UP Cebu stands firm on SRP expansion

SunStar Local News
SunStar Local News

THE Cebu Normal University (CNU) may have to look for another location as the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu reaffirms its commitment to develop its campus located at the South Road Properties.

CNU president Daniel Ariaso Sr. previously wrote a letter, dated Oct. 4, 2023, to UP Systems President Angelo Jimenez, requesting a part of 2.5 hectares of the UP Cebu’s South Road Properties (SRP) lot to house its new colleges.

Both UP Cebu and CNU are state-funded universities.

But UP Cebu, in a press statement on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, said it has not received any formal request from any university about its lot at SRP.

UP Cebu chancellor Leo Malagar, in the same press release, said the university has already made plans for its campus at SRP, adding it has a budget funded by the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2023 and 2024 and UP System funds.

Malagar, a lawyer, said UP Cebu is planning to put up additional academic buildings, an amphitheater for outdoor activities, a carillon tower, and a multi-purpose building that includes a dormitory.

“The SRP lot has been reserved for long-term projects that align with our vision for UP Cebu’s future and our contributions to Cebu’s development. Our plans are not made overnight but are the results of extensive planning and strategic funding allocations,” he said.

UP Cebu’s SRP campus occupies 5.1 hectares of the lot in the area.

When reached for comment on UP Cebu’s statement, a CNU official refused to provide a response.

CNU, in a letter dated May 20, 2024, relayed to Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia its earlier request for a 2.5-hectare lot donation at SRP.

CNU first made this request on Oct. 9, 2023, but Mayor Michael Rama told them to negotiate with UP. Rama is currently serving a six-month preventive suspension as ordered by the Ombudsman.

Initial talk

CNU, in its letter to Jimenez, said the request letter was about the initial talk of both universities during the Senate Committee Budget Hearing on Oct. 2, 2023, particularly about the UP Cebu’s SRP Campus.

“This has reference to our initial talk during the Senate Committee budget hearing... particularly about the University of the Philippines Cebu SRP Campus, which you indicated to convey or donate a portion thereof...” a part of Ariaso’s letter reads.

In an earlier report, CNU said it needs more land to house its new colleges and school buildings.

Ariaso said the existing CNU campus along Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City is accommodating 8,782 students across all curricular programs, which is the present 1.6-hectare lot along Osmeña Blvd.

He said the campus “could hardly meet the absorptive capacity prescribed under relevant issuances by the Commission on Higher Education and other regulatory bodies.”

Ariaso further said another reason for needing a bigger lot is that P120 million was given to CNU under the GAA of 2024 for the construction of a 21-story College of Medicine building. / CDF

[Editor's Note (06/20/2024): Corrections were made to a previous version of the story, which stated that Angelo Jimenez is the president of UP Diliman. He is, in fact, the president of the UP System.]

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