT under the Faculty and Staff Development Program.
In the area of RESEARCH, ASSCAT also extends intensive support to faculty who intend to conduct valuable researches, present them in local, regional, national, and international conferences, and publish them. These research studies were conducted based on the research of the College and the need of the service area. Among these research studies are: Code Switching: Boon or Bane; Micro – Controller Base Flood Monitoring System; Modeling of Partnership of Community and Law Enforcement to Curb the Prevalence of Drug Addiction: An Agent Based Model; and Agroforestry and Small Ruminant Production: the Agusan del Sur State College of Technology (ASSCAT) Experiences.
Besides, from 2012 to 2016, there were faculty members who were able to present their research papers through the Agency In-House Review (AIHR).
Furthermore, ASSCAT was able to outsource funds from the line agencies such as, Department of Agriculture and Department of Science and Technology for externally-funded projects. In fact, the DA-RFO XIII allocated funds for ASSCAT in the amount of P 179,000.00 for the implementation of Rice R&D program to support the national rice sufficiency goal particularly in the Caraga Region. This program was designed to evaluate the growth and yield performance, its adaptability and economic profitability of different varieties of upland rice in Agusan del Sur condition. The studies started on August 8, 2014. At present, the studies are on its 3rd year of implementation.
Likewise, the DOST Caraga allocated funds for ASSCAT in the amount P649,500.00 for the Archimedian Screw Micro Hydro Power System for Small Scale Industry Application. This project aimed at designing and developing a low head micro hydropower system using reversed Archimedean screw principle. This would determine the most effective power transmission drive for the reversed Archimedean screw micro hydropower, and evaluate the performance of the Archimedean micro hydropower system for community and small scale industry application. Today, a simulation modelling is conducted.
For our research journal to be recognized as peer reviewed/refereed journal, a series of write-shops were conducted. Consequently, the CHED Journal Accreditation Service (CHED-JAS) evaluated and rated ASSCAT R&D journal under Category B per CMO No. 22, s. 2015.
Also, an online system on Journal on Agro-industrial Research and Development (JAIRD) is develop in the College. This is an Open Journal System (OJS) which the researchers can submit their papers or article online and submission of online process and peer-reviewing.
In the area of EXTENSION, ASSCAT provides technical assistance in the form of training and skills enhancement to the adopted community to improve the socio-economic status of the people. This service is strengthened through our linkages with other agencies such as, Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Training Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Social and Welfare Development, Philippine Coconut Authority, Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur, Mindanao Development Authority, Santeh Foundation and Save the Children Foundation which boost the resources for community engagement. The adopted barangays who have benefited from our technical assistance are Barangay San Marcos, Barangay Imelda and Barangay Consuelo in the municipality of Bunawan, Agusan del Sur.
Specifically, each college has its distinct programs or projects for the adopted barangays. Under the “Barangay Integrated Development Approach for Systematic Instruction and Livelihood Alleviation (BIDASILA)” Program, the College of Agriculture extends Knowledge in Agri-entrepreneurial Skills and Productivity (KASAP). The College of Education provides Household Empowerment Approach for Livelihood Technology at Home (HEALTH). The College of Engineering and Information Sciences delivers Teknolohiya Alang sa Katawhan (TASK). Meanwhile, the Administration offers Tamang Serbisyo sa Katawhan (TSeK) for the adopted barangays.
For CY 2016, there were 870 persons from the adopted barangays who underwent trainings, and 99% of the clienteles rated the services rendered and timeliness of services extended as good or better. To sustain our services for the community, we continue monitoring and evaluating the satisfaction level of our beneficiaries over their use of technology and its effect of their socio-economic mobility.
In view of the initiatives of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to maximize PRODUCTION or resource generation, ASSCAT finds it imperative to engage in Income Generating Projects (IGPs) which aim to improve its financial capacity. In support to Instruction, Research and Extension functions, income generation is one of the fourfold functions of SUC which urges and drives for transforming resources into productive use and generating additional revenues through its available resources such as land, business centers, agriculture and technological products. These Incoming Generating Projects includes: 56 hectares Oil Palm Plantation, 30 hectares Rice Project, and 10 hectares Corn Project. Other projects such as Cafeteria, College Dormitory, Small and Large Ruminants, Swine Project, Poultry Project, Tilapia Production, Fish Hatchery, Horticulture, Plant Tissue Culture, Coconut, Vegetable Production, and Vermicast and Vermi-Worm Production are other business undertakings of the College tagged as Student’s Instructional Units (SIUs) for laboratory exercises of the students.
In the area of ADMINISTRATION, we ensure the provision of quality services to the internal and external clients guided by the Citizens’ Charter and other legal issuances of the oversight and partner agencies in the government. Likewise, for human resource development, we send our personnel to seminar-workshop for the enrichment of their skills and knowledge and upgrading of their educational qualifications.
