The UST SIMBAHAYAN Community Development Office attended and participated in the 2nd Colleges and Universities Public Service Conference with the theme, “Compassion and Social Responsibility: Cornerstones of Public Service and Extension in Higher Education,” held at University of the Philippines, Bonifacio Global City Campus, Taguig City. The University of the
Philippines, through its system committee on public service led by its Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs, organized the conference.
The conference provided a platform for scholarly discussions on the manifestation of compassion (malasakit) in public service/extension initiatives of higher education institutions. Department of Social Welfare and Development Asst. Sec. Aleli B. Bawagan was the keynote speaker.
UST SIMBAHAYAN Director Assoc. Prof. Mark Anthony D. Abenir, DSD, presented a paper titled, “Compassion in Action: The Case of the Simbahayan Community Development Office of the University of Santo Tomas.”
The paper provided a comprehensive overview of how UST actualizes the social doctrines of the Church through its Simbahayan Community Development Office (SIMBAHAYAN). The paper uncovered: the history of community service and development in UST, its community development paradigm and organizational structure, the program and projects
SIMBAHAYAN implements, the strategies SIMBAHAYAN employs and the procedures it follows to integrate academic instruction and research in its community development work, the development networks SIMBAHAYAN
works through and partners they serve, and SIMBAHAYAN accomplishments for the past two years and accumulated achievements.
Along with Abenir were five undergraduate students in their fourth year under the UST Department of Sociology. They presented research papers about various community development engagements in the University. Alexandra T. Azul and Megan G. Tapawan presented papers on the sociological inquiry on the perception regarding community development work of the students, faculty, administrators, and support staff of the UST
College of Architecture and the UST College of Education respectively.
Denysse Xerxes L. Salazar and Lee Jairus B. Lacaba presented a five-year performance review of community development projects and activities implemented by the UST College of Education and the UST Collegeof Commerce and Business Administration, respectively. Margarethe Angela O. Gutierrez presented a paper on the sociological analysis of the community development engagements of tenured faculty members of UST.
All of the five students are under Abenir’s thesis advisorship.
There were almost 200 conference participants coming mostly from government HEIs of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Out of the 200 participants, 70 were paper presenters who delved on lessons and best practices on innovative initiatives that highlight their respective higher educational institutions’ social responsibility and compassion.