COLLEGE OF ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT
The College of Economics and Management (CEM) traces its roots from the Department of Rural Economics, which was established at the UP College of Agriculture (UPCA) (now the UP Los Baños) in June 1919. This year, CEM celebrates its 38th Foundation Day as a college committed to doing its share in building UPLB and UP as a globally competitive graduate and research university. At present, the College is composed of three departments and one institute – the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (DAAE), Department of Economics (DE), Department of Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship (DAME), and the Institute of Cooperatives and Bio-Enterprise Development (ICOPED).
CEM is home to students, teachers, researchers, extensionists, and administrative staff who strive and thrive for academic excellence while bearing in mind the more fulfilling role of a public servant for our country. Over the years, it has capitalized on its strengths in the areas of economics, agricultural and applied economics, management and entrepreneurship, and cooperative development through its instruction, research and extension, and public service programs that are relevant and responsive to the demands and challenges of our rapidly changing economy. The desire to create a long-lasting impact on the transformation of our nation and on the lives of our people defines our motivations to continue to pursue competitive actions that are shaped by reciprocity and spirit of service.
Excellent and Relevant Academic Programs
Since last year, CEM has been working rigorously in revising its three undergraduate degree programs – Agricultural Economics, Economics, and Agribusiness Management, to align its curricula with the K-12 program for primary and secondary education, the outcomes-based education (OBE) and the ASEAN University Network (AUN) accreditation system. DE has also proposed a revision of its masters program in Economics to further strengthen its allied areas of specialization (i.e., environmental economics and development economics) and be able to produce future economic leaders and trailblazers with full potential. In addition, ICOPED has been persistent in promoting education in the field of cooperatives through its undergraduate and graduate cooperative studies courses to develop social consciousness and right mindset among students on the role and potential of cooperatives in socioeconomic development. Lastly, DAME in cooperation with the UPLB Graduate School, has offered an off-campus Master of Management (MM) program in business and cooperative management to cater to the professional educational demands from the government and private sectors in Metro Manila.
The continuous enhancement of the curricula of CEM makes its academic programs more fitting to new developments in their respective disciplines and more responsive and contributory to the country’s real economic and societal needs. These developments include, among others, the growing concern for food, water and nutrition security, regional economic integration, green growth, and inclusive development and the spurring innovations towards more market-centric agribusiness and enterprise models.
Along with the changes of the academic programs of CEM is the need to enrich the learning environment in the College to enable pedagogical paradigms. As such, CEM has state-of-the-art infrastructure projects in the pipeline, which will soon rise in the next few years. These are the two four-storey buildings, namely, the Economics and Management Studies Center and the Agricultural and Economic Development Studies Center, with respective budgets of PhP90 million and PhP100 million. The projects are envisioned to provide a complete learning environment with formal and non-formal learning spaces, which are designed to optimize learning experience, collaborative research, and productive cooperation among students, faculty, and researchers.
Quality Research with Impact and Influence
The College has embarked on programs to support interdisciplinary research and development on renewable energy, food security, and agribusiness entrepreneurship. It conducts significant researches that put premium on economically- and socially-relevant issues and are aimed at contributing to the transformation of local, national and global economies. Its research thrusts are focused on promoting efficient and competitive economic activities, equitable income distribution, protecting the environment, and managing natural resources in the context of sustainable and broad-based growth and development amidst regional and global integration.
