BUEMD Historical Background

The Bicol University Extension Management Division (BUEMD) began as the “social service station” of the University through the Public Affairs Office in 1970. It managed students' out-of-school activities and community services undertaken by faculty and administrative staff.  These activities were in the form of training programs, information campaign through publications, radio, agro-industrial exhibits, and staff support to various agencies.

In 1977, the BU Public Affairs Office was formerly institutionalized as BU Extension Service Center(BUESC). It had five major areas specific to public information, training for non-degree requirements, specialist support, action cum research, and extension which were all responsive to actual societal needs and requirements of the Bicol Region. In the seventies and eighties, the Center was the voice of Bicol University on information and agricultural development.  Farmers and rural folks benefited from the radio program dubbed as “University on the Air” which reached a significant majority of the region at five to six in the morning.  The program was hosted by Mr. Ramon Salire, the first BUESC Director.

The conduct of workshops and seminars, as well as short-term skills, was a popular mode of extension delivery.  Experts from different units of the University   were invited to discuss useful and simplified technologies in developing indigenous resources that can contribute to the improvement of socio-economic conditions of local communities.

During the nineties, the BUEMD became more visible in the University. The organizational structure was established, policies were instituted and extension components were enhanced in the action-cum-research, the publications, and the specialist's support services. One of the action-cum-research endeavors was the Bicol Integrated Rural Development (BIRD) Project designed to improve the socio-economic status of rural constituents and develop the community through self-help. Wider and enhanced communication with clienteles became possible with radio broadcast activities of the Info-Packaging Section. Newsletters and information materials on different technologies developed by the University formed part of the Center's information media (e.g. Extension News, Extension Journal, Impormasyong Pangkauswagan). To further enhance the production of print materials as well as to complement the regular budgetary allocation for Extension, the Copy Printing Project was established.   the publications, and the Specialist's Support Services. Additionally, the Center also took the lead in hosting national conventions related to extension.

In the late nineties, more responsive extension programs were established covering not just the Province of Albay but also Masbate and Sorsogon. Some of these programs were the Municipal Science and Technology Advisory Program (MSTAP), Barangay Integrated Development Approach for Nutrition Improvement (BIDANI), Consultancy   on   Agricultural   Productivity   Enhancement   Program (CAPE), and Linking for Education to Accelerate Literacy (LEAL).  BIDANI was recognized as an extension program of BU through BOR Resolution No. 20, series of 1998. At this time, the transfer of technology based on research findings was a concept that was given attention. Innovations like LEAL, aimed at promoting acceleration and equivalency-alternative learning was hailed as the “Best Literacy Implementer” in the Province of Sorsogon.

In recent times, climate change adaptation and disaster risk management were emphasized. The scope of extension functions widened to include communities with high vulnerability and risk to hazards.   Project implementations were done through partnerships with international agencies, like family disaster preparedness, disaster messaging and education, production of Bicol-translated posters on disaster risk reduction in selected barangays in Sorsogon through the World Food Programme; and localized Bicol-EDEN in disaster messaging and education through the Extension Disaster Education Network of the United States of America (US-EDEN), then later the Australian University of National Sovereignty in the promotion of global education.

Linkages with national agencies were also done. Extension activities for poverty alleviation in selected barangays of Guinobatan, Albay were supported by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), while increased farm productivity and extension agricultural trainings for agricultural enterprises were engaged by BUESC and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for a year in several areas in the Bicol Region.  Moreover, the Department of Health (DOH) Region V and LGUs, to ensure that every person, especially the depressed, deprived and underserved sectors of society will have access to quality health services, conducted grassroots planning to draw out problems and were presented through a Barangay Health Planning Workshop in Albay and Sorsogon. Also, Jollibee Group Foundation provided fund support for   school   lunch   feeding   in   selected municipalities of Albay which was participated by parents who also gained nutrition and health promotion information through seminars.  Sustainability strategy through partnerships with local stakeholders and other agencies were likewise done.

With the recent trends on multi-disciplinary involvement, the concept of “convergence” is being adopted and continuously encouraged among the different BU units/ colleges. This pertains to the engagement of experts on various technologies and information in a specific extension undertaking to provide a holistic approach in community development.   Some examples of extension undertakings where BU employees worked together include Conservation Farming Villages (Ligao City, Albay), Values-based Development Alternatives for the Welfare of the Needy (V-DAWN) and Risk-Sensitive Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), and the Bicol University Integrated Program for Sustainable Development of Local Watershed Communities, as spearheaded in selected barangays of Manito, Albay.

In 2016, BUESC was renamed to BU Extension Management Division  because of the creation of the Office of the Vice-President for Research, Development and Extension and the discipline-based  RD & E centers.  Some units were renamed to sections such as the Technical Review,Evaluation and Monitoring Support (TREMS), Continuing Education Management (CEM), Technology, Innovation and Information Dissemination (TIID) and the Coordination, Linkages and Other Support Services (CLOSS) with modified functions.

Linkages for skills- livelihood trainings, expanded regional partnerships and  natural resource conservation  were made possible with the Department of  Social Welfare and Development V, Tsokolate at Pandesal, Inc.,  Linking for Education to the Society thru   Extension and Research,  Aboitiz Inc, among others.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) emphasized that extension continues to be one of the mandates of a University in order to help improve the quality of life in the communities.  The Philippine Higher Education Roadmap 2014 likewise highlights the role of higher education institutions in poverty alleviation and serves as vehicles for technology-driven national development and global competitiveness of manpower or student exchanges.  The most recent is Industry 4.0 which integrates the University into the industrial system through global connection, networking and cooperation in  research  and technology  transfer.