Ateneo de Manila University

After campus uproar, Ateneo suspends car park renovation

Iya Gozum

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After campus uproar, Ateneo suspends car park renovation

ATENEO CAMPUS. The walkway in front of Matteo Ricci Hall of Ateneo de Manila University's Rizal Library pictured on February 17, 2023.

Michelle Abad/Rappler

Ateneo president Father Roberto Yap apologizes for the lack of consultation with the community regarding the renovation project

MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) suspended its plan to upgrade and improve the North Carpark inside the campus after at least 800 members of the community rejected the project.

On Thursday, January 11, ADMU president Father Roberto Yap, released a memo announcing the suspension pending consultation with the community.

Yap invited members of the community to a meeting on January 31 envisioned to help them “move forward with forbearance, trust, and care for the common good and our common home.”

“With this forthcoming forum, the North Carpark Upgrade project has been suspended effective 10 January 2024, pending the results of the forum,” the memo read.

The time and venue of said forum are yet to be announced.

The car renovation project caused an uproar in light of planned cutting of 82 trees and what concerned students, faculty, and alumni said as making car-centricity the norm.

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In the university’s advisory released in December 2023, they clarified that the trees to be cut were mostly invasive mahogany and gimelina species.

In the memo, Yap apologized for the lack of consultations and clarified that the increase in parking slots is “merely a consequence of better planning and design of the area.”

The memo also acknowledged the need to formulate renovation plans balanced with biodiversity conservation.

Other car parks on campus were also slated to be renovated. While these renovations are in the pipeline, Yap said the university is also taking measures to promote sustainable mobility by increasing the number of electric jeeps inside campus. – Rappler.com

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Iya Gozum

Iya Gozum covers the environment, agriculture, and science beats for Rappler.