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SDRC@33 Anniversary Program Held

Celebrating the theme “Learning and Leading through Collaborative Research,” the Social Development Research Center held its 33rd anniversary program on March 28, 2012 at Yuchengco Building Room 407. The program was divided into two major parts: a research symposium held during the morning session, and recognition and launching ceremonies in the afternoon.

Welcome remarks were delivered by SDRC Director Dennis Trinidad, who expressed his hope that the Center would succeed in creating “an enabling environment that will foster collaboration among its research fellows.” He also suggested that the University “consider hiring researchers and research associates who will devote their time to research alone,” a practice currently being done in foreign universities, which would contribute much to fostering a healthy research climate.

University President and Chancellor Br. Narciso Erguiza, Jr. opened the day’s event by congratulating the Center for having “come a long way” and continuing “to walk along the path of excellence with such zeal.” He cited the University’s current thrust, for the research community to work “together and by association towards total human development and social transformation.”  The importance of aligning research projects with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for 2015, which focus on “halving extreme poverty, halting the spread of diseases, promoting access to education, and improving health care,” was likewise emphasized by Brother President.

Panelists for the research symposium were visiting researcher Hanne Borgersen and current SDRC project directors Dr. Antonio Contreras and Dr. Roberto Javier, Jr. Ms. Borgersen, an Industrial Ph.D. Research Fellow of the Faulty of Psychology at the University of Bergen (UiB) in Norway, presented an update on her research study on “Authentic Leadership in the Maritime Industry.”  The study revolves around a survey of office and sailing personnel of the Grieg Shipping Group in Bergen, with regard to the concept of “authentic leadership” and in particular “relational transparency” in connection with the safety climate on board the ship. The four-year study also seeks to determine how highly rated captains handle interpersonal relations in the light of both professional training and personal life stories. Together with Behavioral Sciences faculty members and SDRC research associates Myla Arcinas and Dr. Melvin Jabar, and UiB faculty members Gerry Larsson and Jarle Eid, Ms. Borgersen conducted in-depth, unstructured interviews with 21 Filipino captains identified as high performers by senior Grieg employees.

Dr. Contreras, meanwhile, gave the second presentation in the symposium, entitled “Political Economy of the Use of Knowledge and Research Evidence in Urban Resilience Interventions in the Philippines.” The presentation discussed the current study funded by the Overseas Development Institute, which seeks to address the questions “Under what conditions LGUs are constrained from taking mitigation/adaptation actions in the face of evidence of hazards and risks in urban areas to protect the citizens?” and conversely, “Under what conditions LGUs use research evidence and knowledge to take such mitigation/adaptation measures?”.

The study defines urban resilience as the capability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from significant multi-hazard threats with minimum damage to public safety and health, the economy, and security of a given urban area. In relation to this, Dr. Contreras presented the steps that will be undertaken in the study: the first, problem identification, will be done by analyzing definitions of urban resilience, analyzing definitions/examples of urban resilience interventions, looking into past performance in terms of successes and failures to adopt/enforce urban reliance interventions, and applying the Theory of Change underpinning urban resilience interventions and the use of knowledge in the past.

Dr. Javier concluded the symposium with his presentation on the initial findings for the project “Study on the Scholarship and Student Financial Assistance Program in Post-Basic Education in the Philippines.” The study, which has been commissioned by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), together with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), seeks to evaluate the current system of granting financial assistance in the Philippines using public funds in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, and equity considerations.

Relaying details on the initial findings obtained for the study, Dr. Javier informed the group that for the quantitative survey, a total of 83 had been retrieved as of March 25, 2012 out of 431 e-surveys received. The questionnaire looks into the specific areas of types/nature of scholarships/grants/loans; coverage, financial appropriation, targeting of beneficiaries, selection process, tracking system, and governance and management systems of scholarships/grants/loans. From the campaign, suggestions to improve the implementation of the electronic survey were to verify that e-mail addresses were active; to use new sets of email addresses for a new campaign; and to prioritize state universities and colleges (SUCs) that had not completed the e-survey and re-launch, HEIs with the most number of CHED beneficiaries, and national government agencies (NGAs).

Meanwhile, the qualitative survey was conducted among selected SUCs in NCR, CAR, Regions 3 (Central Luzon), 4A (CALABARZON), 4B (MIMAROPA), 7 (Cebu), and 8 (Samar-Leyte). Included in the sample of interviewees were scholars (past – those who graduated in 2009, 2010, and 2011; and present – those who are currently enrolled), administrators/directors/officers of scholarship programs, and barangay officials (chairman, secretary, kagawad or barangay councilor-in-charge of education). Among the findings obtained by the research team were: scholarship program officers have found that some scholars endorsed or awarded by CHED do not comply with the guidelines, and in other cases there is no transparency as to how scholars are selected. Several scholars enjoy more than one scholarship. CHED also has no formal procedures of disseminating their scholarships and it is only through word of mouth that it is disseminated. The common problem reported by scholars is the delay in receiving the scholarship amount and its problematic every during examination.

