Heads of offices and key staff members led by Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Dr. Nestor T. Castro committed to do their part in realizing the ‘pride of place’ vision of Chancellor Michael L. Tan for UP Diliman by endeavouring in making the campus the best physical environment there is for an academic institution.

A contingent of twenty seven employees under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs held a program assessment and direction setting activity last May 25 to 27 at Winaca Eco-cultural Village in La Trinidad, Benguet. All OVCCA units, namely the Campus Maintenance Office, Chief Security Officer, Diliman Housing Office, Office of Community Relations, OVCCA Support Staff, Task Force on Solid Waste Management and the University Health Service, were represented in the meeting.

In his opening speech, VCCA Castro reminded the units that the target for the past year was to transcend OVCCA’s image as “tagasaway to tagapag-ugnay.” He said that it is expected that units will take a more facilitative and promotive approach in addressing community concerns, delivering services and in the implementation of policies.

Aside from the over-all increase in the utilization of OVCCA services, it was noted that there is a conscious effort to install more comprehensive programs. Significant activities and projects undertaken were the holding of the Visioning Workshops for UP Diliman Transportation System, taking part in the UP Diliman DRRM Summit, programs for off campus housing, activities for children loitering in campus, expanded education program for PUJ drivers, psychological health support for students and campus special waste inventory to name a few. The Campus Maintenance Office was lauded for being a recipient of Gawad Tsanselor para sa Lingkod-Komunidad for the unit’s crucial role in taking charge of the physical set-up for University special events.

The activity also included a visioning exercise wherein participants expressed their aspirations to deliver responsive, pro-active and community-oriented services to create safe, healthy, harmonious and sustainable UP community.

To level up the performance of their duties, the plenary saw the need to fortify the capacities of OVCCA units. A restructuring proposal, which includes creation of three new offices, creation of additional 75 items and filling up of about 100 vacant items, was formulated.

In his closing speech, VCCA Castro encouraged the OVCCA units to embark in a continuing process of learning better ways in fulfilling their duties by, for example, “benchmarking with other Universities.” He encouraged coordination meetings between and among OVCCA offices, and even with offices outside OVCCA and academic units to discuss common and related concerns. ###