The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) organized the “Cultivating Accessible and Inclusive Education: Disability Awareness Seminar” on 18 May 2018 at the Audio Visual Room, UPOU Headquarters, Los Banos, Laguna. The seminar is part of @cessUP, one of UPOU’s flagship programs, and part of UPOU’s thrust towards Universal Accessibility.

Public service is one of UP’s key responsibilities as the national university. But the actual performance of public service is one thing, while the act of co­ordinating, harmonizing, and standardizing public service initiatives among eight constituent units in 21 campuses is another feat altogether. This is where the Padayon Public Service Office (Padayon) enters the scene. Padayon is a Visayan word that means “to do promptly, and unceasingly”—an apt description of how UP must tirelessly and relentlessly serve the people.

These lofty goals will not be realized without an office at the UP System level to centralize efforts to monitor programs, provide technical assistance, and recommend policies to respond to the needs of UP’s various publics when it comes to volunteerism, community engage­ment, and sustainable development.

Padayon, a Visayan word which means “to do promptly, hastily, unceasingly” as planned and as worked out (Abuyen Dictionary, 2005) describes aptly the new character of UP Padayon as an of­fice that responds quickly and proactively to the problems and challenges of a university and a society caught in the midst of climatic and radical changes in the environment and everyday life.

In Bahasa Sug (Taosug), “dayong” refers to a big paddle for rowing big boats. As a noun infinitive, “pagdayong” means a collective effort of row­ing, moving or propelling a big boat towards the same direction. Given the various volunteer groups, extension specialists, cultural workers and public servants of eight constituent universi­ties, the UP Padayon System Office shall steer all efforts, initiatives and responses across CUs toward public service for the Filipino nation. Padayon!

The Summit on Transforming UP into a Nurturing and Healthy University on April 19 and 20, 2018 at the UP Professional Schools Bonifacio Global City, Taguig brought together UP System and officials of constituent universities (CUs); staff of the Offices of Student Affairs, Gender, Guidance and Counseling; and psychosocial health experts to discuss a framework for psychosocial health in the University and work on action plans for the CUs.

UP President Danilo Concepcion fast-tracked the holding of the summit, through the Padayon Public Service Office under the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs.

The forum, subtitled “A Discussion on Building Resilience and Nurturing Hope”, also featured a presentation on University offices and organizations with mental health initiatives. The forum was co-organized by the Padayon Public Service Office as part of its advocacy on emotional resilience. The office will hold the “Summit on Transforming UP into a Healthy and Nurturing University” on April 19 and 20, 2018 at the UP Professional Schools-Bonifacio Global City. The first such summit, to include UP’s eight chancellors, it will constitute a technical working group to work on a framework and action plan for System-wide initiatives to address mental health and psychosocial issues in the University.