The offices of the UP Vice President for Administration and the Staff Regent led the holding of the UP System-wide Administrative Management and Staff Conference with the theme: “Serving with honor, dignity, and compassion: Reaffirming the role of administrative personnel as partners in governance” on July 11 to 14, 2018 in UP Visayas.
“Why not include honesty?” Rep. Satur Ocampo said in a keynote address. “It is the key attribute for anyone to be regarded as having honor and dignity in public service,” he pointed out.
Ocampo affirmed the value of compassion: “It may be the fundamental element that can best measure a public servant’s worth in the eyes of the people. . . and strikes the highest resonance with them.”
Hosted by UP Visayas (UPV), the conference gathered together more than 150 delegates from the management and administrative ranks of the constituent universities in the main conference venue at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences of UPV’s Miagao, Iloilo campus to listen to Ocampo and other resource persons: Vice President for Administration Nestor Yunque, former Vice President for Administration Maragtas Amante, Regent Frederick Mikhail Farolan, Regent Angelo Jimenez, and Henrietta Española, MD.
With the input of the resource persons, management and staff tried to achieve a “meeting of minds” on ways to empower employees in support of University operations, strengthen the employee development program, protect employees from disasters and climate change, promote health and wellness, help employees avail of legal protection in the conduct of service; and thus, enable them to serve with honor, dignity, and compassion.
President Danilo Concepcion, UP Los Baños Chancellor Fernando Sanchez, UP Visayas Chancellor Ricardo Babaran, UP Open University Chancellor Melinda Bandalaria, UP Mindanao Chancellor Sylvia Concepcion, and UP Cebu Chancellor Liza Corro, and representatives of the rest of the chancellors were present for dialogues.
On the eve of the last day of the conference, the participants gathered in a solidarity dinner in the UPV Miagao Covered Gymnasium and presented cultural numbers by constituent university (CU). On July 14, together with the President, they were ferried from accommodations at UPV Miagao dormitories to visit the UPV Marine Biological Station in the Taklong Island National Marine Reserve off the southern coast of Guimaras for an awareness tour.
Workshops and discussions between management and the staff representatives resulted in some workable ideas. Ocampo and Chancellor Concepcion spoke of the critical role of a strong labor union; and Amante, of the Collective Negotiation Agreement and the Staff Regent, of staff empowerment.
For the legal protection of employees in the performance of their duties, the creation of a claims board with tenured lawyers and alumni assistance to strengthen legal offices were two of many suggested proposals. Vulnerabilities of employees and their families could be addressed by the extension of E-HOPE to family members, the creation of Safety Officer positions and an occupational safety commission for each CU, by formulating protocol for emergencies, and by conducting regular drug checks. To reward compassion in service, an awards program was to be considered.
Yunque reported on UP’s discussions with the Civil Service Commission, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Commission on Audit on a joint circular to end contractualization among its ranks, and to be able to mitigate its impact. He cited the possibility of forming a labor cooperative, among others, to address the problem.
He also reported on the current administration being all for equal opportunities for both academic and non-academic staff in terms of staff welfare and development. The staff in turn reiterated the need to also develop personnel in preparation for the retirement of those already in office.
Discussions zeroed in on details, including suggestions to eliminate the category “other duties” in performance targets, which could be used to exploit personnel.
Input by the UP President appears in https://www.up.edu.ph/index.php/up-prexy-gets-close-look-at-admin-issues-upv/. (Jo. Lontoc, UP MPRO)