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The three researches published in the fifth volume of UP Open University (UPOU) Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) eJournal, Journal of Management and Development Studies (JMDS), were featured at the FMDS Research Forum on 23 May 2017 at the Audiovisual Room of UPOU in Los Baños, Laguna. These were the three of the nine researches that made it to publication after a series of top-notch peer-review process.

Dr. Primo Garcia, Dean of FMDS, banked on the importance of disseminating research results as part of UPOU’s tripartite function. “Research is important in solving a lot of problems in the society… It is important that we make our voices, experience and stories as Filipinos and as Asian, be heard.” He congratulated the authors for their scholarship, and welcomed everyone, including participants watching online via networks.upou.edu.ph.

The first to share his research was Asst. Prof. Patrick C. De Leon from the UP Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga. His research, entitled “Assessing the Citizen's Charter Formulation and Implementation at the Bureau of Customs Port of Clark and the Clark Development Corporation,” was a study on the compliance of the two agencies with the information requirements on their Citizen’s Charter as stipulated by the Anti-Red Tape Act (RA 9485); the formulation and implementation of the Citizens’ Charter; and the compliance with the service standards. According to his research, both agencies failed the compliance assessment and his recommendation is for both agencies to supply complete information on their Citizen’s Charter, consider the needs and participation of their clients in the revision of their Citizen’s Charter; and publish their Citizen’s Charter in both English and Filipino language, or in any local dialect, to be more inclusive.

Mr. Rodmyr Datoon from Nagoya University in Japan, shared his research entitled, “Rural Industrialization and the De-Feminization of Rice Farming, the Case of a Village outside the Freeport Area of Bataan.” He presented the changes that the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) caused in the town of Mariveles, Bataan, where the first SEZ in the country was established. He specifically recorded the changes in the involvement of women in the livelihood of the community. The establishment of the SEZ provided women with an option in livelihood, but labor policies prevented them from having a long-term careers. The establishment of SEZ also affected the farming practices of the community to shift to broadcast method of farming where fewer labor is necessary, resulting to older women being unable to return to farming, and unable to earn a living.

The last speaker was Mr. Arthur Lagbas from the Integrated Research and Training Center of Technological University of the Philippines and a graduate of the FMDS Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management (MENRM). His research on “Socio-Economics, Health Profile, Environmental Problems, and Perception of a Fishing Community in Panukulan, Polillo Island, Quezon, Philippines” was a description of the profile and environmental problems of a small barangay in the Polillo Island, Quezon. His study found that the community was highly dependent on natural forest, coconut and rice farming and fishing, but threats to the environment like illegal logging and dynamite and cyanide fishing exists. The problems affecting the community include the lack of safe drinking water, the lack of irrigation facilities for farmers, damaged roads, and lack of supplemental and alternative livelihood sources. The study also found that the community is supportive of plans and activities to improve their environmental condition, which indicates that community-based coastal resources management projects will be successful in the community.

Dr. Joane V. Serrano, Editor in Chief of the FMDS and Associate Professor at the UPOU FMDS and Director of the UPOU Information Office and Multimedia Center, closed the forum by thanking all the speakers and inviting everyone, especially those that were viewing the forum online via networks.upou.edu.ph, to submit their researches for publication to the Journal of Management and Development Studies, the official scientific journal of FMDS which started in 2012 as the FMDS Research Bulletin.

Ms. Jeniffer de Passion-Guevarra was the forum’s emcee and moderator. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)