The Master in Development Management (MDM) students on DM220: Change and Disaster Management of Pangasinan State University – Open University Systems (PSU-OUS) staged a free webinar for all entitled, “Strengthening Engagement in Building Community Resilience and Reshaping Sustainable Response in the New Normal” last February 5, 2022, via Zoom.

With the support of Pangasinan State University-San Carlos City Campus (PSU-SCC), the MDM students organizing committee was able to pull together, the highly calibrated speakers from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Education – Tarlac Province, Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO), and Public Employment Service Office of Provincial Government of Pangasinan.

Concerning the course, the MDM students organizing committee identified the theme of the webinar on disaster management – COVID-19 pandemic that focused on areas of Response, Tourism, Education, and Employment. These four areas are encapsulated into sessions featuring the top pick speakers from different institutions. These are the following:

Session 1: Global Plan for Covid 19: Exposure, Prevention, Preparedness Response & Recovery by Mr. Frankie Cortez of OCD;
Session 2: Revitalizing Strategies in the Tourism and Hospitality Industries in the New Normal by Ms. Monika Aliguas N. Labaupa of PTCAO-Pangasinan;
Session 3: Eliciting Stakeholders’ Engagement in Online Learning for Improved Outcomes by Dr. Lawrence M. Santiago of DepEd Tarlac; and
Session 4: Shifting Work Landscape and Navigating in the New Normal by Ms. Wilfreda A. Vicente of PESO-Pangasinan.

The program prepared by the MDM student organizing committee also included the PSU-OUS faculty to provide a general impression of the topic presented per session. This gave a new flavor to the webinar that provided an ambiance of a conversational way of processing and presenting the ideas. In session 1, Dr. Nova Flodeliz E. Arquillano (MDM Program Chairperson) said that the presented global and national plan against the COVID-19 will amplify community effort to win the battle against the deadly virus. Meanwhile, in session 2, Dr. Marie Claire Briones (Faculty member of PSU-OUS, and Campus Executive Director of PSU-SCC) highlighted her impression that five years are not enough for the Tourism Sector to recover from this pandemic. In session 3, Dr. Randy Joy M. Ventayen (Faculty member of PSU-OUS, and Campus Executive Director, PSU Lingayen Campus) applauded the presentation with his impression that PSU-OUS is already one step ahead since online modalities are implemented. In the final session, Dr. Evangeline O. Pescador, (Faculty member of PSU-OUS, and Focal Person of Internal Audit System Office of PSU) congratulated the PESO-Pangasinan with all the programs implemented amidst the pandemic.

The welcome remarks of Dr. Phillip G. Queroda (PSU-OUS Executive Director) emphasized learning in the hard times – that even during the pandemic, being productive is necessary; learning must always find its way. While Dr. Romary R. Lincod (PSU-OUS Deputy Director for Administration, Planning, and Quality Assurance, and EdD Program Adviser) synthesized the webinar with her ideas that learning during this pandemic is still possible, and the MDM program, along with various programs of PSU-OUS (MS Fisheries, MAEd, and EdD) are avenues to strengthen the collaboration skills of students.

After the Webinar, the MDM student organizing committee with the DM220 adviser, Dr. Marmie R. Poquiz evaluated the activities and it was found out that there is 70% turnout rate from the registered participants. According to Dr. Poquiz, the webinar will be recommended as extension services by the PSU-OUS and PSU-SCC. “I congratulate the whole class for the successful conduct of the webinar”, she added during the closing of the evaluation activity of the webinar.

The participants on the actual webinar reached 174 via Zoom and 146 via Facebook livestreaming. These participants accounted are mostly from Pangasinan and Tarlac, there are also participants from Visayas and Mindanao that have been recorded particularly from higher education institutions. As of this writing, the recorded video of the webinar is now at 5,000 views.

PSU-OUS continues to provide avenues for learning in response to the changing environment which involves the use of Webinars while ensuring that said learning avenues are suitable to the needs of stakeholders.