Saturday, September 3, 2011

UP Cebu dean, 2 allies ordered dismissed

University of the Philippines (U.P.) President Alfredo E. Pascual and the new U.P. administration prove decisively that they are going to get tough on irregularities in the U.P. System. Read the rest here: UP Cebu dean, 2 allies ordered dismissed

UP Cebu dean, 2 allies ordered dismissed

University of the Philippines (U.P.) President Alfredo E. Pascual and the new U.P. administration prove decisively that they are going to get tough on irregularities in the U.P. System. Read the rest here:

UP Cebu dean, 2 allies ordered dismissed

From Coke Zero to PNoy Zero - as in Zero Capital outlay for State Universities and Colleges and Hospitals

(Photo courtesy of U.P. Kilos Na)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cojuangco-owned Central Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT) continues to suffer from governance issues

By Chanda Shahani

Central Azucarera de Tarlac, Inc. (CAT) is a company whose listing in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) was suspended in 2010 and it had a fine imposed on it as well. As of June, 2011 CAT still remains delisted with the PSE

The sugar refinery is controlled by President Benigno Aquino III’s aunts and uncles, The refinery is within Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac and CAT failed to submit its annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, as well as its quarterly report for the period ending Sept. 30, 2010.

The delisting offers an opportunity to dig deeper into the management structure of CAT and determine how fully compliant CAT is with SEC Memorandum Circular No. 6-2009, which espouses the principles of corporate governance.

More importantly, we take note that SEC Memorandum Circular No. 6-2009 is the “framework of rules, systems and processes in the corporation that governs the performance by the board of directors and management of their respective duties and responsibilities to the stockholders.”

SEC Memorandum Circular No. 6-2009 was passed on June 18, 2009 Looking at Annex A, we can see that the company is compliant with the requirement that there be two independent directors. However, a more detailed scrutiny will reveal that one of the independent directors Georg Weber-Hoehl, has been with CAT since 1976, or for at least 33 years before SEC Memorandum Circular No. 6-2009 was passed by the SEC.

An even more detailed look at SEC Memorandum Circular No. 6-2009 will show the requirement that the chairman of the audit committee be an independent director with the assumption that this provides a needed check and balance, has been met. However, further scrutiny will show that the Chairman of the audit committee is none other than Mr. Weber-Hoehl, whose independence of mind has to be precisely be called into question, due to his decades long affiliation with CAT. The other two directors are Mr. Jose Cojuangco Lopa and Ms. Josephine Cojuangco Reyes, who are members of the Cojuangco family which has controlling power over CAT. Thus the independence of the audit committee is already in question because it essentially represents an interlocking directorate with top management which is a conflict of interest.

Read the rest here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Misplaced rejoinder lacks support

By Flor Lacanilao

In his "Strange phenomenon: A response to Lacanilao" (Inquirer, 04/11/2011), Dr. Ramon Guillermo disagreed with several points in my commentary, "Democratic governance impedes academic reform" (03/14/2011). I showed that the use of peer judgment has been a major cause of declining academic performance in the Philippines; but this has been reversed by the use of objective measures. Guillermo challenged my article concerning the use of valid publication and citation counts (objective measures), but he discussed only their misuse instead of the useful information they provide.

The assessment tools are the ISI-indexed journals and the ISI indexes. These are internationally accepted indicators. They are widely used measures of research and S&T performance. His objections, however, centered on the misuse and abuse of data concerning publications in ISI-indexed journals. The usefulness of a tool -- like the kitchen knife or the gun -- can only be as good or as bad as the purpose or the person using it.

Dr. Guillermo favored the prevalent practice of peer judgment and democratic governance, instead of ISI measures, citing historical and emotional events of nationalist struggle for democracy and academic freedom. He failed to show how these relate to peer judgment or enhanced academic growth, like improved research and teaching. On the other hand, using hard data, I showed that the introduction of ISI measures improved research output after decades of decline.

Below are some important uses worldwide of ISI-indexed journals and ISI indexes. They will clarify the issues raised by Guillermo.

1. In developed countries, they supplement peer judgment of academic performance. In fast developing countries, they are the reliable measures of evaluating research and S&T performance.

2. They are commonly used in ranking nations, universities, and scientists, which are published in leading journals like Science and Nature.

