University of the Philippines Los Baños

The UPLB Horizon is issued quarterly and features news, feature articles, research and extension updates, literary pieces, and information of general interest to UPLB and its publics. For contributions, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



          Public service underlies all the duties and responsibilities of the University. This was essentially the message of Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., in a talk he gave to the participants of the 1st Colleges and Universities Public Service Conference (CUPSCon1) held at the UP Open University in Los Baños, Laguna. He highlighted this in relation to a statement by former UP President Emil Q. Javier that “everything we do in UPLB is public service.”    

With the theme “From the ivory tower to the communities: engaging society with commitment and expertise,” the CUPSCon1 brought together public service and extension practitioners from various state universities and colleges (SUCs) and higher education institutions (HEIs) in the country.

Chancellor Sanchez discussed the public service tradition of UPLB during the plenary panel session on the second day of the conference on Nov. 27.

                “Instruction, the primary function of higher education institutions, is perhaps our most significant public service contribution. By offering world-class education to the country’s best and brightest, we shape them to become future nation-builders,” Chancellor Sanchez added.

He showcased the long-running public service programs of UPLB, such as the technology transfer endeavor of the National Farmer-Scientist Training Program and the voluntary service of UPLB’s Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, among others.

Chancellor Sanchez also identified several administrative issues that plague public service programs among SUCs and HEIs. He proposed steps on how to improve public service not only in the UP System but also among colleges and universities.

Joining Chancellor Sanchez in the plenary discussion were Dr. J. Prospero E. De Vera III, UP vice-president for public affairs, and Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr., Graduate School dean.

Dr. De Vera recognized the diversity of UP’s public service programs. He emphasized the need to see the “whole picture” of UP’s public service efforts through UP Padayon’s coordinating mechanism among constituent universities. On the other hand, Dr. Camacho focused on UPLB’s off-campus graduate programs with different institutions as one of the University' effective ways of public service.

The two-day Conference also gathered key UP System and CU officials, including UP President Alfredo E. Pascual, UPOU Chancellor Grace J. Alfonso, UP Diliman (UPD) Social Sciences and Philosophy Dean Grace Aguiling-Dalisay, UPD Extension Director Aleli Bawagan, and UPLB Pahinungod Director Katrina Ross Tan.

CUPSCon1 featured parallel sessions on various topics that fall under public service, such as education, literacy, and training; climate change and environmental protection; local government empowerment; and technology-based development, among others. The Conference was organized and supported by UP. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)




Photo from Ms. Lisa Dizon 

Prof. Rex B. Demafelis, vice chancellor for research and extension, received the Manila Water Foundation Prize for Engineering Excellence in awarding ceremonies at the Intercontinental Hotel in Makati City on Nov. 24.

The Manila Water Foundation, in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology, established the award to honor engineers and scientists “who manifest excellent engineering competence with outstanding passion and commitment to the development of communities that champion water, sanitation, environment, and sustainability.”

In his nomination of Prof. Demafelis,  Dr. Manolito Bambase, chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChE)  said that the former embodies the University’s tri-fold functions of instruction, research and extension.  

To date, Prof. Demafelis has mentored 1,500 BS and MS students and researchers. As chair of the ChE department from 1997-2003 and 2005-2008, he spearheaded the upgrade of its curricular programs and implemented various infrastructure projects.

He has conducted research and extension work in wastewater treatment and biogas production. His research team has pushed for the advancement of biofuel production using alternative feedstock like sweet sorghum, malunggay, vutalao, macro and microalgae, Jatropha curcas, coconut oil, used frying oil, palm oil, Napier grass, and cassava.

His research and development work in biofuels produced linkages with government agencies, policy makers and foreign academic institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia, Argentina, India, Spain, and Japan.  

Prof. Demafelis has assisted 17 schools and 9 cities on their “plant and equipment design” program. He also brought his knowledge on biofuel production to the grassroots level through extension work and public service. He has published 28 articles in refereed journals and 91 in non-refereed journals.

Among the other prestigious awards that Prof. Demafelis has received are: the 2015 Phil. National Academy of Science & Technology Best Paper Award; 2014 UPLB Outstanding Researcher in Natural Sciences; 2013 Outstanding Chemical Engineer of the Philippines in the Academe; 2010 Regional Commission on Higher Education RePublica Award; and 2004-2012 UP Presidents’ Academic Distinction Award for International Publications. (MC Jadina)



              Dr. Teodoro C. Mendoza, Professor 12 and UP Scientist 1 at the Crop Science Cluster, College of Agriculture (CA-CSC), has bagged the Association of Agricultural Technology in Southeast Asia (AATSEA) Award for Agricultural Excellent Leader 2015.

               The Thailand-based organization of Southeast Asian scientists confirmed this through a letter to Dr. Mendoza dated Oct. 20, 2015. The awarding rites will take place during the 4th International Conference on Integration of Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in Hanoi, Vietnam on Nov. 27-28.

In his nomination letter, Dr. Leon O. Namuco, professor at the CA-CSC, emphasized Dr. Mendoza’s advocacy on organic and sustainable agriculture and highlighted his 30 years of experience in working with civil society to promote sustainable agriculture and rural development in both the upland and lowland areas. This includes his co-founding of the farmer-scientist partnership Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) in 1986. As of 2013, MASIPAG already has 30,000 farmer members and has collected and maintained more than 1,300 traditional rice varieties.

