EDUCATION Secretary Raul S. Roco paid tribute to the teaching profession during the annual Dangal ng UST Awards last Aug. 28 at the UST Medicine Cinematorium. The awards honored 86 teachers for their outstanding performance and loyal service to the University.

“Being a Filipino teacher requires more fortitude than teaching in other lands. To convert law into an internal value, to convert values into actuality — in biblical terms, to convert the word into flesh ¯ that is a teacher’s job,” Roco said.

Meanwhile, Rector Fr. Tamerlane Lana challenged the teachers to be involved in social issues. If there is a need to take to the streets and rise up against corruption as what happened last January, the academe should do so and help the Church in bringing hope to society, he added.

“I insist that the civilized society could not afford to dispense your role in teaching the ABC’s of truth, love, goodness, and beauty to young people,” Lana said.

The University, together with the UST Faculty Union, gave 77 Service Awards to teachers who served UST for 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years.

Meanwhile, six teachers received the Gawad Santo Tomas for outstanding teaching. Three teachers were awarded the Gawad Santo Domingo for their inventions, theses, dissertations, and published works.

According to USTFU President Dr. Gil Gamilla the awards were the “institutionalization of the Union and the (UST) Administration’s commitment to (help its) teachers.”

Gamilla said the performances of teachers are adversely affected by the high taxes imposed on their meager salaries.

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“Government taxation of educational benefits that the University extends to (its) faculty and their children have great economic consequences for most of our teachers. Undoubtedly, this does affect our teaching performance,” Gamilla said.

Three categories of the Gawad Santo Tomas were given this year: Outstanding Teacher, Outstanding Researcher, and Outstanding in Community Service. Best Published Research Work, Best Invention, and Best Book were the categories under the Gawad Santo Domingo.

Among the honorees were former College of Architecture Dean Luis Ferrer, 20; Nursing Dean Glenda Vargas, 25; Faculty of Arts and Letters Prof. and Unesco Commissioner Jose David Lapuz, 30 years; Institute of Religion Prof. Anna Marie Ocampo and Pharmacy Prof. Clara Sanchez, 40 years. Dr. Florentino Hornedo from the Graduate School was among those named as special honorees.

The honorees for Gawad Santo Tomas for Outstanding Performance in the Outstanding Teacher category included Prof. Roann Ramos from the College of Science, Prof. Rouena Villarama from the College of Nursing, Prof. Giovanna Fontanilla from the College of Education, and Dean Rosalinda Solevilla from the College of Pharmacy. College of Science Dean Gloria Bernas received the Outstanding Researcher award, while Dr. Mary Chua from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery was awarded Outstanding in Community Service.

Meanwhile, Gawad Santo Domingo awardees included Dr. Maribel Nonato from the College of Science for Best Published Research Work, Dr. Reynaldo Javate from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery for Best Invention, and Prof. Ernesto Pineda from the College of Civil Law for Best Book.

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During her speech, Solevilla expressed the gratitude of the honorees and emphasized the teacher’s role in society.

“Ang isang guro ay walang kamatayan. Walang makakapagsasabi kung kailan at hanggang saan titigil ang kanilang impluwensya,” Solevilla said. Maria Pacita C. Joson

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