Shamag July-August 2022

BSU Class 2022 Attends F2F Graduation; 318 top

Benguet State University (BSU) has proclaimed a record high of graduates with Latin honors during the first face-face graduation ceremony after two years of holding virtual graduation ceremonies due to the COVID-19 situation on July 7-8, 2022 at the BSU gymnasium. Among the 1,502 confirmed graduates, the University produced 318 graduates with Latin honors. Thirty-one graduated magna cum laude, and 287 were cum laude.

Based on the data from the Office of the University Registrar, the University recorded over 3000% increase in the number of graduates with Latin honors compared to 2021 with a lone honor graduate. In 2020, BSU listed seven honor graduates, and 84 in 2019.

With the theme, “BSU C.A.R.E.S. 97! Celebrating Achievement that Ratifies and Enables Sustainability,” the University’s 97th Commencement was held in four clusters in the two-day event. Each cluster started with the procession of the graduates with their parents, followed by inspirational messages from notable speakers.

Commission on Higher Education Commissioner Hon. Marita Rana Canapi, through her virtual message, congratulated both graduates and parents for enduring all the hardships and challenges they encountered before reaching their goals in life.

“These challenges and hardships have put your character to the test. All of us today have remained robust and resilient. You, graduates, have remained resilient and persevered to finish your studies,” expressed Canapi.

Benguet Congressman Eric Go Yap also sent his message through a representative from his office. “I believe that with all your brilliant minds and bold spirits inflamed with the courage to tackle real societal problems and fueled by their inherited love for the province and kailyans, will help us reach development, one that is not only feasible but also inevitable," he said.

Moreover, Former Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Dr. William Dollente Dar shared his life experiences and achievements as an official of the DA and advised the graduates to remain steadfast when facing crises in life and not to be afraid of failures and criticisms along the way.

Be academically excellent; stay principled and be tough. You will need all the toughness of character in facing the biggest challenges of your career. I trust your youthful energy and willpower through induced moments. Reserve and build the last of your strengths for the twilight,” advised Dar.

Meanwhile, BSU President Felipe Salaing Comila highlighted three significant words: Dream, Name, and Destiny in his message. He congratulated the graduates for managing themselves wisely and being able to graduate despite the challenges they encountered during these trying times. He also acknowledged the parents for their support of their children's dreams.

“Continue to dream; add value to your name, so that tomorrow, you are making the reality of your dream, that’s the destiny that you are destined to be,” concluded Comila.

The graduates individually marched to the stage to receive their diplomas and awards. They also offered the song, MAPA, as a tribute to their parents for their undying sacrifices physically and financially and for guidance throughout until they finished their degrees.

The graduation concluded with the pledges of loyalty and the induction of graduates to the University Alumni Association, Inc. by BSU Alumni President Mr. Ben David S. Luis.//MJEscote, CTMalabong &EMBawayan


BSU Records Highest Number of Acad Achievers Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

More than 2,000 Benguet State University (BSU) academic achievers were recognized during the faceto-face Student Achievement and Recognition Program on July 4-5, 2022 at the university gymnasium. It is the highest number of academic achievers that the University has recorded since 2018.

Data from the Office of the University Registrar showed that BSU recorded a constant increase in the number of academic achievers, with 332 in 2018, 390 in 2019, 593 in 2020, and 1,496 in 2021.

Along with the academic achievers, the University also awarded the 2022 year’s best students and University Student Research Congress winners during the program.

Academic achievers are students who obtained an average of 1.75 or higher from the second semester of the school year 2020-2021 to the first semester of the school year 2021-2022 while the 2022 year’s best awardees are students who excelled in different fields of academics and extracurricular activities.

The awardees were from the University's different colleges, including the College of Agriculture, College of Arts and Humanities, College of Engineering, College of Forestry, College of Home Economics and Technology, College of Human Kinetics, College of Information Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, College of Numeracy and Applied Sciences, College of Nursing, College of Public Administration and Governance, College of Social Sciences, College of Teacher Education, College of Veterinary Medicine, Open University, and the Center for Culture and the Arts.