3. The journal coverage of the three top ISI indexes are as follows: sciences (3,786), social sciences (2,876), and arts & humanisties (1603). The lower fraction of covered journals is a reflection of the research output from each major fields -- 75% average of journal content in the sciences, 50% in social sciences, and 25% in arts & humanities (ISI study). This disproves Guillermo's claim that ISI indexes are unfair to social sciences and humanities

4. Guillermo's claim that the dominance of US and UK in English-language journals is disadvantageous to non-English speaking countries has also no basis. The top six countries with the highest number of ISI-indexed publications are dominated by non-English speaking countries -- US, China, Japan, UK, Germany, and France -- with China increasing its number of publications twofold every 5 years in the last 2 decades, and predicted to overtake the US soon (Thomson ISI report and others).

5. In addition to titles and authors of published papers and books, ISI indexes also gives citation data, hence, solving Guillermo's worry of ISI's bias against books. The number of times a paper is cited is a recognized measure of quality. You can get the same information, but not quite as complete, from Google Scholar. A correction factor are used to remove distortions due to different citation rates in different disciplines, solving another problem raised by Guillermo.

6. Further, Fred Grinnell says in his book, Everyday Practice of Science, that the easiest way to assess if one has made any major contributions to one's field is with the ISI data base called Web of Knowledge.

7. The stature of top scientists in various fields is reflected by their scores in ISI indexes -- for quantity and quality of published work. On the other hand, most of our prominent academics, scientists, so-called experts, and even National Scientists -- selected by peer judgment -- lack the number and citations of their publications (click or Google search Celebrating the UP Centennial).

8. There is no question that the quality rather than the number of publications is a better indicator of research performance. Again, reminding Guillermo, we can only rely on the ISI citation indexes for valid citations because we lack experts to judge quality. For example, how can the quality of work done by a Filipino biogeographer be evaluated by his peers in the Philippines if he is the only well-published biogeographer in the country?

9. It is true that in western countries -- where all competent scientists publish in ISI-indexed journals -- there is much discussion concerning the misuse and abuse of “numerology.” This does not mean that numerical data are completely useless. Many who question the usefulness of the ISI-indexed journals or ISI indexes in measuring academic performance can be shown as poorly published.

10. The utility of numerical data can be seen, for example, in a recent paper ("Expert credibility in climate change") on Anthropogenic Climate Change (ACC) in the Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA that reports, "The relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers.”

Finally, my call for visionary leadership should not be confused with preference or support for fascist rule. Guillermo's appeal to Philippine nationalism is misplaced. Mediocrity has never been a UP tradition.


(Dr. Flor Lacanilao obtained his Ph.D. (specialization in comparative endocrinology) from the University of California at Berkeley. He served as chairman of the Zoology Department at UP Diliman, chancellor of UP Visayas, and chief of SEAFDEC in Iloilo. His email address is at: .)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Continuation of Philippine Monitoring and Evaluation Society responds to former U.P. Visayas Chancellor's comments on "grey literature"

(To return to the beginning portion of this article, please click here)

We agree that peer-reviewed publications are a strong indicator of accomplished researcher. But to make it as the lone criterion for saying that one who is not published is unfit as a researcher, administrator or a mentor would constitute total intellectual arrogance. People who have published may just have the circumstances favorable for publishing, but to say those who have not done much are not capable people would be a sign of narrow-mindedness. Who are we to say that given the circumstances, we, the lowly researchers would not be able to pass the rigid measure of peer-reviewed journal? People normally are of different circumstances and contexts -some virtually grow up in the lab or classroom, making it more conducive for them to contribute to journals. Some do not have that luxury –many are consumed by administrative work or industry practice, but it doesn’t make them lower caste individuals who will not be able to pass a refereed journal. There is no such thing as monopoly of intelligence. Published scientists like you are not the sole arbiters of what is correct and what is not in research.
Prof Romeo Santos has been in the industry practice for a number of years, simultaneous with his academic post in UP -and for more than 15 years had run a Japan-based Manila branch of a development and research consultancy firm. He was trained in the Japanese way of research and was exposed deeply onto Japan’s style of business management –for a long time managing that firm of more than 600 staff and employees at its peak. His recent research job commissions were from the UN & related organizations (UNIFEM, UNFPA, UNICEF, IDLO, others) and Canadian, Japan and US governments, among others. These may not be considered peer reviewed journal articles, but who are we to say that these commissioning agencies have lower standards of research? His works may not be of the same nature as your work and he is not used to a study ‘stimulating the bladder of marinus frogs’,, but certainly he also knows that research has ‘universal’ features regardless of whatever field one is working on.

