BENGUET State University-Office of Extension Services (OES) during the conducted 1st University Extension Coordinators Meeting of the year, on March 8, 2018 at College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Little Theatre.
Alluyon or bayanihan in Tagalog, is a Kankanaey term to refer to mutual labor exchange, a practice that is still actively being practiced in many of the Cordillera communities. Alluyon as a cultural frame has been adopted by the university to carry the same spirit, but this time emphasizing on “volunteerism.”
While extension in general is in the form of volunteerism, having the term alluyon both as a program and a strategy, will put together all extension activities more coordinated and defined.
During the university-wide meeting of extension coordinators, review and discussions on the nature of “extension” activities explored on other cultural concepts as well as allowed the participants to assess previous extension engagements.
Having exhausted the discussions, the extension director with the extension coordinator of the College of Forestry to forward the cultural practice of alluyon to describe the ongoing practice in the University of exchanging technical expertise with community indigenous knowledge resources in specific engagements.
This was unanimously agreed by the nine (9) extension coordinators from the different Colleges.
Alluyon, if seen in the present day farming system, remains a collective mutual labor exchange, in response to labor shortage, thus ensuring availability of labor during specific farm activities such as harvest time. This is conducted in the context of “mutually helping each other” to save on time which is very important in cash crop farming communities.
Alluyon invokes the spirit of “cooperative work” so that today, it is also being mobilized to pool seeds together or volunteer work during disaster and post disaster situation.
Having said this, with the different extension coordinators from the different academic units coming together, the meeting also provided updates on the extension activities of the university including ISO forms that are being proposed for use in any extension engagements. This is to “standardize” documentation and operation of the University.
The meeting also aimed to level off on the University Extension agenda as well as to deliberate on new extension directions, to include the adoption of the alluyon, or mutual labor exchange.
Using the Filipino bayanihan, in this case the concept of alluyon as a cultural practice, this has the aim of framing explicitly the commitment to “volunteer service” both as a strategy and a component of the University extension program.
As outlined by Ruth Batani, the new director of the Office of the University Extension Services, alluyon will be an innovation to the ongoing extension efforts of skills and knowledge sharing contextualized in the present day engagements.
Aside from the seven point agenda called “HERALDS” (Holistic entrepreneurship, Education & information trading, Responsive technology, Advocacy, Linkage, Delivery and Social resiliency) and the Technology Innovation Menu or TIM-BSU that focuses on techno-transfer to clientele communities, alluyon will cover the voluntary extension activities of the University.
While the four divisions under the OES organizational structure, namely; Training and Outreach Division, Technology Diffusion and Commercialization Division, Technology Packaging and Information Dissemination Division, and Monitoring and Evaluation Division, carry the assumption of “volunteer service” by explicitly including alluyon both as a strategy and a distinct component, this will ensure a much more coordinated and spelled out commitment to ëvolunteer service.í
In BSU as an academic institution, alluyon is once again being invoked to express commitment for voluntary work in the communities it is serving.