Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brand-New UPLB Chancellor Soon

7 Vie for UPLB Chancellorship

One of seven UPLB Professors will become UPLB Chancellor on November 1, 2011.  This Professor must demonstrate impressive track record as academic manager, show acceptability to the community (meaning, UPLB), and whose vision for UPLB is aligned with that of UP President Fred Pascual’s vision for the UP System.  Since UP became a system with UPLB being the first autonomous campus in 1973, UPLB has had 7 Chancellors.  The incoming chancellor will be the 8th.  That individual shall be one of the following nominees:

From left: Dr. Rene Rafael Espino, Professor of horticulture, College of Agriculture; Dr. Eulogio Castillo, Professor of Credit cooperatives; and Dr. Vivien Gonzales, Director, Office of Student Affairs; Dean Domingo Angeles, College of Agriculture; Dean Rex Victor Cruz, College of Forestry and Natural Resources; Dr. Roberto Rañola, Vice chancellor for Administration; Dr. Felino Lansigan, Professor of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences.

Coming from the field of communication, I do have a biased view regarding the public presentations of the nominees’ respective vision for UPLB during the next three years.  I can say that the visions of the candidates were not really substantially very different from one another.  

 However, from an over-all communication point of view (especially, in terms of public presentation techniques), I would consider two candidates as stand outs.  I thought that the presentation of Dean Rex Victor Cruz was very organized, he was articulate, and his power point presentation was impressive.  

 Dr. Lansigan was articulate, as well.  This is hard to say because all nominees are good friends of mine and I don’t like to sound as if I’m supporting any one specifically.  Still, I think that my observations would reflect the observations of the majority of those in the audience present as demonstrated by the applauses given them.  I didn’t applause, by the way.

The one-hour open forum that followed the presentations was just enough for the nominees to respond to four general questions.  More than 100 questions were received from the floor by the open forum committee.  The nominees tried to respond as best as they could to the questions, but it was clear that they didn’t have enough time to think through the questions propounded to them.   I’m sure they would have to refine their respective responses when they get to think through the questions raised.  The other questions will be put to them during the interview with the Search Committee by the end of the month.

To all the nominees, good luck.


Road Widening in Laguna

For sometime now, road widening has been going on in Laguna.  The stretch from Calauan through Victoria and on to Pila, for example is now complete and the road is sufficiently wide.  It now looks like it’s a national highway.  That stretch is now effectivedly four lanes, but in some portions certain portions of the newly paved road are used as “garage” mostly by PUJs.

People complain of very narrow highways in the provinces.  Indeed, our roads are all narrow.  Narrower still are those in old towns that were constructed during the Spanish period when the only carrie4rs then were the horse-drawn rigs or kalesa.  

Road widening efforts, especially through towns built during the Spanish era can be very difficult because houses were constructed with one wall rising from the edge of the road.  This leaves no space for even a narrow side walk.

I do understand there’s a national law under the concept of eminent domain under which the national government can expropriate certain lands, like along roads, for government use particularly in road widening projects.  If I’m not mistaken, under the law, the government can expropriate private property to become part of the national highway, which is supposed to be 15 meters wide.   In the old towns, however, this could be difficult.  One would observe that towns which have been built after the law was passed have much wider roads compared to those built prior to the existence of the national highway law.

If this law were to be strictly enforced, government will have to deal with a very sticky problem.  In the first place, government is not even able to solve the problem of informal settling all over the country, particularly in urban centers, how much more for this kind of problem.


 By the way, along this stretch of national highway on the Calauan area is rising a branch of the popular eatery in Terona, Tarlac called Isdaan.  It’s been under construction for sometime now; it’s still being constructed.  Well, it’s large.  

 Certainly, there would be competition among the three eateries along that stretch of the national road.  For those who’ve been there, there are two other eateries, namely: Kainan sa Palaisdaan and Samaral.


An Old Trick That Always Works

A few days ago I bought some groceries from the South Supermarket in Los Baños.  As usual, when I buy groceries I’m always in a hurry, so when I was done I went to the counter as quickly as I could.  When the cashier was done, she asked me, “Is it all right if I don’t give you 15 centavos?  We don’t have coins.”  I was a bit irritated, but since I was hurrying out of the supermarket I said, “well since you’re programmed not give me 15 centavos I can’t afford to wait here the whole afternoon.” 

Sometimes they don’t give change up to 25 centavos, 10 centavos, but mostly 5 centavos.  Among busy shoppers, such little amount is not difficult to disregard, but it can pile up for the supermarket.  This is completely unlawful, unfair, unethical. immoral, and downright crazy.


1 comment:

  1. maybe just use a card in paying, to savor the centavos?