education in the Philippines

Oops! State university mistakenly names Pampanga sports venue after Lito Lapid

Joann Manabat

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Oops! State university mistakenly names Pampanga sports venue after Lito Lapid

OOPS! Senator Lito Lapid's son, Mark, speaks before an audience on stage at the inauguration of the sports venue of the Pampanga State Agricultural University on Monday, January 22.

Magalang LGU

(1st UPDATE) The Pampanga State Agricultural University acknowledges the oversight, and says it promptly removed the name of the senator from the building

PAMPANGA, Philippines – The Pampanga State Agricultural University (PSAU) on Monday, January 22, faced criticism for mistakenly naming its new sports venue after Senator Lito Lapid, an act prohibited by law.

Led by PSAU President Anita David, the state-owned university in Magalang town, Pampanga, inaugurated the covered court, an event graced by the senator together with his son, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) Chief Operating Officer Mark Lapid, and Magalang Mayor Malou Lacson.

Based on Republic Act 1059, naming public places, schools, buildings, parks, plazas, thoroughfares, government-owned aircraft, and vessels after living persons is generally not allowed, except when the property is donated to the government.

TAKE DOWN. PSAU has taken down the name of Senator Lito Lapid from its newly constructed covered court on Thursday, January 25. courtesy of PSAU

Journalist and heritage conservation advocate Tonette Orejas called out Lapid in a Facebook post for violating the law. Orejas immediately sent a letter to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to bring to its attention the violation.

The state university acknowledged the oversight, and said it promptly removed the name of the senator from the building to correct the mistake. 

PSAU added that the project was initiated by the university’s previous administration. However, it was built through the initiative of Lapid.

“There was indeed an oversight. But we are certain that there (are) no immoral or political motives behind naming the covered court after Senator Lito Lapid,” said Grace Viray, PSAU public information officer.

She added, “While we are sure that the current [PSAU] administration is grateful for the initiatives of Senator Lapid, it will not be deterred from taking immediate steps to address and rectify the oversight. PSAU will remain committed to transparency and accountability.”

The university’s sports venue will now be named simply as University Covered Court.

In a statement sent to Rappler on Saturday, January 27, Lapid said they were the ones who called out the state university about the violation during the inauguration.

“When we went to PSAU to inaugurate their new building, we immediately mentioned to the university administration that it is forbidden by law to name it after me. It was quickly acted upon by the person in charge,” Lapid said.

Lapid added, “Our goal is to build a facility for the university to be used by their students and the youth. This is from the people’s money, so it was used for their welfare.” – Rappler.com

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