Vice-President for Academic Affairs Dr. Imelda O. Degay congratulated the students who excelled in academics and co-curricular and extracurricular activities for making the university, parents, guardians, and their respective communities proud.

BSU President Felipe Salaing Comila stressed in his inspirational message the importance of continuous dreams as dreams happen every time, to always honor the ones behind the names, especially the parents, as they were the ones who have brought and guided the students until today. He also challenged the achievers to excel beyond and have the courage to keep moving towards their destiny and dreams with patience, perseverance, prayer, and belief.

Guest speakers for various clusters included BSU Alumnus and National Dairy Authority Administrator Dr. Farrell Benjelix C. Magtoto, Local Risk Reduction Management Officer of LGU-Bakun Atty. Alvin Guimpayan Comila, English Department Head of University of Baguio Science High School Dr. Veronica Mocsoy Bito, and Cooperative Development Authority Board of Director Assistant Secretary Virgilio R. Lazaga who extended their greetings for achieving such milestones.

In his written message, Dr. Magtoto congratulated the awardees and stressed that academic excellence is the ability to score high marks and to cope with the changing world.

Atty. Comila mentioned that being an achiever is an inspiration. He also reminded the awardees not to pressure themselves to be the best and take time to relax and help and guide others so that they will not give up on their dreams.

Dr. Bito also encouraged everyone that success today is the product of sweat, tears, and dedication and that we need to be grateful for knowing that we had faced many challenges when we went into blended learning.

Meanwhile, Asec. Lazaga shared the secret of success. He mentioned the three steps to becoming successful: dream, work hard, and try and try until you succeed.

The event is a yearly practice of the University that serves as a way to connect with students and provide them a platform of acknowledgment for their exemplary performance in the many dimensions of knowledge, skills, and responsibility.//CMalabong, EMBawayan


BSU Hosts 2022 ASCU-SN Summer Olympics

More than 3,000 delegates of the 21 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) from regions 1, 2, 3, and the Cordillera Administrative Region participated in the Association of State Colleges and Universities -Solid North (ASCU-SN) Summer Olympics held at Benguet State University on July 20-23, 2022. BSU hosted the event for a record-breaking fourth time, which was re-opened after two years since the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to ASCU-SN and Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) President Dr. Shirley Castañeda Agrupis, this year’s sports event listed the most significant number of delegates in the history of ASCU-SN. “Indeed, Solid North is back; stronger, more resilient, and ready to conquer the new challenges of the new normal. Ready to conquer not only the whole Philippines but the world. We are here to strengthen our friendship and camaraderie,” expressed Dr. Agrupis during the opening program on July 20.

BSU President Felipe Salaing Comila also said that the event shows unity among the SUCs to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

La Trinidad Mayor Representative and Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan also stressed that the sports event celebrates the SUCs’ successes in fighting against the pandemic. He also emphasized the importance of collaboration with the local government units and urged cooperation among SUCs toward recovery from the pandemic.

Benguet Governor Representative Atty. Mario Baucas, Jr. delivered the message of Benguet Governor Melchor M. Diclas. In his written message, Diclas emphasized that the event will empower and improve one another’s well-being through healthy and socially-inclusive physical activities.

Meanwhile, Benguet Congressman Representative Jayralyn Y. Siddayao extended the message of Congressman Eric Go Yap who noted that the event shows off physical agility and talent and displays the spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship among the participants.

During the opening program, the unfurling of institutional banners by SUC Presidents and Sports and Cultural Directors, the lighting of the friendship urn by BSU Professor and Vovinam Philippine Team for SEA Games Coach Ryan Bendalan Batinay, and the oath of sportsmanship led by BSU Faculty Member Kalvin Jake Polking Awas, were highlighted.

The SUCs that participated in the event were the Abra State Institute of Sciences and Technology, Apayao State College, Batanes State College, Bulacan State University, Cagayan State University, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, Ifugao State University, Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College, Isabela State University, Kalinga State University, Mariano Marcos State University, Mountain Province State Polytechnic College, North Luzon Philippines State College, Nueva Vizcaya State University, Pampanga State Agricultural University, Pangasinan State University, Quirino State University, Tarlac Agricultural University, Tarlac State University, the University of Northern Philippines, including the Benguet State University.

