New UP campus to rise in Clark Green City
MANILA, Phiippines – A new University of the Philippines (UP) campus could soon rise in Central Luzon in the heart of a lush green urban landscape, if all goes according to plan.
On Tuesday, August 18, UP and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) announced plans to establish a global campus in Clark Green City. The move comes as the nation's premier state university struggles to meet student and faculty demands to improve facilities like dormitories and classrooms.
The memorandum of agreement, which was signed last week in UP Diliman, aims to build a UP campus in the planned Clark Green City. This project is part of a larger plan to develop the Innovative and Academic District in order to turn the area into “the brain capital of the Philippines.”
The total size of Clark Green City is 9450 hectares and is described as “the first smart, disaster-resilient and green city in the Philippines.” Other areas of the development include a financial centre, retail plaza, industrial park, and workers housing.
For Arnel Casanova, President and CEO of BCDA, UP’s expansion to Clark Green City is part of the commitment between BCDA and UP to “achieve [UP’s] vision of social transformation through education.” He says, “For every creative and innovative mind that our country could produce, UP must be able to provide the opportunity for them. The UP Clark Green City will make this happen.”
As part of the agreement, UP will get 70 hectares to build “an academic and research campus of the UP system.” The state university will have use of the land for fifty years, which can be renewed for another fifty in the future.
As planning and development of the Clark Green City gets underway, the next major obstacle UP needs to hurdle is: who will pay for the construction of the new campus?
The UP system annually struggles to secure 100% of its requested congressional budget, despite getting a significant portion of the education funding pie.
In a statement released by BCDA, UP said it has the funding to begin the initial stages of the project. UP President Alfredo Pascual is set to present the plans of the campus to the BCDA. The two institutions expect to break ground by the first quarter of 2016.
Casanova believes that UP is up to the task: “We are confident in UP to develop the property in record time because not only does it have the appropriate funds, it also has the best and brightest people to make it happen.” - Rappler.com
Bea Orante is a Rappler Intern
Editor's note: The headline previously stated the location of the UP Campus would be in Pampanga. We apologize for the error.