               “Dr. Mendoza is one of the leading advocates and practitioners of small-scale diversified organic agriculture in the Philippines. Having been born to a small farming household motivated him to do actual farming. He does not simply preach, but walks the talk,” explained Dr. Namuco.

As a faculty member, Dr. Mendoza has successfully instituted courses on farming systems, ecological agriculture, and the special topic on energetics of crop agriculture. He has published 71 papers, including 27 ISI journal articles. During his stint as its chair of the board of editors, the Philippine Journal of Crop Science received its ISI accreditation in 2009.

He represents the academic community to the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Rice Research Institute. He has also been awarded with the SEARCA Professorial Chair for AY 2015-2016. In 2010, the Climate Change Commission bestowed upon him the Fr. Neri Satur Award for Environmental Heroism.

Dr. Mendoza earned his BS Agriculture and MS Agronomy from UPLB in 1976 and 1979, respectively. He obtained his Ph.D. in Agronomy from UPLB and the University of Florida, USA in 1985. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)




“Let us take full advantage of this occasion in providing a platform that further enhances our regional collaboration so that we could better respond to the risks of climate change,” UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. urged the participants of the Workshop on Enhancing Climate Change Adaptation in Southeast Asia.  

Chancellor Sanchez made this call to action in his opening message to delegates from Southeast Asian countries and India during the final planning workshop of the project entitled “Enhancing Local Level Climate Change Adaptation in Southeast Asia (Phase 1).”

The workshop, held on Oct. 14-15 at Hotel Jen Manila, aimed to provide the basis for developing the project’s Phase 2.

The project is a collaborative undertaking of the ASEAN-India Green Fund and the Southeast Asia Disaster Prevention Institute of University Kebangsaan Malaysia with 10 ASEAN member states namely, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to Dr. Ampai Harakunarak, assistant director-head of the environment section of the Socio-cultural Community Department of the ASEAN Secretariat, “the project aims to conduct a needs assessment and scoping study to identify the needs of ASEAN member states in terms of climate change and develop a regional ASEAN-India work programme and network on climate change adaptation.”

Dr. Juan M. Pulhin, faculty member at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources of UPLB, together with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), will implement the scoping study for the Philippines.

During the workshop, Albert Magalang of the DENR presented the results of the climate change needs and priorities in the Philippines while Dr. Pulhin presented the academic perspectives for climate change adaptation. Dr. Pulhin also co-moderated a session on plans in ASEAN climate change adaptation and networking.

Present in the workshop were Filipino delegates Atty. Jonas R. Leones, undersecretary for environment and international environment affairs of the DENR; Dr. Rodel D. Lasco, country coordinator of the World Agroforestry Centre; and Dr. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, executive director of Project NOAH and a geology professor at UP Diliman.

Dr. Joy Jacqueline Pereira, ASEAN project coordinator, and Prof. N.H. Ravindranath of the Centre for Sustainable Technologies of the Indian Institute of Science, served as workshop conveners.

The workshop was co-organized by UPLB through the Interdisciplinary Study Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (IdSC-INREM), UP Diliman through the National Institute of Geological Sciences, DENR through the Environmental Management Bureau, and the Asia Pacific Network for Global Change. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)


Mario Navasero, Scientist 1 at the Crop Protection Cluster of the College of Agriculture, was declared semi-finalist/regional winner in the 2015 Hero ang Public Servant Dangal ng Bayan Award of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) Region IV. Navasero was presented the award in ceremonies on Oct. 20 at the CSC Region IV office in Quezon City.

This is the second award Navasero received this year, the first being the UPLB Outstanding Researcher Award given during the Foundation Day celebration of UPLB on March 4.

Navasero, along with his colleagues, Marcela M. Navasero and Dr. Bonifacio F. Cayabyab, discovered an encrytid parasitoid, a safe alternative to the use of chemicals to control coconut scale insect (CSI). The encyrtid  parasitiod, which is CSI’s main biological control agent, functions by parasitizing the adult CSI, leading to its not non-reproduction and death.

He has also contributed information on other insect pests such as Brontispa, black army worm, and Spodoptera exempta. Navasero is also involved in the study of non-target organisms for Bt-eggplant. He evaluates and analyzes the risks and attests to the safety of a technology. The information he provides is one of the regulatory requirements in the registration and commercialization of the crop.

He is currently working with one of the biggest exporters of coconut products, helping maintain the organic status of the products by providing biological control solutions to manage pests of coconut in their production sites.

Navasero is a prolific writer and has been conducting original researches that have produced significant findings. He has produced 29 journal articles, three semi-technical papers, two manuals, nine leaflets, 25 papers, 47 posters presented at scientific conventions. He has received eight UP International Publication Awards for his papers that were published in ISI and Scopus-Indexed journals. He was conferred Scientist I rank under the Civil Service Commission in 2013. The Philippine Association of Entomologists awarded him the 2014 L.B. Uichanco Memorial Award as outstanding entomologist.

With Navasero during the awarding rites was Dr. Susan Calumpang, assistant vice chancellor for research and extension, who nominated him for the award.  (Maribeth C. Jadina)