MMSU President Dr. Agrupis will continue to lead the Association of State Colleges and Universities-Solid North as the ASCU-SN President for the third time. She was reelected by the ASCU-SN Executive Board during the Presidents’ meeting at the BSU RDC Hall on July 20.

In her message during the President’s Night held at the BSU gymnasium, she thanked her fellow academic leaders in the Solid North for reelecting her as ASCU-SN President. “I do not know what were their criteria, maybe because they were mesmerized by the activities that we have implemented during the pandemic. I must say that these activities, these milestones that we have accomplished during the pandemic were not all mine. It is the concerted effort of the solid north. Because I strongly believed po that no matter how good the programs are, no matter how ambitious the plans are if there is no support from your sphere, wala pong mangyayari. And that was showcased by the Solid North. Amid the anxieties that we have been through, we never gave up and we support each one. That’s the reason why kahit sa pandemic we implemented so many activities. Indeed, Solid North is back!” said Agrupis.

Further, Isabela State University President Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino was elected as the Vice-President of ASCU-SN. He is expected to take over Dr. Agrupis’ position after her term as the president.//EMBawayan


BSU Surpasses Two Board Exams' National Passing Rates

Benguet State University has surpassed the national ratings in the recently conducted Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers (LEPT) and the Guidance Counselor Licensure Examination conducted by the Philippine Regulation Commission. In June 2022, BSU achieved a passing rate of 75% at the elementary level exceeding the national passing rate of 50.62%. It also garnered a 76.92% passing rate at the secondary level surpassing the national passing passing rate of 50.50%. The University consistently exceeded the LEPT's national ratings this year.

College of Teacher Education Dean Dr. Divina M. Yango expressed optimism about the LEPT result as it continues to attest to its Center of Excellence (COE) in Teacher Education. “We are expecting that they (graduates) will pass because they are well-trained and we also extended our review for our takers,” she said.

“We are happy that we have surpassed the national passing rate despite the fact that this was the time during COVID-19,” said Department of Technology and Livelihood Education Chairperson Dr. Emelda E. Villa.

Department of Elementary Education Chairperson Dr. Alexandra Sad-ang said that the CTE faculty members are competent, dedicated, and committed to training their students. She also shared that the college's best practices in preparation for licensure examinations include sending review materials and constant updates on their students’ old group chats as well as arranging various programs like seminars, content, and teaching demonstrations, and sharing other necessary teaching skills and methods by invited distinct speakers.

On the part of students, Dr. Villa emphasized that their preparation starts the moment they decide to enroll in their respective degree programs. “I always tell my students to be serious because their subjects during their first year are also part of the LET. In other words, it’s very important to start well and end well. I can say it should be about consistency,” she explained.

Further, they advised new board passers, as professional teachers, to become models and impart knowledge and insights gained to students and the community. Dr. Villa further challenged them to practice their pledge and show students their “tatak BSU.”

Dr. Yango shares her expectation for the next LEPT result saying, “For the next batch, we expect their performance to be even higher because of the trend we are providing like giving reviews to the students, enhancing the curriculum and provision of the admission policy by the university, along with the continuous initiatives for faculty development.”

On the other hand, the University achieved a 100% passing rate higher than the national passing rate of 61.27% in the Guidance Counselor Licensure Examination conducted in August 2022. Since 2014, BSU has constantly surpassed the national ratings in the said exam.

Chita Bao-il Habon, the lone examinee of the Guidance Counselor Licensure Examination, was proud and happy when she passed the exam. Habon graduated Master of Arts in Guidance (MAG) from the University in July 2022. She said that even before she graduated, she started enrolling in online reviews and went to the BSU library to have readings in preparation for the licensure examination. Despite her workload as a program manager at the Child and Family Service Philippines in Baguio City, her sacrifices, commitment, and perseverance are testimonies that paved the way to earn her license as a guidance counselor. CFSPI is a non-stock, non-profit, private Philippine organization that caters to abused children and women.

