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By Dr. Rodrigo F. Ponce Jr.












A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing was held between St. Mary’s University (SMU), Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya and San Sebastian College- Recoletos, Manila (SSC-R) last December 2, 2019, 2:00 PM at SMU Board Room.

The signing was led by the SMU President, Dr. John Octavious S. Palina; Dr. Moises Alexander T. Asuncion, VP for Academic Affairs; Mrs. Veronica Acosta, VP for Finance and Treasurer; Rev. Fr. Philip A. Yu Jr., CICM, VP for Mission and Identity; Dr. Cesar T. Medulla, Jr, Director of Institutional Development and Quality Assurance Office; Dr. Dominga C. Valtoribio, Dean of Graduate Studies; Dr. Fe Yolanda G. Del Rosario, Director of Research Center; and Dr. Darein Don M. Acles, Director Lingkod Maria Community Development and Advocacy Center.

Administrators from SSC-R travelled for almost six (6) hours from Manila to Nueva Viscaya to attend the historical milestone for the collaboration between the CICM and OAR administered schools. The delegates from SSC-R Manila are Rev. Fr. Nemesio D. Tolentin, OAR, School President; Dr. Avelino S. deChavez, Dean of Graduate Studies; Dr. Rodrigo F. Ponce Jr, Director of Quality Assurance Office; Dr. Mario H. Maranan, Director of Research Center; Dr. Cristina N. Caluza, Program Chair of Hospitality and Tourism Management; Mrs. Mary Grace S. Depalubos, Program Staff of Sebastinian Community Development and Extension Office and Ms. Flordeliza I. Dolojan, Administrative Assistant of Graduate Studies.



During the ceremonial signing, Rev. Fr. Yu, Jr, CICM gave the opening prayer while Dr. Asuncion gave the welcome remarks and rationale of the event. The delegates from SMU were introduced by Dr. Medula while the SSC-R Manila delegates were introduced by Dr. Ponce. Inspirational Messages were rendered by the respective School Presidents of SMU and SSC-R Manila. It was followed by the Ceremonial MOU signing and the exchange of mementos/token of appreciation.

The MOU is designed to foster a friendly relationship through mutual cooperation in education, research, community extension and other development activities in the Undergraduate and Graduate Business programsofSSC-R and SMU.Specifically, the cooperation between the two institutions shall be accomplished in accordance with the guidelines in various ways which may include regular consultation on curriculum development; research collaboration specifically on exchange of researchers to conduct academic research, research publication and paper presentations, and organize research colloquia and research capability building seminars/workshops; Community extension and development on research collaboration on indigenous knowledge and culture, social services upliftment (missions, community products, etc.), educational services (crafting of modules on indigenous literature, etc.), and environmental advocacy; Exchange of written and published academic materials, educational information; Invitation to take part in academic meetings organized by our respective institutions; Exchange of faculty and students for the purpose of teaching and study;Cooperation in organizing and attending academic conferences, trainings, seminars, workshops, etc. on issues of mutual concern;Conduct of special short-term academic programs and projects; and Other cooperation as mutually agreed.


Prior to the ceremonial MOU signing, the Administrators from both schools conducted a meeting last November 12, 2019 at the CICM Provincial House, E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City. Regular communication through email messages were also done for consultations, finalization of the MOU and for other preparations.
After the MOU signing, the delegates had a short meeting by cluster to further formulate short and long-term plans. The formulated plans shall be mutually approved by the two institutions and be disseminated to the respective departments for implementation, monitoring and annual evaluation. The activity was ended with a photo-ops of the delegates, refreshments and a short tour at the SMU campus.