The UP Open University’s Research, Extension and Professional Staff (REPS) gathered in the 2021 REPS Conference with the theme “The UPOU REPS in this disruptive times: Turning challenges into opportunities” on 24 March 2021 via Zoom.
The UPOU REPS, Guest speakers and AUPAEU-OU Council members who attended the 2021 REPS Conference.
The UPOU REPS Conference was organized by the newly constituted All University of the Philippines Academic Employees Union – Open University (AUPAEU-OU) Chapter Council headed by Asst. Prof. Queenie R. Ridulme as President. The event is in line with Section 2, Article X of the AUPAEU Constitution and By-Laws which states that “Sectoral meetings and assemblies may be convened, under the leadership of the Chapter President and the Chapter Vice-Presidents, and in consultation with other union officers.”
Asst. Prof. Ridulme officially opened the conference with her warm welcome and appreciation to all the participants and guest speakers. She said that the conference hopes to update the sector on relevant matters, discuss issues and concerns affecting them, and formulate action plans.
Chancellor Melinda dP. Bandalaria in her keynote speech mentioned that though the number of UPOU REPS is smaller than the other constituent units, the impact of the REPS’ presence in various activities involving REPS at the system level more than compensates for the small number. She added that the REPS voices have been and are being heard very well.
Chancellor Bandalaria thanked the new set of AUPAEU-OU Council led by its President, Asst. Prof. Ridulme, for spearheading the activity. She also expressed her appreciation to the previous AUPEAU-OU Council for a job well done.
Staff Regent Mylah R. Pedrano gave a message of solidarity for the UPOU REPS Conference. She also shared some updates concerning the REPS sector based on the recent BOR meeting.
Ms. Alvie Simonette Q. Alip, on behalf of Dr. Melinda F. Lumanta, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Chair of the UPOU REPS Personnel and Fellowship Committee (RPFC) and REPS Welfare Council (RWC), presented the gains of the 2018 UP System-Wide REPS Conference. These were approved by the BOR at its 1340th Meeting held on 03 December 2018 and contained in the OVPAA Memorandum No. 2019-13 dated 25 January 2019. These include the (1) establishment of Constituent Unit (CU) RPFC; (2) establishment of CU and System RWC; and (3) establishment of CU REPS Development Fund.
Ms. Carmelita A. Orias, AUPAEU-OU Chapter Vice President for REPS and Ms. Margaret J. Suarez, AUPAEU-OU Chapter Treasurer and UPOU Representative to the UP System RWC gave an update on the UPOU RPFC and UPOU/UP System RWC, respectively.
The conference featured a plenary discussion which was facilitated by Mr. Larry N. Cruz, former President of the AUPAEU-OU Chapter who currently serves as one of its Directors. Proposed action plans were formulated based on the pre-identified issues and concerns gathered from an online survey conducted by the AUPAEU-OU Chapter among the UPOU REPS.
Discussion revolved around hiring, renewal, promotion, sagad, guidelines and criteria for Gawad Chancellor for Outstanding REPS, research/public service/professional services/academic support/administrative appointment/instruction functions, work/ from home arrangement, and audit of and request for REPS items.
Chapter President Ridulme, Staff Regent Pedrano and National Vice President for REPS Rowel C. Malimban also provided inputs, comments and suggestions on the issues and concerns as well as in the action plans.
To formally close the conference, Mr. Malimban expressed his appreciation to the AUPAEU-OU Chapter in organizing the UPOU REPS Conference. He also gave his response to the sectoral concerns in his capacity as the National Vice President for REPS.
Asst. Prof. Ria Valerie D. Cabanes, AUPAEU-OU Chapter Director, served as the conference moderator.
Moving forward, the AUPAEU-OU Chapter Council hopes to arrange a consultation-meeting with Chancellor Bandalaria to present the issues, concerns and challenges faced by the UPOU REPS that were raised and the proposed plans of actions that were formulated during the conference.