She also credited her success to BSU as her training ground when she was a student. She said that BSU’s MAG is a comprehensive and quality degree program that promotes professional development. “Isu ngay siguro nga maibagak nga efficient ak and effective doing my current job because I was trained at BSU (Maybe, I can say that I am efficient and effective doing my current job because I was trained at BSU,” she explained.

She further encouraged other students planning or taking Master of Arts and Guidance to continue and finish their course.

After passing the exam, Habon shared that she will continue to become a servant, learner, and warrior. “Continue latta a mangtulong kadagitoy uububbing (in CFSPI). Hangga’t may bata sa Cordillera nga kasjay ti situation da (victim of abuse), hangga’t may funds (for the organization), I will stay. If I leave, will I be sure that the next (official) will defend them? Adda nga adda ti good dita nga ubing. Kitaen yu lang (Continue to help these children (in CFSPI)… as long as there is a child in Cordillera with that situation (victim of abuse), as long as there are funds (for the organization), I will stay. If I leave, will I be sure that the next (official) will defend them? There is goodness in them, just look at it,” she expressed.

Meanwhile, Dr. Yango congratulated and extended her encouragement to all licensed guidance counselors. “To our passers sa Guidance Counselor licensure exam, congratulations, you did well in your exam. And I hope that you will not stop there but continue to do well even in the field of work and be an inspiration in the workplace and to others. And they can also share their experiences with the non-passers and the next takers and that would be a very big help,” Dr. Yango said. //CBNapiloy, EMBawayan


CHED-CAR Spearheads 2022 ASEAN Month Celebration with BSU as Host

An explosion of colors paints the campus grounds of Benguet State University (BSU) as participating schools showcased their cultural attire, and dance performances while representing the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the Parade of Nations of the 55th ASEAN Month Celebration with the theme, “Addressing Challenges Together,” organized by the Commission on Higher Education-Cordillera Administrative Region (CHED-CAR) held last August 8 at the BSU Gymnasium.

Faculty, staff members, students, and heads of colleges and universities participated in the event including the Philippine Nazarene College, Apayao State College, Kings College of the Philippines, BSU, and other school participants online.

The parade of nations and poster-making were the two contested events on that day, while other events are yet to be scheduled up until November 2022.

CHED-CAR Local Government Scholarship Office (LGSO) Focal Person Dr. Mariano Marchan Jr., in his welcome remarks, said ASEAN fosters the integration of international exchange and cooperation in order to enrich the academic experience of both students and academics in the region.

He reminded participating school heads and faculty members to have sheer commitment to the goals of ASEAN, particularly in the advancement of learning using the best practices in the region through the cause of education.

Meanwhile, CHED-CAR Regional Director Dr. Demetrio P. Anduyan Jr. also took part in the event by introducing the keynote speaker BSU President Felipe Salaing Comila whom he described as an A.S.E.A.N. (a person who takes ACTION, one who is SKILLED and ENDEARING, an AWARDEE, and NOBLE).

“I would like to continue to encourage SUCs in the Cordillera, and other SUCs in the country to continue dreaming for a higher level of their state or university status because the more we do it, this will help elevate the progress of our country,” Comila said while mentioning one of his dreams in his speech of molding BSU and having it recognized as a National College of Highland Agriculture and Environment (NCHAE) in time while envisioning the university reaching SUC Level V.

With the year 2022 coming to an end, CHED-CAR encourages students and schools to keep an eye out to participate in upcoming activities and events. BSU continues to expand its reach for global connections and operations with the recent opening of the office of the Vice President for International Relations granted by Comila. //JAquino


BSU is the 1st SUC to Ink MOU with the PNVSCA

The Benguet State University, headed by University President Felipe Salaing Comila and the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency, led by PNVSCA Executive Director Donald James D. Gawe, accompanied by Volunteer Service Officer II Kamille May H. Atienza, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the aim to build a partnership between BSU and PNVSCA in mainstreaming and advocating volunteerism in the academe.

