Growing Futures: Groundbreaking Ceremony for the College of Agriculture Academic Building at MSU-Maguindanao
#MSUMag | The groundbreaking ceremony for the upgrading of the College of Agriculture Academic Building worth Php 66 million pesos in conjunction with “Pistang Sakahan 2023,” was graced by Chancellor Bai Hejira Nefertiti M. Limbona, PhD, and MAFAR-BARMM Minister Mohammad S. Yacob, represented by Hon. Pendatun S. Patarasa, MPA, Director General for Fisheries Services. The event took place on December 21, 2023, College of Agriculture, MSU-Maguindanao Campus.
The proposed upgrading of the College of Agriculture academic building at MSU-Maguindanao is driven by the university’s vision to become a premier innovative center in the region. It aims to include enhancing facilities with state-of-the-art classrooms and labs and incorporating environmental resilience while facilitating the efficient delivery of quality education. Anticipating increased enrollment, the upgraded building aims to accommodate nearly 8,000 students, benefiting both students and faculty. The project aligns with the university’s commitment to the Build Better More program and positions MSU-Maguindanao as a leading institution in agricultural education and research.
In her welcome remarks, VCRE and concurrent Dean of Agriculture, Dr. Raquel Santiago-Arenas highlighted the College of Agriculture as one of MSU-Maguindanao’s flagship programs, commemorating its 50-year milestone during the annual celebration of Pistang Sakahan. Throughout this period, the College consistently produced agriculturists, engineers, and teachers crucial to the workforce of the Bangsamoro region and neighboring communities. Notably, in 2008, a topnotcher, Engr. Alen Declaro, ranked third in agricultural and biosystems engineering board examination. The groundbreaking ceremony for the 66-million-peso College of Agriculture Academic Building during Pistang Sakahan serves as both an inspiration and a challenge, emphasizing the remarkable growth of the college.
VCPD Dr. Arceli B. Naraga emphasized the university’s 50-year commitment to agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and community development. Under the leadership of Chancellor Limbona in 2021, the Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP) was formulated, focusing on quality education, modernizing university development initiatives, and upgrading infrastructure, especially the College of Agriculture Academic Building.
Chancellor Limbona celebrated the 66-million worth of the new academic building. She expressed gratitude to DBM Secretary for giving a green light on this academic building. Also, she acknowledged the dedication of the physical plant office, particularly Engr. Sula, in managing the College of Agriculture’s numerous proposals. Henceforth, she encouraged the students to view MSU-Maguindanao as a platform for self-improvement and stressed the importance of being better as students to meet employment demands. The speech concluded with appreciation for collaborative efforts and the belief that MSU-Maguindanao is comprised of individuals aiming to positively impact stakeholders.
Minister Mohammad Yacob, PhD, represented by Hon. Patarasa, expressed honor at the celebration of the grand Pistang Sakahan 2023 as well as the groundbreaking ceremony of the new academic building. He elucidated that the mandates of MAFAR-BARMM and its attached agencies in the region play a crucial role in promoting sustainable agri-fishery growth, equitable land distribution, and tenurial security in the Bangsamoro region. He believed in the commitment of MSU-Maguindanao to advance agriculture through teaching, research, extension, and community engagement. Further, he encouraged the students to enjoy the festivities, learn from each other, and strengthen Bangsa communities. The ministry extended congratulations to the hardworking Chancellor Limbona for the various accomplishments on the campus, from the groundbreaking ceremony for infrastructure to the increasing number of board passers, positioning the university among the top in the fisheries professionals’ board. It also highlighted MAFAR’s efforts to enhance basic services for agriculture, fisheries, and agrarian reform. Also, passers on the recent Licensure Examination for Agriculturist were recognized. Further, the faculty expressed their gratitude to Chancellor Limbona for providing them with a free review for the examination.
Present during the ceremonial signing were Engr. Jowie S. Lopez, Feed and Milling Manager at Arubial Pty Ltd in Condamine, Queensland, Australia; Engr. Garry N. Antonio, Sales Supervisor at Rainbird All Certified Equipment Trading Corporation; Salila E. Abdula, PhD, Branch Director of the Philrice-Midsayap Branch Station; Ms. Johannee Jamilla Tayuan-Lumapinit, DVM, President of Philippine Halal Manok Corporation; Mr. Elwyn I. Neri, Team Leader of Care Channels Inc.; Mr. Nasrudin A. Buisan, Director II at the Ministry of Science and Technology; Engr. Mokles P. Buisan, Training Specialist II at Agricultural Training Institute XII; Mr. Mark Grey F. Sorig, Field Technical Adviser at AGWAY Chemical Corporation; Mr. Alimudin C. Belon, College Professor from UPI Agricultural School; Ms. Judy F. Garciano, Technical and Sales Manager at Bohringer Ingelheim Animal Health Southern Mindanao; Mr. Norodin A. Simpal, College Instructor at Cotabato Foundation College of Science and Technology; and Mr. Nathaniel F. Feolog, TVL Coordinator at San Jose National High School, Banga, South Cotabato. From MSU-Maguindanao, representatives included VCPD Dr. Arceli B. Naraga, VCAA Dr. Marissa N. Parcon, VCAF Madame Angelita, faculty members from the College of Agriculture, staff, licensed agriculturists, and students.