At the heart of policy formulation, program development, process management and advocacy enhancement is RESEARCH. Recognizing that the value of research output is best defined by its impact to stakeholders, the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) represented by its President Dr. Milabel Enriquez-Ho, entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) on November 8, 2019 held at the RDEC Conference Room.
Through its institutional research entitled “Ethnobotany, Systematic Review and Field Mapping on Folkloric Medicinal Plants in Zamboanga Peninsula” led by the WMSU researchers Dr. Genelyn G. Madjos and Dr. Kay P. Ramos, three (3) Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICCs) forms part of the beneficiary of the Adopt-a-Community Program of WMSU, which aims to enhance quality research utilization for the Indigenous Peoples (IP). These are the (1) Yakans of Brgy. Maligue, Isabela City, Basilan; (2) Subanons of Brgy. Malayal, Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte; and (3) Bajau of Ayuda Bajau, Maasin, Zamboanga City. These were represented by the tribal chieftains, Hon. Juriya A. Hassim, Timuay William L. Mateo and Basaria J. Tahaji, respectively.
Dr. Chona Q. Sarmiento, Vice President for Research Extension Services and External Linkages (RESEL) gave her welcome remarks and emphasized the importance of external linkage with NCIP. Also, Dr. Reynante E. Autida, Director of the Research Development and Evaluation Center (RDEC) gave a report on the research utilization milestones of the University such as the ZamPen Native Chicken and the Technology Business Incubation (TBI). This encourages the tribal leaders to be part of it and discussions followed on extending the end-user engagement even beyond Zamboanga City.
Dr. Madjos, who oversees the Research Utilization, Publication and Information Dissemination (RUPID) and concurrent project leader, gave the rationale of entering into a MOA and emphasized that research should not end after data collection and analysis. It should also look into how can the institution and their personnel utilize research outputs that will produce lasting and efficient impact to the community. Also, the tribal leaders gave their feedback in grateful appreciation for being chosen as end users of some of the research findings that will be beneficial to their communities.
The event was also attended by WMSU officials namely: College of Law Dean Atty. Eduardo F. Sanson, Board Secretary Hon. Yolanda E. Alcala, Vice President for RESEL Dr. Chona Q. Sarmiento, RDEC Director Dr. Reynante E. Autida and the research project leader Dr. Genelyn G. Madjos. The NCIP representatives, being the third party, include the Officer-in-Charge of the NCIP-IX Zamboanga City Office Engr. George T. Jocutan and the Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Gibran Abubakar. The staff from RUPID and RDEC staff were also present during the event as this is one of the major core functions of the unit which is to empower stakeholder engagement. (Story by Dr. Genelyn G. Madjos, RUPID Coordinator)