BSU is the first State University in the Philippines to sign MOU with the PNVSCA in which BSU shall assist PNVSCA in promoting its advocacy and goal by designating a volunteerism office, engaging student organizations and alumni associations on volunteerism, collaborating with PNVSCA in building volunteerism statistics, and providing technical assistance in promoting volunteerism in local governance.

Meanwhile, PNVSCA will be responsible for providing technical assistance on volunteerism-related initiatives to further capacitate the BSUs' volunteer unit, providing relevant information and materials for the promotion and advocacy of volunteerism, and collaborating with BSU in the implementation of volunteerism-related activities.

President Comila designated NSTP Director Dr. Bryant O. Botengan as the Volunteerism Focal Person(VFP) for the said MOU.// PJGadang


Management Conducts Data Privacy Awareness Seminars

As part of the University's compliance with the National Privacy Commission, the Benguet State University through the Human Resource Development Office (HRDO) and University Data Protection Office (UDPO) conducted the annual awareness seminar on Data Privacy titled “SAFEguarding PRivacy And building CulTure of respect In the CommunitiEs (SAFE PRACTICE): Data Privacy Updates” in the three campuses of the University. The first leg of the caravan was in Bokod Campus on July 26, 2022, followed by La Trinidad Campus on August 2-3, 2022, and finally, at Buguias Campus on August 16, 2022. The participants were the teaching and non-teaching employees of the University. The University collects personal data from employees, students, clients, and suppliers, hence, Data Protection Officer (DPO) Atty. Matias C. Angiwan Jr. gave an update on the requirements of the Data Privacy Law.

The seminar aims to increase awareness of Republic Act No. 10173, also known as the Data Privacy Act, a law that seeks to protect all forms of information, be it private, personal, or sensitive. It is meant to cover both natural and juridical persons involved in the processing of personal information while ensuring the free flow of information to promote innovation and growth.

Atty. Angiwan Jr., highlighted the Dos and Don’ts in processing personal that must be subject to adherence to the the data privacy principles of transparency, legitimate purpose, and proportionality. Also, highlighted in the implementation of a reasonable and appropriate organizational, physical and technical measure intended for the protection of personal data. He presented the corresponding penalties and sanctions composed of fines ranging from PhP100,000 to P5,000,000 or imprisonment ranging from 6 months up to 7 years for every violation committed. He also reiterated the strict observance of safeguarding privacy and building a culture of respect and confidentiality for every data subject as the University continues to achieve a data breach-free environment.// JCAluyen

3-storey Building Turned Over to CIS

The College of Information Sciences (CIS) family was welcomed to its new home during the Turnover Ceremony of the newly constructed CIS building on August 25, 2022, at the BSU La Trinidad Campus.

Witnessed by the CIS Executive Committee, M.S. Castillo Construction Representative Mhel S. Castillo and CIS Dean Dr. Russell Dolendo signed the formal turnover of the Php 50-million infrastructure project which will be utilized by the Department of Development Communication, Institute of Information Technology (IIT), and the Department of Library and Information Science. The merging of the departments into a college has driven the construction of its home, the CIS building, which was supposedly the IIT building. It also led to the prioritization of its budget proposal until last December 15, 2021, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to inaugurate the start of the CIS building construction. This milestone was one of the highlights of the International Relations Director Dr. Ma. Luz Fang-asan’s brief designation as the CIS dean. The building construction was initiated by then BSU President Dr. Feliciano Galvez Calora, Jr. and continued by incumbent President Felipe Salaing Comila. After more than eight months, the CIS building was eventually completed.

Meanwhile, Dolendo welcomed the three CIS departments to their new home. In her message, she expressed appreciation to everyone for the event's success and acknowledged the BSU officials and personnel for their effort and support that led to the completion of the CIS building. She hoped that the three departments, as one CIS family, share the passion for achieving the CIS goals and the BSU vision. She further encouraged them to be globally-productive, innovative, and smart.

Administrative Services Division Chief Rev. Matias C. Angiwan, Jr. and Rev. Ramil Dew-alan officiated the prayer and blessing of the three-storey building.

The three departments will soon occupy the building instead of borrowing spaces from other colleges.//EMBawayan