UPOU Presides Over Final LBSCFI Meeting as President

Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, UP Open University (UPOU) Chancellor, presided over the 2nd Quarterly Steering Committee Meeting of the Los Baños Science Community Foundation, Inc. (LBSCFI) on 28 June 2024 at the UPOU Audiovisual Room in Los Baños, Laguna. This is the last Steering Committee Meeting she presided over after serving two terms as President of LBSCFI. 

Dr. Bandalaria expressed her gratitude to all the members of LBSCFI for their support through the four years of UPOU’s leadership. “UPOU took over at the height of the pandemic, and I appreciate that all members supported all the initiatives of LBSCFI in the last four years that UPOU was president.” Dr. Bandalaria took on the leadership for LBSCFI from 2020 to 2022 and 2022 to 2024. 

The 2nd Quarterly Steering Committee Meeting was attended by the heads and representatives of 19 of the 25 member agencies and the members of the LBSCFI working committees. Part of the meeting was the Treasurer’s Report done by Assoc. Prof. Joselito Florendo,  Deputy Director for Administration of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). After this, each committee representative presented the plans and programs of their committee for 2024, including the budget requirements for each proposed project. One major discussion was about preparations for the upcoming “SyenSaya: The Los Baños Science Festival,” which will be held on 23-25 October 2024 at the Charles Fuller Baker Hall of UP Los Baños. SyenSaya is LBSCFI’s Flagship Program and is held as the local celebration of the National Science and Technology Week of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Part of this year’s SyenSaya is a Fun Run, which will be held on 20 October 2024, and more activities are being planned as part of SyenSaya 2024. 

The meeting also served as the venue for the election of the new set of LBSCFI officers who will lead the organization from 01 August 2024 to 31 July 2026. The LBSCFI Secretariat, DOST-PCAARRD, led the election, which resulted in these agencies as members of the Board of Trustees (BOT):  

  • Department of Science and Technology- CALABARZON  (DOST-CALABARZON)
  • Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB)
  • International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
  • Laguna State Polytechnic University (LSPU)
  • DOST – Philippine Council for Agriculture and Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD)
  • Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice)
  • Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)
  • UP Los Baños (UPLB)
  • UP Open University (UPOU)

The new set of LBSCFI Officers (L-R): DOST, ERDB, LSPU, UPLB. IRRI. DOST-PCAARRD, UPOU and PhiRice

The newly elected BOT members then held a separate session to elect who would take on the presidency. Before the end of the meeting, Dr. Melvin Carlos, DOST-PCAARRD Deputy Executive Director for Administration, Resource Management and Support Services, announced that the new President is UP Los Baños, represented by For. Robert Cereno, UPLB Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs;  the new Vice President is Laguna State Polytechnic University, represented by Prof. Christopher Mendoza, LSPU Faculty Member;  the new Secretary is International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), represented by Ms. Melinda Limlengco, IRRI Strategic Partnerships Senior Manager; and DOST-PCAARRD as the new Treasurer, represented by Dr. Melvin Carlos. 

UPOU will still be part of the BOT in the next two years. 

The LBSCFI Steering Committee with the new set of LBSCFI Officers

The meeting closed with a photo opportunity of the incoming LBSCFI Board of Trustees and the entire Steering Committee. Congratulations to the newly elected officers!

Written by Anna Cañas-Llamas  ♦ Edited by Myra C. Almodiel ♦ Photos by Anna Mhari Duria

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