For this year, CEM faculty and REPS have been engaged in numerous technical projects and policy researches in collaboration with both government and non-government agencies. Among these projects are PCAARRD’s Science and Technology-Based Farms Technology Transfer Modality; Ex-Ante Assessment of Industry Strategic Program (ISP) commodity projects; Analysis of S & T Related Institutional Capacity and Readiness to Effectively Implement the Food Safety Act; and ASEAN Economic Community: Opportunities and Implication; DA-BAR/SEARCA’s Linking Farmers to the Market: Towards Transforming Subsistence Farms to Commercial Farms; DA’s Baseline Study on the Seasonality of Prices of Livestock and Poultry Products; PinoyME’s Linking Microenterprises to Modern Value Chain: Selected Cases in the Philippines; EEPSEA’s Economics, Institutions and Legal Barriers to a Land Degradation Neutrality strategy in Southeast Asia; DOE’s Economic Impacts of the Use of Bio-Diesel in the Philippines; UP CIDS’ Greening of Philippine Cooperatives: Integrating Business and Environmental Objectives for Competitiveness; RIHN’s Developing a Cost Effective Payment for Ecosystem Services Programs in Silang-Santa Rosa Subwatershed, Philippines; and Analysis of S&T-related Institutional Capacity and Readiness to Effectively Implement the Philippine Food Safety Act. Other studies implemented are economic analyses, value chain analyses, feasibility and case studies.
The outputs of the researches are translated into comprehensive and handy quick knowledge resources to better reach the general public and share with them newly generated knowledge and practical solutions. The regular publications of CEM include the Journal of Economics, Management and Agricultural Development (JEMAD), which is a semi-annual peer-reviewed journal; the Economics and Management Matters, a one-pager technical bulletin with 5 to 10 issues per month; and the Economics and Management Briefs, an annual compilation of articles on economic, management, and agricultural issues and policies. To make the publications more accessible, all the knowledge resources are made available in the official website of CEM – http://cem.uplb.edu.ph.
Noble and Committed Extension and Public Service
CEM balances its academic and research activities with its extension and public services. It is actively engaged in providing trainings; consultancy and advisory work with government, private organizations and other academic institutions (e.g., SUCs); various forms of technical assistance to local and international clients, including students; and dissemination of research findings and discussion of major issues affecting the economy through roundtable discussions, fora, seminars, and workshops.
Some of the recently conducted extension activities of the College were DE’s Summer Program in Economics, DAME’s MM Midyear Workshop; and the Philippine Accounting Short-term Study Program for Kasetsart Business School, Thailand, also by DAME. This year, DAAE conducted an Orientation Training Workshop on Promotion of Forestry Investment and a Training on Selected Quantitative Approaches to Project Impact Evaluation. DAME organized a seminar on Tapping Whole Brain Literacy for Transformative Learning and Change. DE prepared the Comprehensive Academic Program for the UP Clark Green City. ICOPED, which is an accredited training service provider of the Cooperative Development Authority of the Philippines, regularly provides trainings and orientations for cooperatives and other self-help organizations on topics related to leadership and management, governance, accounting, strategic planning, and risk management.
CEM has its regular monthly seminar series which tackles current and emerging issues in the fields of economics and management and holds its annual research forum, which serves as a platform for faculty and REPS of the College to share their research outputs and discuss novel ideas and experiences with their colleagues within and outside UPLB.
In line with the internationalization thrust of UPLB, the College also organizes national and international conferences – the latest ones are on Energy (EnerCon), Cooperative Enterprises (ICOOP), and Global Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship (GAME). There will be an upcoming International Conference on Food and Agriculture (ICFA 2017) in February 2017.
Rekindling the Los Baños Spirit for the Service of Humanity
The academic, research, extension and public service programs of CEM have different facets of goals to help build a world class national and public university. Its commitment is not only inspired by the desire for honor and excellence but also by the vision to bring significant changes in the lives of people. Performing every task in the basic functions of teaching, research and extension is not only aimed at fulfilling the responsibility to realize the UPLB vision but also at creating the spirit of oneness and cooperation that motivates every individual to do the noble obligation of serving for greater good. In the end, what matters most is the contribution we have made towards achieving positive transformation of the communities and having a humane and just society. Despite the many changes brought about by time, CEM’s commitment and loyalty to academic excellence and service to the nation remains constant and will continue to be nurtured and rekindled over generations. Isabelita M. Pabuayon and Karen P. Quilloy