University of the Philippines Los Baños
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 11:03

CEM inaugurates the REDREC building


The structure at the corner of Harold Cuzner “Royal Palm” Avenue and Jose Capinpin St. has stirred curiosity because it looks different from other buildings in UPLB and took time to be occupied.

Called the Rural Economic Development-Renewable Energy Center (REDREC), the building was finally inaugurated on June 14 amid festivities to celebrate the 39th founding anniversary of the College of Economics and Management (CEM), which is going to be REDREC’s mother unit.

REDREC houses the new CEM library and auditorium and is designed as a green building with its large windows allowing in natural light and a wide roof ready for solar panels to be installed. It was inaugurated in the presence of Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, a UPLB alumnus, who made possible for government funds to be allocated and used to build the first phase of the structure.

In his message during the inauguration program, Sen. Zubiri, BS Agribusiness Management 1990, expressed belief that more support should be given to research and development, particularly to UPLB, and to agriculture and rural development. He also emphasized the importance of infrastructure and human resources development to further boost the University’s international ranking.

Zubiri shared that his legislations, many of which concern environmental protection, reflect on the things that he learned as a student in UPLB. He reiterated his willingness to help UPLB in modernizing its infrastructure. “I have five more years [in the Senate]. Use me as a tool for the budget. [Ipagawa] na nating lahat ang kailangan nating [ipagawa].”

Sen. Zubiri also urged CEM to teach students to become entrepreneurs. “Let us now move away from training our students [to become] employees of agribusiness firms. Let us now together train our students to become agri-entrepreneurs, nang sa ganoon, sila na ang magiging bagong small and medium enterprises, sila ang magiging mga bagong agribusiness corporations (this way, they shall emerge as the new small and medium enterprises, the new agribusiness corporations).”

Meanwhile, Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., who delivered the opening message during the program, expressed his hopes that REDREC will provide an enabling environment for research on renewable energy and rural economic development that will emphasize the importance of environment protection to agriculture and food security.

“Let us not lose sight of the bigger picture, that is, agricultural competitiveness and food security. These are not only goals to be pursued; we should also be mindful of the toll food production has on the environment. Thus food production and environmental protection must go hand in hand,” Chancellor Sanchez said.

A multi-stakeholder dialogue with members of farmers’ cooperatives was held during the celebration. This activity, which was still a part of the anniversary celebration of CEM, allowed participants to ask representatives of academe, government, and other institutions about cooperatives.

Present during the program were Dr. Portia G. Lapitan, vice chancellor for academic affairs; Dr. Isabelita M. Pabuayon, dean of CEM; Dr. Jose V. Camacho, dean of the Graduate School; Hon. Francis C. Laurel, UP Regent; and former deans of CEM, namely: Dr. Flordeliza A. Lantican, Dr. Salvador P. Catelo, and Dr. Liborio S. Cabanilla, executive director of the CEM Alumni Foundation, Inc.

REDREC was completed in three-phases, Phases II and III of which were funded by the UP System. A total of Php 35 million had been allotted to complete the building. (Jessa Jael S. Arana)