CPAF Marks 26th Anniversary with Community Partners

The UPLB College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf) celebrated its 26th anniversary by conducting three outreach activities with its community partners at Brgy. Imok in Calauan, Laguna on February 6, 2024.

“Ito ay senyales o commitment on our part na tuluy-tuloy po ang ating partnership (This is a sign of our commitment to sustain our partnership with the community stakeholders),” Dr. Rowena DT. Baconguis, dean of CPAf, said in her message during the morning outreach activities.

“Ito ay senyales o commitment on our part na tuluy-tuloy po ang ating partnership (This is a sign of our commitment to sustain o

True to their 26th-anniversary theme, “Strengthening Capacities of Partners to Advance Community Well-Being for Sustainable Futures,” CPAf held a tree planting activity with an Agrarian Reform Beneficiary Organization (ARBO), a training on problem-centered action planning with new barangay officials, and an interactive dialogue on the peculiarities of student behavior with the teachers of Imok Elementary School.

These activities were done through the initiatives of the college’s units, the Community Innovations Studies Center (CISC), the Center for Strategic Planning and Policy Studies (CSPPS), and the Institute for Governance and Rural Development (IGRD).

Roots of Resilience

“Naniniwala tayo na ang tunay na kaunlaran ay makakamtan natin pag tayo ay nagsama sama hindi pwede nag-iisa lang kundi kailangan natin ng ka-partner at networks (We believe that true development can be attained when we come together; partners and networks are necessary).”

This was according to Liza C. Condino, Science Research Specialist of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau, as she gave a demonstration on the proper planting of bamboo seedlings as part of the outreach activity ‘’Roots of Resilience: Tree Planting Drive for a Greener Brgy. Imok, Calauan, Laguna.” While it is technically a grass, the bamboo was selected by the Imok community for its resilient attribute.

The CPAf-CISC organized the activity in collaboration with the Imok ARC Women’s and Farmers Multipurpose Cooperative (ARCWFMPC), an ARBO and long-term community partner of CISC.

The ARCWFMPC had identified the pressing need for reforestation in their community. CISC recommended a tree planting drive to support the cooperative in promoting environmental conservation and sustainable development in their community.

Following the lecture/demonstration, 42 members/volunteers of the CISC and ARCWFMPC proceeded with the two-hour trek toward the recommended planting site.

On behalf of Imok ARCWFMPC, manager Evangeline Silva she expressed her gratitude to CISC and her hope that they will continue to assist the cooperative in developing the livelihood of farmers in their community.

Dr. Agustin L. Arcenas, CISC director, thanked the cooperative, saying that the collaborative outreach was a learning opportunity for CISC. “Kayo [Imok ARCWFMPC] po ang gumagawa ng pabor para sa amin kaya malaki po ang aming pasasalamat sa pagtulong at panahon niyo (You [Imok ARCWFMPC] granted us the favor which is why we are thankful for your help and time,” he added.

Empowering Barangay Officials

The CPAf-CSPPS, for its part, held the outreach program “Empowering Barangay Officials: Training on Problem Centered Action Planning in Brgy. Imok, Calauan Laguna.”

Thirty participants representing the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), Sangguniang Barangay (SB), Barangay Public Safety Officer (BPSO), and other offices took part in the program.

Karen Janiya, a university researcher at CSPPS, began the lecture by defining ‘policy’ and why it is essential to come up with the correct problems when formulating policies.

Janiya said, “dapat hinahalungkat ang problema at hindi titigil hanggat di nakikita yung ugat nito (The problem should be thoroughly investigated, and one should not stop until its root cause is identified).”

The training covered how to identify core problems, set an agenda, and adopt and implement proposed policy recommendations. It also discussed detailed steps on how to formulate a policy.

The trainees then held a mini workshop to identify problems and solutions. Through Problem Tree Analysis, the resource persons guided the participants in analyzing the underlying causes and effects of issues within the barangay. They also brainstormed on the possible and potential programs, projects, or activities that could address community issues. Marriz M. Garciano, university researcher, facilitated the workshop.

During the workshop, participants were divided into two groups – the Team Sangguniang Barangay, which concentrated on addressing the waste management problem of the barangay, and Team Sangguniang Kabataan, which directed their attention on the low participation of youth in the activities and programs of the SK.

In her closing remarks, Dr. Aileen Lapitan, CSPPS director, expressed heartfelt gratitude for the active participation of all attendees. She emphasized the importance of continuous collaboration and reiterated CSPPS’s willingness to provide support whenever needed. Dr. Lapitan encouraged everyone not to hesitate to approach CSPPS for assistance, reaffirming CSPPS’s readiness and eagerness to help in any way possible.

Understanding the Contemporary Learner

In the interactive dialogue, “Understanding the Contemporary Learner: A Forum on the Lived Experiences Regarding the Peculiarities of Student Behavior,” faculty members of the IGRD collaborated with the teaching staff of Imok Elementary School and created a safe environment for the teachers to discuss and understand the complexities of student behavior.

Eleven teachers participated in sharing observations and insights on the behavior of contemporary students, compared with the previous generations of students. The digital environment, parenting style/involvement, student family resources, teaching approach, and the administrative and non-teaching tasks of the teachers were some of the factors and circumstances identified to have significantly influenced the students’ behavior.

The teachers thanked and appreciated IGRD for taking the time to understand the realities of a public school teacher. “At least may ilang taong nakarinig ng totoong kwento – ang mga totoong nangyayari sa mga public school teachers. Sa totoong buhay, maraming problemang kinakaharap at masaya kami na may mga ilang tao na nakaalam (At least, there are a few who have heard the real story – what really happens to public school teachers. In real life, we face many challenges, and we are happy that there are a few people who are aware),” one of the teachers said.

Another shared about their daily struggle as teachers and their concern for their students and their behavior in the classroom. “Maraming mga tanong sa aking isipan pero naging kapakipakinabang ang usapan nating ito para mahimay at mas maintindihan ko ang mga pangyayaring ito (Many questions filled my mind, but our discussion has been beneficial in unraveling and helping me better understand these occurrences),” they added.

The forum concluded with the ceremonial hand-over of donations of books, toys, and other school/office supplies that symbolize a gesture of goodwill and CPAf’s commitment to quality education and the partnership with the Imok community. (Michiko Karisa Buot with contributions from Jojo B. Bundalian, Cynthia de Guia, and Princess Diane Lavarnez)

First published by UPLB at

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