DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 6 Nov) – The University of the Philippines-Mindanao hopes to get an additional budget of P12.1 billion to be spread across five years starting next year to fund more infrastructure projects within its expansive 204-hectare campus in Tugbok District here.
Dr. Larry N. Digal, university chancellor, said during the Wednesdays at Habi at Kape forum that the budget will be needed to expand facilities of the university, which plans to undertake a five-year academic expansion program to contribute to the development of Mindanao.
“What we would like to do is to make a big dent on the development of Mindanao within the next five years. That’s the reason why we are doubling our existing programs,” he said.
He added that UP-Mindanao would offer 13 new academic programs to add to the existing nine, and five graduate programs.
Digal envisioned UP-Mindanao to become a “hub of academic programs,” to be able to offer to studens here the same programs being offered by other UP campuses.
He said with the plan to expand the academic offerings at UP-Mindanao, the school also hopes to get additional 120 professors in addition to the 96 already teaching in the campus.
Digal said the UP alumni would gather during the Regional Alumni Institute at the Grand Regal Hotel on November 22 to 23 where they will discuss future development plans of UP-Mindanao with key government officials.
Among the highlights of the two-day gathering will be discussions on the proposed resolutions that they have raised with cabinet members of President Rodrigo R. Duterte and members of Congress. The resolutions include pushing for a measure in Congress to support UP-Mindanao’s development, additional plantilla positions, Mindanao sports development program, botanical garden, Mindanao studies, research and development expansion niche program, science and technology park, and expansion of UP-Mindanao through joint programs with other colleges and universities.
“We have a lot of attempts to expand our program but the bottleneck is manpower—we are a very small campus. In this particular assembly, these projects will have to be captured into a bill,” Digal said.
The lawmakers who confirmed attendance to the assembly are Senators Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Cynthia Villar; lone Pasig City district representative Roman T. Romulo, Leyte 1st District representative Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, and Davao City 3rd District Representative Isidro T. Ungab. Members of the cabinet who will attend are Mindanao Development Authority chair Manny Piñol, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, Agriculture Secretary William Dar, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, and Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)