When you refer to ‘Academician Emil Q. Javier, as President, Academician Ledivina V. Cariño as Vice President, and Academician Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza Secretary, etc., etc.’ as non-scientists,, and scornfully claim that ‘No wonder the state of science in the country is so bad’, we can only smile in disbelief. Your doctrine would put other people as scratch and hopeless, if your measure of fitness were to be valid.

President Alfredo Pascual, our current leader, may not have published much in refereed journals. Would that make him unfit to run a Research University –which is UP? We ABSOLUTELY DON’T believe so. In the same line of argument, Dr. Patricia Licuanan, Director of CHED, may not have published much in your ‘Science Citation Index or Social Sciences Citation Index’ journals. But we are CONFIDENT that she is running the CHED in a way that research is brought to the forefront.
Publication in peer-reviewed journals is not the sole determinant of performance. In the field of evaluation, it is an Output, an indicator. But in socio-economic development, being just Output-oriented has been clearly shown as a wrong direction of practice, management or governance. We subscribe to the principle of Results-oriented way of measuring performance and success. It involves change of behavior and the attainment of enabling environment that supports positive change in the state of things. Output alone does not guarantee progress and achievement of Collective Well-being. It should be the Outcomes brought about by the outputs and the activities we put in our plan. How sure are we that peer-reviewed publications alone can improve the Philippine society?
For instance, you, as a well-published scientist had the opportunity of running the UP VISAYAS as a CHANCELLOR, and CHIEF of SEAFDEC in ILOILO in the past. Going to the counterfactuals… -How did your peer-reviewed publications work [for YOU] for the betterment of these two organizations? Where are they now? IS the state of science and research in these organizations now better off because of ‘Non-Academician but Scientist’ Flor Lacanilao? Well, based on the reality of what we see in these organizations even right after your stint, we suggest you better confer and compare notes with ‘Academician and Non-Scientist’ Emil Q. Javier, ‘Academician and Non-Scientist’ Ledivina V. Cariño, and ‘Academician and Non-Scientist’ Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza, etc., etc.’ and see whether there are better ways of doing good for the country other than flipping your peer-reviewed articles in the air. And maybe you guys can give good advice to ‘Non-Scientist’ President Pascual and ‘Non-Scientist’ Director Licuanan on how to or not to run their organizations based on grey papers.

By the way, we feel sorry in knowing that the Philippine Star and other dailies in the past had declined printing your fifth paper “because many of our respected scientists found my articles adversarial and counter-productive”. BUT NO PROBLEM, DONT WORRY -you don’t have to fret a lot because they are GREY PUBLICATIONS anyway! Aren’t they?

Prof Lacanilao, we have a high respect for you, as we have mentioned early on. We still believe in your Cause and we trust that we can do much together to help our country. But we suggest we do it in a different way. 
Yes, “the truth hurts and it hurts only the culprits”, but we need the culprits on our side [to be together with us] in mending the tear in our society. Truths or facts alone may not settle disputes nor even put us in unity. Besides truths, we need to walk extra miles with our values and dignity intact to unite for the Common Good. Please put faith that we, the ‘culprits’, can change for the better -despite having less of your peer-reviewed journals. Please don’t just sit on the embankment, and from there - bark about how really stupid we fish, get right into the water and hold the line together with us - perhaps we could learn your trade better that way. And perhaps we can expertly dissect a Tetraodontidae soon -for submission to the Nature Journal.

Yours truly,

James Santos


No one, not even published scientist, has an exclusive birthright to research. Research skills are cumulative. One hones skills through continues research undertaking. Even a well-seasoned researcher needs to retrofit in an ever-changing research environment.

For instance, in your article in SEAFDEC not too long ago -'Doing research for Development',, we think, as a meticulous Scientist, you could present a better and less-faulty paradigm on representing how a right research is done. No researcher, in his right mind, would go straight into Publication by just having the Proposal and the Data Gathering –or even into writing the Report or the Thesis. All of us know there is something amiss in your model, and being a noted scientist that you are and an authority in this field, you should know what it is. It doesn't need a peer review to figure it out.