Activities for the afternoon program began with the launching of the new SDRC website, www.sdrc.org.ph., during which Dr. Trinidad introduced the audience to the site’s major features including, the central section on “What’s New,” Upcoming Events, e-Publications, Useful Info, the News Archives, and a link to the SDRC Portal.

The latest publication of the Center, Ma. Elena Chiong-Javier et.al.’s “Holding Their Own: Smallholder Production, Marketing and Women Issues in Philippine Agroforestry,” was launched with special guest Dr. Gelia T. Castillo, Philippine National Scientist and a pioneer in agricultural and rural development, gracing the event. The book contains six pieces whose coverage includes vegetable-agroforestry intervention, the dualistic vegetable supply chain, farm women’s market participation, vermicomposting, and health consequences experienced by women in agriculture in the Philippines. The writing of these pieces stemmed from the SDRC project entitled “Agroforestry and Sustainable Vegetable Production in Southeast Asian Watersheds Project,” which was developed under the “Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program” managed by the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research and Support Program (SANREM-CRSP) of the Office of International Research, Education, and Development (OIRED) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, with support from the United States Agency for International Development.

The final launching was for the Occasional Papers Series, featuring the works of Dr. Rito V. Baring and Dr. Jeane C. Peracullo. The first paper by Dr. Baring, entitled “Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines: Sources of Conflict Between the Church and Its Proponents,” describes how the current debate between the Philippine Church and legal proponents on the proposed Responsible Parenthood Bill in congress is anchored on three problematic attitudes and presuppositions that have served to hinder the resolution of the case: the belief in the separation of the Church and State; the attitude towards the family; and the understanding of human sexuality and life. The paper makes use of data taken from historical, doctrinal, and demographic sources and current scholarship on the issues.  Dr. Baring is an Associate Professor of the Theology and Religious Education Department (TRED) of the DLSU College of Liberal Arts. He has contributed to International Studies in Catholic Education and the South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religion (SSEASR) Journal. Dr. Baring’s areas of specialization are in Religious and Values Education and in Theology.

The paper of Dr. Peracullo, meanwhile, entitled “A Filipino Feminist Perspective on the RH Bill Debates,” argues for the primacy of autonomy and self-determination in framing a perspective on the RH debate, as gleaned through the experience of anguish and shame of Filipinas who must decide on: a) whether to limit the number of children she has, b) how to space the births, c) whether to terminate a pregnancy, or d) whether to use contraception.  Flowing from this, a Filipino feminist perspective on the RH debates claims that the mother is a person, a subject entitled to her own autonomy and self-determination. Dr. Peracullo is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Philosophy of the DLSU College of Liberal Arts. Co-editor of the book Feminista:  Gender, Class and Race in the Philippines, her research interests lie in Environmental Ethics and Feminist Philosophy.

The program concluded with awards of recognition for past SDRC project directors who have made significant contributions to the Center in terms of the number of projects they have brought in and the amounts of funding provided. Giving the response on behalf of the awardees was former SDRC Director and College of Liberal Arts Dean Dr. Robert Salazar. In his talk which he entitled “SDRC @ 33: On Your Knees, Get Set… Go!”, he likened the Center to “a snake, adaptive, life-renewing, wise, healing, transformative, and regenerative.” He then continued to describe the admirable qualities of each of his fellow awardees—Dr. Exaltacion Lamberte, Dr. Trinidad Osteria, Dr. Carmelita Quebengco, Dr. Pilar Ramos Jimenez, Dr. Jesusa Marco, Dr. Francisco Magno, and Dr. Ma. Elena Chiong-Javier—through the types of research they conducted. He expressed his confidence that SDRC’s researchers would “continue to regenerate and remain active in research.  Such is 33's sincere devotion to research.”

Closing remarks were rendered by College of Liberal Arts Vice Dean Dr. Feorillo Petronilo Demeterio III. The program was emceed by Behavioral Sciences faculty members and SDRC research associates Alicia Manlagnit and Alvaro Calara.  

 

Links:

Welcome Remarks of Dr. Dennis Trinidad

Opening Remarks of Br. Narciso Erguiza Jr., FSC

Response on Behalf of the Awardees by Dr. Robert C. Salazar

 

 

 

 

 

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