UP Visayas Cebu College – Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA) today signed into law Republic Act 9500, entitled “An Act to Strengthen the University of the Philippines as the National University”, also known as the New UP Charter of 2008.
The event marked triumph for UP’s 16-year struggle to have Act 1870 (or the University Charter of 1908) revised in consideration of its being outdated and obsolete in light of today’s developments in the University System.
RA 9500 honors UP with the title “National University”, setting it as, in PGMA’s own words – the Primus Inter Pares among Philippine State Universities. It effectively recognizes UP as a University System, while also democratizing its highest governing body – the Board of Regents (BOR) – by the inclusion of an Administrative Staff Regent among its members.
Furthermore, the New UP Charter effectively exempts UP’s Professors and Staff from the Salary Standardization Law, which will allow the BOR to craft more competitive compensation plans for UP’s underpaid, overworked, but highly dedicated and motivated faculty and personnel. This provision is only one of several new features in the updated law, that seeks to restore the University to its premier place among Asia’s – and even the World’s best academic institutions.
In the photo above are former UP Manila USC Chair Albert Francis E. Domingo ’04, Senator Francis N. Pangilinan ’81, and incumbent UP Diliman Centennial USC Chair Herminio C. Bagro III ’02 at the Signing Ceremonies in UP Visayas Cebu College. They all played significant roles in the passage of RA 9500 – Senator Pangilinan was the then Senate Bill’s primary sponsor and advocate, while Domingo and Bagro consulted student groups in their own campuses and attended Congressional hearings on the matter. Michel Kristian R. Ablan ’00 also played an active role as chairperson of the UP Diliman USC in AY 2004-2005.