New UP charter assured of P500-m subsidy

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — PRESIDENT Arroyo yesterday signed into law the new charter of the University of the Philippines, giving the country’s premier learning institution greater fiscal autonomy.

Mrs. Arroyo said the new law allots P500 million for UP as part of efforts to enhance its capability to fulfill its mission and spread the benefits of knowledge to the people.

“Strengthening the UP charter now is timely not only because the university turns a hundred years old this year but also because new challenges in the 21st century call for new ways of thinking and new approaches to modern situations,” the President said in her speech at the UP campus in Cebu.

The new law declares UP as a national university and as such should perform its unique and distinctive leadership in higher education and development.

The new charter exempts UP employees from the Salary Standardization Law, giving the university more flexibility in the development of its assets, and “affirms the use of democratic access and governance.”

“All of these are meant to provide institutional autonomy and by doing so, the UP charter protects students’ democratic access, strengthens the university’s administration through the board of regents and upholds academic freedom,” the President said.

The new charter provides for the allocation of P500 million to the university with the amount to be released over five years.

This extra funding, the President pointed out, would augment the yearly budget allocated for the university to further develop studies in engineering, research and development.