Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Teng's Corner

Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:30 am

UP in the 21st Century
Esnaen M. Catong
Ph.D. Student (CSSP), UP Diliman

At the outset, congratulations to President Emerlinda R. Roman and the other new leaders of the country's premier university!

Amidst crisis, the University of the Philippines has vibrantly proven herself in serving the nation and the people of Asia in the past several decades, and the rest is history. What role will the university play in 21st century and beyond will be more interesting to see.

The new university administration’s biggest challenge would be the upcoming centennial celebration considering the economic condition of the country. The university’s performance especially in the realm of research output, strength of faculty, state subsidy, et.al. will be gauged not only by the influential church-ruled academic institutions in the country but also by the fast-growing national universities in Asia.

In this light, let me emphasize that it is in the best interests of the Filipino people if the UP leadership will establish more linkages not only in the country's academic and research institutions but also in the Asia-Pacific Region, West Asia, and other parts of the world.

The leadership should be more pro-active in the promotion and advancement of engineering, science and technology research programs, and history and social sciences, as well as interdisciplinary studies using the inherent talents and human resource capabilities of the brilliant Filipinos here and abroad.

Let us seek the help and assistance of each and every Filipino scholar and of the U.P. alumni for many of them are eager to share. The concept of bayanihan and the spirit of belongingness should be promoted by the leadership for the members of the UP family and community to help the university in various ways.

In these difficult times, the OFW phenomenon should not be seen as a liability but a fair asset for national survival. The national leadership should support technical and health education so that our human resources will be equipped enough in facing the challenges brought about by the stiff competition in the labor market.

In this kind of situation, the university should push for a comprehensive yet affordable OFW re-integration program that includes health, education, and housing programs.

UP should spearhead in promoting peaceful co-existence between brothers and sisters regardless of beliefs, ethno-linguistic tribes, and political aspirations. Of course this can be attained if only our leaders in all institutions, government, non-government, and peoples' organizations, sectarian as well as non-sectarian, will lead by example.

UP as a prime institution of higher learning should lead the country in fostering a transparent mechanism for a corrupt-free society.

We should continue working hand in hand towards a highly educated society which does not sacrifice the socio-economic component of the nation. Let us maintain and enhance academic freedom, respect for human dignity, and religious tolerance in the UP academic community.

Finally, we should take care of the university's human resources. Our faculty and staff deserve reasonable salary, housing, and other benefits to uplift their morale. The retirees of the university should be accorded utmost honor and respect for they were instrumental in the being of the university. Above all, let us not forget the disadvantaged members of Philippine society… In so doing, the University of the Philippines will rise again.

Mabuhay ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas!