"While the future is uncertain, organizations should invest in mechanisms to help design and innovate boldly, but responsibly."

This is true for Biliran Province State University (BiPSU) as it hosted a Foresight and Futures-Thinking (FFT) training dubbed as ‘Leading from the Future: A Two-Day Strategic Foresight Masterclass’ participated by university executives and key leaders last July 12-13 via Zoom.

According to Mr. Joedel Peñaranda, Institutional Planning Officer and the lead organizer of the event, aside from providing a springboard for university officials toward greater understanding and eventual application of FFT in the institution, conducting the two-day masterclass will also prepare BiPSU in its creation of a FFT center in the region.

“This activity could also serve as preliminary preparations for an establishment of a Center for Strategic Foresight and Futures Studies in the region,” Peñaranda said.

During the training, participants undergone series of plenary sessions in: (1) What is and Why Futures Thinking?, (2) What is and Why Strategic  Foresight, Anticipatory Leadership and Governance?, (3) What is the Association of Professional Futurists Six Critical Steps to Building Anticipatory Leadership and Governance?, (4) Learning how to use powerful strategic foresight tools and methods, (5) Present and discuss strategic foresight case studies in university and food futures, and (6) Consolidate insights and determine the next steps for BiPSU’s futures thinking program and research agenda.

The masterclass convened three of the finest futurists in the country including the Lead Trainer Prof. Shermon Cruz who currently Chairs the Association of Professional Futurists, the largest professional foresight association in the world with a membership of 500 professional foresight practitioners and experts in over 50 countries and the Director and a Futurist at Center for Engaged Foresight (CEF).

During a coordination meeting with BiPSU last May 10, Professor Shermon O. Cruz, said that BiPSU’s collaboration with CEF in hosting a masterclass will help the institution in introducing, immersing, exposing and increasing the anticipatory knowledge among its Executive Leadership.

“This is curated to provide key leadership and key officials with the necessary working knowledge and insight to use futures as an asset, resource, and tool to change and transform today,” Prof. Cruz added.

Joining also the pool of futurist-trainers are Ms. Shiela R. Castillo, a Futures Learning Advisor at the CEF, and Mr. Emmanuela De Guia, a resident futurist at the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovations, and Futures Thinking (SDGIFT).

On the other hand, Cabinet Secretary and co-chair of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Karlo Alexei B. Nograles was also invited in the activity. In his audio-visual message, he encouraged the participants of the masterclass to ‘make the most of it’ as it will provide a great opportunity for intensive mentorship and leadership enhancement, advocacy sharpening and project creation to align with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.

 

Sec. Nograles also mentioned that the masterclass is proof of the vital need to keep on learning, making time for learning from each other and exploring possibilities with the ultimate goal of serving the people for the better.

Meanwhile, in his message during the opening of the activity, University President Dr. Victor C. Cañezo, Jr. expressed his confidence on the positive outcome of the event, and said that it is relevant since BiPSU is preparing for the Institutional Strategic Planning for the fiscal year 2022.

“I’m confident that this 2-day masterclass will help us arm ourselves with the indispensable skills and information to navigate the future that awaits BiPSU,” Dr. Canezo added.

He also looked forward to more endeavors relative to future’s thinking, considering that university has been officially announced by Philippine Futures Thinking Society as an its Institutional Member, one among the seven (7) member institutions in the country.

Despite the challenges of the new normal in higher education, Biliran Province State University, the premier state university in the Biliran Province, continues to weave worthiness as it reaped various recognition not only in locally but also globally.

In the latest ranking of the World Universities with Real Impact (WURI), BiPSU has made it to the Top 200 universities in the world along with six other prominent universities in the country namely Far Eastern University, Cebu Normal University, FEU Institute of Technology, Mariano Marcos State University, St. Paul University Philippines and Tarlac Agricultural University.

Moreover, the institution also ranked 26th in the WURI Ranking for 2021 in the Crisis Management category, one of the five (5) categories awarded.

In a Facebook post, BiPSU University President Dr. Victor C. Cañezo, Jr. wrote that this recognition is a testament that BiPSU is not just a survivor but also a thriver.

"BiPSU is recognized globally of not only surviving but also thriving in this time of worldwide crisis," he noted

WURI Ranking 2021 is the first global innovative university ranking and was created to stimulate and evaluate universities' flexible and innovative efforts to foster the workforce that meets the demand from industry and society and was organized by Institute for Policy and Strategy on National Competitiveness (IPSNC) and sponsored by four global institutions, namely: the Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU), the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Taylor Institute (TI) of Franklin University Switzerland (FUS), and The Institute for Industrial Policy Studies (IPS).

Under Crisis Management, universities are assessed in their schemes and initiatives in dealing with external shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic to thrive rather than just to survive.

BiPSU's response during the COVID-19 pandemic particularly its initiatives in extending its services to the community became the official entry of the university.

It can be noted that in the first four months of the pandemic in the Philippines, the entire country went through a drought in medical protective equipment for medical frontliners including facemasks, faceshields, PPEs, and intubation box.

To help in addressing this shortage, BiPSU utilized its Engineering and General Services Office (EGSO) and Garments Industry Technology to manufacture washable facemasks, PPEs, and improvised intubation boxes.

These initiatives became the ticket of BiPSU to land in the Top 50 of the crisis management category.

NAVAL, BILIRAN - The Biliran Province State University, through the Gender and Development (GAD) Office and the Institutional Planning Office (IPO) conducted a webinar on the Harmonized Gender & Development Guidelines or the HGDG on July 8.

Aimed at capacitating the participants in using the HGDG to formulate and implement gender-responsive programs, projects, and activities in the university, the said training was attended by the members of the Management Committee, GAD Focal Point System (GFPS), and personnel from the Engineering and Physical Development Office (EPDO) and Institutional Planning Office (IPO).

Mr. Rene A. Gandeza, Jr., Project Development Officer of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security Division, Social Healing and Peacebuilding Department of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and former GAD Specialist of the Sectoral Coordination Division (SCD) of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) served as the resource person for the training.

"Lauded in the region for having outstanding financial management record, it is imperative that we have to maintain this record. Thus, we have to make sure that our plans, programs, and activities to be implemented are aligned with the requirements in the Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines (HGDG) tool,” BiPSU President emphasized in his welcome remarks.

President Cañezo further underscored that mainstreaming GAD should not only end within our plans, programs, and activities, rather it should also be mainstreamed within us in order to fully achieve our goals and objectives in building a gender-responsive and sensitive university.

According to Dr. Marianne B. Dagaylo-an, Director of the GAD Office, the HGDG will help the university utilize the 5% attribution from the total General Appropriations Act (GAA) budget more wisely and strategically.

The Harmonized GAD Guidelines (HGDG), an instrument developed by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), is utilized to ensure that programs and projects undertaken by the government in their various stages are gender-responsive.

Dr. Dagaylo-an elaborated that a training series on GAD planning and budgeting will follow and the next immediate workshop would be on the Enhanced Gender Mainstreaming Evaluation Framework (GMEF). The PCW describes the GMEF as "a tool to measure the extent of the gender mainstreaming efforts of organizations, both national government agencies (NGAs) and local government units (LGUs)."

Aimed at forging stronger partnership and strengthening its extension services projects and programs, the Biliran Province State University, through its Extension Services Office, in partnership with the School of Graduate Studies and the Schools Division Office of the Department of Education- Biliran initiated a virtual orientation and presentation of the Integrated Community Extension Services Program (ICESP), last July 7, via Zoom.

The said activity included the presentation of the different programs of both the Biliran Province State University and the Schools-Biliran presented by Dr. Christopher R. Vicera, Director of the BiPSU-Extension Services Office and Dr. Lucille C. Roa, Chief Education Supervisor-SDOG, and a workshop on needs assessment, attended by BiPSU and DepEd key officials, ICESP chairpersons and DepEd focal persons.

“Sharing with common aspirations, BiPSU and DepEd-Biliran joined together in launching this remarkable undertaking that would not just capacitate the workforce in the basic education sector but will also uplift the lives of those being served by the institution as a whole,” Dr. Victor C. Canezo, Jr., University President said in his message.

He further emphasized that BiPSU will continue to open its doors in welcoming not just DepED Biliran but also other LGUs and organizations sharing the same advocacies with the university in promoting accessible, equitable and sustainable programs anchored on poverty alleviation and human empowerment.

On the other hand, Dr. Judella R. Lumpas, Schools Division Superintendent looked forward to strengthening its partnership with BiPSU and expressed her gratitude to the university in its support to DepEd in supplementing and complementing them in the implementation of their different programs and projects.

“We are thankful and grateful to BiPSU for partnering with DepEd and we hoped for the sustainability of the this partnership and rest assured that we will continue to support all its extension programs and projects,” Dr. Lumpas stated.

As presented by Dr. Vicera, the ICESP banners the flagship extension services provided by BiPSU including programs and projects in Literacy and Continuing Education, Disaster Risk Management, Promotion of Eco-tourism, Promotion of Peace and Order, Advocacy on Health and Sanitation, Techno-Demo and Transfer, Livelihood Skills Development, Biodiversity Conservation/ Coastal Marine Resources Management and Gender and Development.

“After the ICESP orientation and launching, we look forward to the approval and implementation of several extension project proposals through our ICESP and thus creating a stronger partnership between DepEd and BiPSU geared towards human empowerment and societal development,” Dr. Vicera emphasized.

NAVAL, Biliran- The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) approved Biliran Province State University’s Smart Campus proposal amounting to Php 22,934,835.00.

BiPSU is among the 89 out of 112 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) in the country who submitted proposals, approved by the commission, eligible for financial assistance for the establishment of smart campus as presented by Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, CHED Chairperson, during the Virtual Press Conference on Smart Campus Projects and Updates on Limited Face-to-Face Classes held last June 24.

BiPSU’s smart campus project entitled “Upgrading of BiPSU’s Internet Connectivity and Campus Area Network for the Delivery of Quality and Efficient Educational Services” is a hybrid project which includes Campus Area Network and Learning Management System (LMS) improvement aimed at securing the Internet connectivity, ease of access to student records to improve the functionality, efficiency, quality, and impact of the services provided by the #WOWBiPSU Moodle-based LMS.

“This smart campus project and initiative of the university addresses the institution’s concern on internet connectivity which is very important in the implementation of flexible learning. Unique among other smart campus projects, BiPSU’s project will not only cover provision of stronger internet connection within its campuses but will also provide internet connectivity to the established municipal learning kiosks in the province and neighboring towns in Leyte,” Dr. Reymon Santianez, Management Information System (MIS) personnel and project leader said.

According to Dr. Santianez, this approved project will provide equipment and facilities for the improvement of the internet connectivity not only in the institution but in the municipalities where academic kiosks are located for its students and faculty. Moreover, this also includes the improvement of the current Learning Management System of the university.

“We are grateful and humbled to be among the universities in the country to be granted with this financial assistance from CHED. Our sincerest thanks to the commission, especially to Dr. J. Prospero E De Vera III and Commissioner Aldrin A. Darilag for this approval. This grant is very instrumental in the improvement of our implementation of flexible learning deliveries,” Dr. Victor C. Canezo, Jr., University President said.

Dr. Canezo, also expressed his appreciation to the employees who worked closely with the administration in the preparations of the said project for BiPSU. He further emphasized that this initiative is geared towards the institution’s transition to becoming, not only a smart campus, but also a smart university.

On the other hand, the smart campus initiative of CHED is in line with the RA 11494, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act”, specifically under Section 10 (i) which appropriated “three billion pesos (P 3,000,000,000.00) to assist SUCs in the development of smart campuses through investments in ICT infrastructure, acquisition of learning management systems and other appropriate equipment to fully implement flexible learning modalities.”

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