Five programs in three UP constituent universities received the Third Gawad Pangulo for Excellence in Public Service in a ceremony held on February 28, 2019 in the College of Science Auditorium, National Science Complex, UP Diliman.
These are: the UP Los Baños (UPLB) Bee Program of the UPLB Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension; the Partners in Leprosy Action of the Department of Medicine of UP Manila-Philippine General Hospital (UPM-PGH); the Patient-Centered, Family-Focused, and Community-Oriented Care for Families Enrolled at the Family Health Unit (FHU) of the FHU of the Department of Family and Community Medicine of UPM-PGH; the Disaster Risk Reduction, Training , Education, and Advocacy for Children’s Protection and Resilience Project (TEACH-DRR) of the UP Visayas (UPV) Center for West Visayan Studies; and, the Dayaw at Hanasan of the UPV Sentro ng Wikang Filipino.
The five were selected out of 11 program nominees for the 2019 award. The selection committee was composed of Vice President for Public Affairs Elena Pernia, Professor Emeritus of Sociology Manuel Flores Bonifacio, Dr. Jaime Veneracion of the UP Diliman Department of History, and Padayon Public Service Office Director Jeanette Yasol-Naval.
“Public service initiatives, especially the brand that characterizes the University of the Philippines, are implemented with high ethical standards, professionalism, and service to the country,” Pernia said on excellence. “We must do projects that innovate, that are significant, progressive, and transformative.”
“In the three years of the award, 21 public service initiatives have been recognized for excellence from a pool of over 50 nominations,” Pernia said.
According to President Danilo Concepcion, being a public servant is “perhaps the most honorable profession ever anywhere”, providing an opportunity for improving the lives of many. He then extended the definition of excellent public service to an attitude of treating the public as “boss”. “We must serve with a smile, with open hands, and gentle words,” he said in Filipino.
The UPLB bee program conducts training for farmers, women, balikbayan, and partner state universities and colleges on apiculture and bee products, with a view of protecting indigenous wild bee species. The PGH program on leprosy screens households in locations with reported cases of leprosy and other skin NTDs (neglected tropical diseases), providing community awareness and training for barangay health units.
The PGH program for family health involves the family, community, and multi-competencies in treating patients with chronic diseases. UPV’s TEACH-DRR is a child-centered disaster risk reduction capacity-building program for small, vulnerable island communities. UPV’s Dayaw at Hanasan offers lectures by National Artists for students, teachers, and artists; and trains teachers in the knowledge and pedagogy of regional language.
Prof. Maria Crisanta Nelmida-Flores was also awarded a citation for her work as former director of the Padayon Public Service Office, with “steadfast commitment to the delivery of innovative and excellent public service in the University”. The office, which is under the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs, monitors and coordinates all public service initiatives in the UP System. It is the administrator of the Gawad.