April 28, 2008 CEBU CITY, Philippines – President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Tuesday signed into law the University of the Philippines (UP) Charter of 2008, giving the country’s premier learning institution “the enhanced capability to fulfill its mission and spread the benefits of knowledge.”
Republic Act 9500 recognizes the importance of instilling “new ways of thinking” on students which they will use to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, the President said.
“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.
The UP Charter of 2008:
• Declares UP as a national university that should perform its unique and distinctive leadership in higher education and learning in higher education and development;
• Recognizes UP as a university system and acknowledges the role of the chancellors as administrative leaders, and of the university council as the highest policy governing body in each constituent university;
• Exempts UP employees from the Salary Standardization Law;
• Gives UP 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 student’s democratic access, strengthens the University’s administration through the board of regents and upholds academic freedom,” Mrs. Arroyo said in a speech in the university’s campus here.
The new Charter provides “for the allocation of P500 million to the University of the Philippines to be released over five years.”
The fund would augment the annual budget allocated for UP to develop studies in engineering, research and development, the President said.
Mrs. Arroyo said that with the new Charter, another UP’s 100 year tradition of “producing the best minds is ensured.”
“With UP as the National University, the primus inter pares among state universities in our country, the leader in academic standards, and the primary seat for advanced studies, research and advancement of intellectual thought, this law ensures the hundred-year tradition of producing the best minds,” Mrs. Arroyo said.
“With this law, may the minds produced by UP become modern-day exemplars of the famed Oblation, that enduring symbol of the University’s offering of itself to the Filipino people,” she added.
Joining the President during the signing of the Charter were Senators Francis Pangilinan, Edgardo Angara, Miguel Zubiri, and congressmen led by House Speaker Prospero Nograles, Deputy Speaker Raul del Mar, Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz and Rep. Jesus Remulla.
UP officials led by its president, Emerlinda Roman, and Commission on Higher Education chairman and Board of Regents chairman Romulo Neri were also present at the ceremony.