Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Nazario A. Pidlaoan: Pioneer Dean of UP College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences

By Melchor F. Cichon
Otolith, July-September 1997, p. 11

The first dean of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of the Philippines in the Visayas was Prof. Nazario A. Pidlaoan, a fishery technologist, chemist and a dedicated fishery professor.

From his curriculum vitae, I learned that this gentleman had done a lot in the development of fisheries education in the Philippines particularly that of the UP College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

Pidlaoan was born in San Carlos, Pangasinan on April 5, 1905. He finished his Bachelor of Agriculture and a Bachelor of Sciences in Agriculture degrees in the UP College of Agriculture in 1929 and 1933, respectively. Immediately after graduation, Pidlaoan worked as an instructor and researcher at his alma mater from 1929 to 1933. After World War II, the Division of Soil Survey, Department of Agriculture and Commerce hired him as soil biologist. He stayed there from 1946 to August 1947 when he transferred to the Philippine Institute of Fisheries Technology (PIFT), Bureau of Fisheries, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources as Chief Chemist. At that time, PIFT was located at Port Area, Manila.

He must have been an outstanding administrator because the following year, 1948, he was appointed as Superintendent of PIFT. He held this position until 1957 when the PIFT was transferred to the University of the Philippines in January 1957 by virtue of the Reorganization Act of 1957 (RA 997).

On April 10, 1958, the UP board of Regents reorganized PIFT and it became the UP College of Fisheries, now the UPV College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. But the new UP academic granting unit remained in Port Area, Manila until 1962. Again because of his excellent performance as head of PIFT, Pidlaoan was appointed by the Board of regents as first Director of the College of Fisheries effective April 11, 1958 to June 30, 1965. Since the College was expanding, the position of the head of the College was changed from director to dean in 1966. Pidlaoan was appointed dean from July 11, 1969 to April 11, 1970. This made him the first dean of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

It was during his term as dean when the College started offering major courses in the Bachelor of Science in Fisheries. The existing Certificate in Fisheries curriculum programs were slowly being phased out. Also, it was during his term that the College acquired from Japan the M/V Pampano, a research and training vessel thru the Philippine reparation Commissions. The turnover of the vessel to the College was on February 9, 1962.

In 1962, the College was transferred from Port area, Manila to its new building at Albert Hall, Diliman, Quezon City. The building was named after the acting UP President and Chairman of the UP Board of Regents, Alejandro Albert. The College stayed there until May 1988 when it moved to its larger and scenic campus at the UP Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo.

It was also during Pidlaoan’s term that the Institute of Fisheries Development and Research (IFDR) was established thru Republic Act 4514 which was signed into law by pres. Diosdado Macapagal on June 19, 1965. IFDR served as the research and extension arm of the College.
As a researcher, Pidlaoan focused on nutrition and fisheries education. Some of his works include “Nutritive Value of Fishes”, 1952; “Fisheries Education in the Philippines”, 1962; “quality Assessment of Fish and Fishery Products,” 1965.

Pidlaoan’s thesis at the College of Fisheries, University of Washington, U.S.A. is entitled “The Vitamin A Potency of the Liver Oil and Oil Yield in the Ratfish of Puget Sound and the Relationship of these Factors to Sex of the Fish.”

He also did a study on the artificial propagation of milkfish (Chanos chanos) in 1963-1964. The National Science and Development Board and the College of Fisheries funded it.

Other than being a member of various learned organizations and honor societies, Pidlaoan also attended several international scientific conferences.

It cannot be denied that Pidlaoan played a critical role in moulding the present and future structures of the UPV College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Thus, though he no longer lives, his legacy remains. His achievements as a leader will continue to inspire the present and future leadership of the College.