by: Yvette Morales
MANILA – The UP Board of Regents (BOR) approved the guidelines of the UP Master Development Plan (UPMDP) yesterday at the Executive House.
The new land use policy aims to “develop the University’s real estate assets in a well-planned and organized manner,” as well as “guide the university in resource development and generation in accordance with its mandate.”
According to UP President Alfredo Pascual’s 2011-2017 Strategic Planning Framework, one of the initiatives to assure a financially stable university was to “formulate a system-wide master development plan,” with the objective of “proactively and systematically [develop] UP’s land assets.”
However, a protest welcomed the BOR decision, citing the absence of transparency and consultation, among others, as a reason for the decision to be against the law.
Student Regent Neill John Macuha said it was an issue that he, as well as Staff Regent Anna Razel L. Ramirez, raised during the 1299th BOR meeting.
“Insufficient pa kasi ang mga naganap na consultation if there is any,” Macuha said.
All UP Academic Employees Union President Ramon Guillermo raised issue on the lack of transparency, pointing out a provision in the UP Charter.
“Nakalagay sa RA 9500, Section 22 na kung may mga polisiya na ganyan, tulad ng master development plan, ay kailangang dumadaan sa transparent at demokratikong konsultasyon sa lahat, sa buong komunidad ng ating mga pamantasan,” Guillermo said.
Under the Master Development Planning Principles Section 1.15 or Campus Entrepreneurship, “establishment of academic-related companies on campus, educational offerings in the entrepreneurial space, University structures and institutions that support entrepreneurship, and markets created on or inspired by universities and campus constituents who also are entrepreneurs” are ways to explore the entrepreneurial opportunities of constituent units.
In 2006, the UP Administration approved the bid of Ayala Land Inc. to convert 37.5 hectares of UP Diliman’s idle land on the other side of Commonwealth Avenue into an information and technology hub. The UP Ayala Technohub was envisioned to encompass 10 buildings which will house businesses primarily engaged in information technology, as well as residential and tourism structures. -with reports from Bryan Ezra Gonzales