A ray of sunshine for UP professors’ research projects | Inquirer News

A ray of sunshine for UP professors’ research projects

SUN LIFE’S Ma. Karenina Casas, Alexander Narciso and Rizalina Mantaring, UP’s Alfredo Pascual and Diliman chancellor Caesar Saloma, and Sun Life Foundation’s Joub Miradora

For “shaping minds that shape the nation,” professors of the University of the Philippines (UP) deserve more than recognition.

Believing that a grant to finance their researches and other academic activities can go a long way, Sun Life Financial-Philippines Inc. donated more than P2 million to UP Foundation  Inc.


Earnings generated by the fund will be used to assist professors in their researches or other academic work.


But for the first two years of the program, UP received P160,000 since it would take three years for the money to grow, explained Sun Life Foundation executive director Joub Miradora.

The award will be rotated among professors from the UP Institute of Mathematics and School of Statistics. Every year, a professor will be given the grant and recognition.

“When you help a teacher, you help generations of students,” Rizalina Mantaring, president and chief executive officer of Sun Life, said.

Investing in mathematics and statistics professors would yield better graduates, who might join the “numbers-oriented” insurance industry, Mantaring said during the signing of agreement and hand-over of the company’s donation in UP Diliman, Quezon City.

Mantaring added that there was a big lack of qualified actuaries and analysts needed by the industry.

UP president Alfredo Pascual, in accepting the gift, said, “This type of donation is most welcome. As a public university, we are covered by the salary standardization law. So there is a limit [to what] we can compensate our faculty members.”


The university has yet to identify the recipient of the research grant this school year, although Pascual said there were already candidates.

“We never run out of candidates. There are more deserving faculty members than available awards,” said Pascual, who used to be a finance professor at Asian Institute of Management.

According to the deed of donation, grant recipients in the first two years of the program should come from the Institute of Mathematics. A professor from the School of Statistics will receive the grant on the third year and so on.

The university will be selecting the awardees. “We have full trust in UP,” Miradora said.

When asked about the criteria for selecting awardees, Pascual said “the grantee should have an excellent record in teaching … probably a tenured professor and somebody who can give justice to the award.”

UP is the first state university to receive a donation for the establishment of a professorial chair.

For more than a decade, Sun Life has been providing scholarships to underprivileged students at UP, University of San Carlos in Cebu, Central Mindanao State University in Bukidnon and Mindanao State University in Lanao del Sur.

Miradora said that in one of their meetings, somebody had raised the question: “How about the teachers?”

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This led to the creation of the Sun Life Brilliance Award.

TAGS: donation, Learning, professors

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