The Commission on Higher Education – Region II organized a webinar via zoom on September 18, 2020. The said convergence was endeavored in collaboration with St. Paul University Philippines (SPUP) and Isabela State University (ISU). It bannered the theme: “Strengthening the Research and Extension Capabilities of the Higher Education Institutions in Region 2″ and participated in by administrators, research and extension coordinators, and faculty members of the different HEIs in the region.

SPUP’s Community Extension Services were discussed by Sr. Merceditas Ang, SPC (University President). She presented the various community engagements of SPUP with the Indigenous People’s communities in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and the rural communities in the province of Cagayan. She highlighted that SPUP’s Community Extension Programs are project-based, driven by quality, plan, strategy, and team spirit. Accordingly, the extension programs of SPUP are based on data and are closely tied up with research which is integral to the processes and systems of the institution.

Along research-based extension program, Sr. Merceditas introduced the SPUP-CDC’s ChildProTECT Program as an offshoot of a research project. The Child Protection Towards Enabling Childhood Development and Community Transformation,” also known as “ChildProTECT” is implemented in the Province of Apayao, particularly, in the municipalities of Luna and Flora. It is geared towards child protection, enabling childhood development, and community transformation of the Indigenous Peoples’ communities (IP). The said extension project is undertaken both as a function and a mission of the University. SPUP is hopeful that through this project, the University will be able to contribute to the government’s thrust of poverty alleviation and improving the lives of the indigenous peoples.

Sr. Merceditas also presented SPUP’s relevant and responsive extension program by featuring the University’s endeavors in promoting health and well-being as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Development Center, working with ChilFund Philippines, initiated the “SPUP  Community Action Responding to Emergency Situation (SPUP CARES) program” as the University’s COVID-19 Response Intervention. Moreover, SPUP has also initiated and instituted programs, projects, activities and advocacies relevant to the implementation of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

SPUP’s project-based extension programs were also emphasized by Sr. Merceditas. She explained that the Community Extension Services forged partnerships with communities to address their need of service and the students’ need of learning through active engagement. Through this, the academic units of SPUP are able to serve the community and integrate students’ learning to their particular academic discipline.

In 2019, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recognized the contribution of  SPUP  in uplifting the quality of life of peoples in the community particularly in helping the poor and marginalized sectors by conferring to the University’s Community Development Center the award for Best Non-Government Organization (NGO) in Luzon.

Sr. Merceditas capped her presentation on SPUP’s Extension Services with the acronym P.R.A.Y. This stands for the University’s continuing efforts to serve communities through its extension programs. P stands for People-oriented, Project-based, Process and System; R for Relevant, Responsive, Research and Innovation; A for Active, Adoptive, Assessment and Evaluation; and, Y for Yearlong and Developmental.