The administrative support staff group that complements the teaching force has contributed to the achievement of targets of the Institution every year. Notably, there is an increase in the composition of the staff at an average of 14% every year. Due to the demand for excellent service to the public, additional number of staff is thus required for employment. Today, out of 38 permanent staff, two are pursuing doctorate degree while five are having master’s degree.
In addition, the faculty of the Institution who are primarily responsible in delivering the operations has been increasing over the years. The growth of enrollment necessitates the recruitment of additional faculty members to accommodate students. As of today, there are 73 faculty with plantilla items. Eleven of them are having doctorate degree, and 31 with master’s degree. Moreover, there are twenty-eight newly hired faculty to support student success.
The total operating budget of the ASSCAT comprises the National Budget through the General Appropriations Act (GAA) and the Special Budget through a Board Resolution. The Special Budget includes the Special Trust Fund (STF), Fiduciary Fund (FF), Revolving Fund (RF) and Internally-Generated Project (IGP).
As regards our financial aspect, I am proud to announce today that for this year we have P152,312,000.00 budget from the National Government. There is an increase of 24.91% over the FY 2016 budget which is amounting to P121,934,000.00. With our diligent stewardship of financial resources, our balance budget has paved the way for us to construct more infrastructure projects for the Institution. The construction of 2-storey Academic Building (18 rooms) amounting to P22,088,474.15 drawn from the FY 2016 General Appropriations Act (GAA) is already 99.7% accomplished. This project is located in the Annex Building of ASSCAT.
Likewise, the construction of 2-storey Academic Building (12 rooms) worth P16,215,695.75 is already 48.05% accomplished. This project is located at the Nursery of the College.
The construction of Sports and Cultural Center (formerly the college gym) amounting to P8,616,210.00 is now 99.82% accomplished. This is the very place where are now today.
The Research, Development and Extension Center amounting to P29, 800,000.00 which is constructed along the national highway fronting the Administration Building is now 40.40%. It is expected to be finished in December 2017.
Furthermore, the construction of Water System Development is already 88.31% accomplished. Stations for safe drinking water will be established in the designated areas of the College.
The construction of Road Network that is 360 meters from the Library to the Nursery passing the RDE Center is now 7.41% accomplished.
The Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and Social Development Service Center is now 41.52% accomplished. It is located in the Annex Building near the Motorpool Service Area.
The construction of the 1 room Academic Building adjacent to the Science Laboratory Building is now 100% accomplished. This project amounted to P892,000.00 sourced out from the FY 2017 GAA.
Also, the canopy connecting the Senior High School and Cafeteria is 100% completed. Another canopy connecting the science laboratory and the cafeteria amounting to P219,744.23 is now 100% accomplished to provide better service to its clientele. The cafeteria extension project amounting to P200,000.00 is outsourced from the GAA of the College and is now 98% accomplished which can serve an additional number of students.
More good news is coming up. For CY 2018, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Complex fully equipped with IT equipment and facilities will be built in the College in the amount of P125,000,000.00.
The procurement of the supplies and materials is governed by RA 9184 otherwise known as the Government Procurement Reform Act which primarily considers public bidding in its implementation. However, there were purchases that were done through the use of alternative mode of procurement with the recommendation of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) and with the approval of the Head of the Procuring Entity (HOPE).
Moving forward, I would like to present to you my goals for ASSCAT for the remaining two years and 4 months of my presidency. To provide quality education, I will strengthen all program offerings of the College in response to restructuring public higher education institutions in Caraga Region, conversion of the college to State University by 2019, and offering of additional courses such as Master of Science in Agricultural Engineering (MSAE), Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) and Master of Science in Agribusiness (MSAgrib).
Moreover, to improve and strengthen research and development, categorization of R&D Journal to CHED-JAS under Category A and publishing a refereed journal are my priorities. Likewise, improving the socio-economic condition of our clienteles and developing sustainable management, linkages with other agencies are strongly supported by my administration. Meanwhile, for enhancing my governance with efficiency and effectiveness, I am targeting that by the end of this year the College is ISO 9001:2015 certified.
As your College President, I do not set aside the fact that you too have performed your distinct roles and contributed to the development of ASSCAT in the mandated areas of INSTRUCTION, RESEARCH, EXTENSION, PRODUCTION, and ADMINISTRATION for the benefit of our student clientele and other stakeholders. Thank you, for in one way or another you have contributed to the development of our students and the College as a whole. Thank you, for you have also allowed the burdens to purify your motives, cultivate your persistence, and cement your conviction.
I believe that the best for ASSCAT is yet to come when you work with me in fulfilling the primal goal.
AIM HIGH ASSCAT! Aim Global!