Photo by: LB Times
OSH inaugurates MAREHA Learning Hub

The Office of Student Housing (OSH) of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA) launched the Makiling Residence Hall (MAREHA) Learning Hub on January 23, 2024, to provide a more convenient and comfortable learning space, especially for students living in the upper or Forestry campus.

The MAREHA Learning Hub was established with funding from the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in New York (UPAA-NY), recipient of the 2016 UPAA Most Outstanding Alumni Chapter Award. UPAA-NY is led by its president, Dr. Carmencita Fulgado.

UPAA-NY donated USD 4,200 and carried out the project through the Student Housing Office of OVCSA. The project is in keeping with UPAA-NY’s commitment to giving back to the university through its Student Development and Progress (SDP) Project. It also aligns with the UPAA-NY’s Specific, Meaningful, Answer Relating to a Timely Need (SMART) Project. 

Former UP President Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman, who represented UPAA-NY at the inauguration program, thanked the alumni and encouraged UPLB to sustain and nurture its relationship with them.

“All you need to do is tell them (alumni) what you need. They may not have millions, or pesos, and dollars to donate for themselves. Still, I think they are well-placed to connect us with those who can financially help our dear alma mater, the University of the Philippines,” Dr. Roman highlighted.

She added that her presence at the event marks the fact that the project is for the students as the primary stakeholder of the Learning Hub, a project that puts forward academic achievement.

“This is a project for you students because you are our most important customers in the university. It’s easy to get a donation, but the more important challenge is sustaining what has been given to us. I trust, knowing you and how inspiring you are, it is in good hands,” Dr. Roman said.

UPLB Chancellor Dr. Jose V. Camacho Jr. also spoke at the event, noting the students’ struggles in terms of their mobility and accessibility to facilities. 

He promised that the administration would continue to lobby for collaborators and benefactors to benefit intended recipients. 

As a token of gratitude and to honor the UPAA-NY, Chancellor Camacho presented to Dr. Roman a Kyoto Arashiyama painting by Dr. Josette Biyo, director of the Science Education Institution of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-SEI).

Dr. Janette H. Malata-Silva, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, thanked those who contributed to fulfilling the initiative. She noted the importance of a conducive learning space for students, especially those residing in the forestry dormitories.

In his closing remarks, Dr. Marc Immanuel G. Isip, OSH Director, highlighted the MAREHA Learning Hub as a collective endeavor of the UPAA-NY and OSH. 

He recognized the role of OSH staff, its skilled workers who refurbished the entire place, and the housekeeping and ground personnel in helping realize what it envisioned for the facility. He also reminded the students to maintain and improve the area.

“I would also like to close this message by addressing the students kasi ginawa namin ito for you. We hope na magkaroon kayo ng effort to really take this as a second home,” Dr. Isip concluded.

Mark Lester S. Saguinsin, president of the UPLB Alliance of Dormitory Associations (ADA), read a statement of gratitude for the project. He vowed that the ADA would include the maintenance of the facility in its general plan of action.

Also in attendance at the inaugural program were Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Robert P. Cereno, Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development Rossana Marie C. Amongo, College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR) Dean Marlo D. Mendoza, CFNR Associate Dean Analyn L. Codilan, and Office of Public Relations (OPR) Director Mark Lester M. Chico.
Also in attendance were Marcelina C. Miranda, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Student Activities Director, and Coordinator for Research, Communication, and Information Technology; Ariel L. Babierra, Director for Scholarships and Grants; and Gonzalo H. Amante Jr., Officer in Charge of the Learning Resource Center and Head for International Student Relations, along with members of the OSH staff and some dormitory residents. (Ruejelle Cabral, Genevieve Bernardo Cedillo, and Marc Immanuel G. Isip)

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