DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/11 May) – An extension campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) will rise within the 88-hectare Agriya, a mixed-use property development project owned by the Floirendo-led Damosa Land Inc. in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.
Ricardo F. Lagdameo, vice president of Damosa Land, told “Wednesdays’ Habi at Kape” that the company donated 31,000 square meters to the state-run institution.
The site will host the UP Professional Schools in Agriculture and the Environment (UP PSAE) with initial classes to start next year at the Anflocor Corporate Center in Davao City.
He said UPLB’s extension campus is one of the components of Agriya’s development that will be completed in about five years. The other components include residential, commercial, institutional, and agri-tourism projects.
The groundbreaking for Agriya’s first phase is scheduled on May 18.
“The timeline they want to achieve is a bit tight because of land preparation. What we offered them they can continue to have classes in our facility here in the city. They can start to bring the students and once finished they can be transferred to the campus,” Lagdameo said.
The construction of the UPLB campus came after UP and Anflocor, the holding company of Damosa Land, signed a memorandum of agreement at the UP Diliman campus on January 30.
Some of the UPLB faculty will have to fly back and forth between UPLB and Mindanao.
The university will allocate P271 million for the construction of the extension campus.
In a press release published on its website on January 30, UP President Alfredo E. Pascual shared how the “formation of UP PSAE adds to the other efforts of the UP System to bring UP education to other parts of the country, with previous initiatives seeing the establishment of UP professional campuses in Cebu, Pampanga, Tacloban, and at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. “
UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, who signed the agreement as a witness, said it is crucial and timely for the extension campus to be established “at the heart of the center of agriculture in the Philippines” with the opportunities and challenges in the 10-country ASEAN Economic Community.
The release said that “UP PSAE will help address the need for master’s and doctoral programs more focused on agriculture and environmental science” and will respond to a knowledge capital gap, particularly in postgraduate education, in Mindanao.
It will initially offer Master of Science programs in Agricultural Economics, Agronomy, Animal Science, Development Communication, Entomology, Environmental Science, Food Science, Forestry (Wood Science and Technology), Horticulture, Plant Breeding, and Plant Pathology; Master of Management in Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship; Master of Forestry (Forest Resource Management); and, Doctor of Philosophy in Development Studies.
“With its huge agricultural, fishery and forestry output, which has gained brighter prospects with new infrastructure and access to ASEAN, Mindanao could use expertise that can be provided by UPLB to manage growth and make it inclusive,” the press release said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)