By Jenin Velasquez
Despite the gloomy weather, the university administration found reason to commemorate its 101st foundation on June 18 with the approval of the Salary Standardization Law III and the inauguration of heritage museum Bulwagan ng Dangal.
Salary Standardization Law III
After opening the system-wide anniversary with a flag-raising ceremony in Quezon Hall, Diliman campus chancellor Sergio Cao announced the inclusion of UP teachers to the recently-approved Salary Standardization Law III.
Signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on June 17, the Salary Standardization Law III, or Congressional Joint Resolution Number 4, sought to “upgrade the public elementary and secondary school teachers as well as government nurses´ positions in recognition of their technical and intellectual demands of their work,” according to the Office of the President website.
The joint resolution also sought to modify the weaknesses in the compensation and position classification system of the government, as well as its uniformed personnel’s base salary.
Cao said president Emerlinda Roman pushed for the inclusion of UP teachers in the executive order, which will increase salaries by an average of 50 percent over the next four years.
“Perhaps, this salary increase due to SSL III will not be as great as we hoped, but it is nice to think that little by little our dream for a higher income will be fulfilled,” Cao said.
In an interview with Tinig ng Plaridel, Cao mentioned his plans for the improvement of the campus, “Regarding physical infrastructure, we’re fixing the roads and the traffic aside from repainting the buildings last year to make it look better. There’s also the aspect of faculty and staff development, where in the next few years, we’re fixing the incentives, professorial chairs, and research grants.”
The chancellor added that there were planned projects for four student dormitories along Jacinto St. and a new dorm in Kalayaan Residence Hall.
Bulwagan ng Dangal
Ending the day’s celebrations was the inauguration of the university heritage museum, Bulwagan ng Dangal, with the inclusion of works from eight National Artists for the Visual Arts.
Taking its name from a line in the university hymn, the museum presented selected pieces from the University Art Collection, which counted more than 1,000 works scattered over the seven constituent campuses of the UP System.
The opening exhibition entitled, “Pag-asa ng Bayan” featured a collection by National Artists Napoleon Abueva, Fernando Amorsolo, Benedicto Cabrera, Abdulmari Asia Imao, José Joya, Vicente Manansala and Hernando Ocampo, and other UP alumni-artists.
“The current exhibition underscores the rich base where the University Art Collection stands when viewed according to certain determinants, breathing into the collection a sense of the expansive where aesthetic forms and content are brought to fore,” according to project co-curator Rubén Defeo in the exhibit´s accompanying brochure.