Dr. Lacanilao, if this is the level of expertise you boast you got as a highly published researcher, I’m afraid people should learn better from my graduate students than from you.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Continuation of: 20th U.P. President reveals vision, while 19th U.P. President defends record during today's turnover ceremonies at U.P. Diliman

1) The U.P. Charter. Dr. Roman said that Act 1870 (1908) was amended as An Act to Strengthen the University of the Philippines as the National University (R.A. 9500) in 2008 and that it took five terms of U.P. Presidents spanning 25 years to get R.A. 9500 passed, officially making U.P. the country's national university and creating an information dissemination campaign. She said the passage of the R.A. 9500 into law was one of her administration's major accomplishments.

2) The 2008 U.P. Centennial Celebrations. Dr. Roman said that she had been variously described as the First Woman President in U.P. and the U.P. Centennial President. Both descriptions intimidated her, she said as they raised a lot of expectations of her from various constituents.

She said the U.P. Centennial Lecture Series was a major accomplishment as through this project U.P. was able to present what its scholars and distinguished speakers had to say about U.P., the country and the world.

She said fund raising from the Centennial hit PhP 6.2 billion pesos from 2005 to 2009 which exceeded the working target of PhP 5 billion

She said the Centennial was able to provide for 197 professorial chairs and these do not include centennial chairs.

In other developments, she said in 2010 20% of 10,000 undergraduates are enjoying scholarships through STFAP. Private funds from private sources lead to the construction of 15 new buildings in U.P. Diliman, which are not yet finished, she said.

The Centennial also caused people associated with U.P. to feel pride in place such that there was an outpouring of support which made everybody even more aware of U.P. as a National University, she said.

3) U.P. was able to create a large scientific manpower base during her term. Dr. Roman said a critical mass of scientists and engineers was developed under her watch. In other State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), the norm is for these SUCs to produce education and business graduates; but in the case of U.P. more than one half of students were in science and engineering courses.

U.P. also developed a research agenda for scientists. This has been dubbed as the Emerging Fields Initiative. She said that there was an efficient utilization of funds in research thrusts.PhP 1.2 billion was raised from DOST for research, in addition to funds generated from the National Government for the establishment of the National Science Complex and PhP 1.7 billion was raised for the Engineering Research for Development and Technology project (ERDT).

Dr. Roman also pointed out that additional funds raised for infrastructure and development amounted to PhP 3 billion and that U.P. was able to develop a scientific productivity program and an incentive program. However, she said  U.P. did not foget the artists who are world-class. This is called the Artists Productivity System.

As another achievement, Dr. Roman pointed to the U.P. AyalaLand Technohub which was conceptualized during President Nemenzo's term but realized under her atch.

4) Faculty, Student and Staff privileges. Dr. Roman said that despite U.P.'s exemption from the Salary Standardization Law (SSL), the National Government has agreed to involve U.P. in all government salary increases.

When she took over, the highest faculty compensation was PhP 31,000.00 a month. Now this year it is PhP 57.000.00 a month and by 2012 it will be PhP 80,000.00 a month, she said.

There are also increases in lecturer's honoraria, honoraria for professors emeritus and a program for hospital expenses, she added

As for Students, there has been an increase in the number of scholarship grants as well as an increase in stipends/financial assistance.

She pointed out that U.P. Diliman, UPLB and U.P. Manila now have new dorms

She said that from 2005 to 2010 U.P.'s assets inmproved from Php 27.3 billion to PhP 34 billion with an existing cash balance as of September 2010 of PhP 13.5 billion

"There were times when I was sorely tried but I received the assurances from the board from the most humble to the most distinguished people from U.P.," she said.

“It has been my unique privilege and responsibility to serve as its first and so far only woman Centenial President, and only Centennial President.”

To return to the first part of the story, please click on this link:

Friday, February 4, 2011

Continuation of: Notes on the Answers of Nominees in the 2nd Public Forum for Nominees for U.P. Diliman Chancellor

To return to the first part of the story, please click on this link:

2. There is a sense of the dominance of the natural science and engineering in the university as indicated by the resources channeled to them and the use of natural science criteria for evaluating faculty. Corollary to this, the humanities and the social sciences appear to be in the margins. Please comment.

Former Dean Guevarra: As Dean of Engineering, together with the Dean of Science, we went as far as the President of the Philippines to get funds for the new buildings. My many researches involve education and the social sciences, so I am not partial to natural sciences. However, research is also necessary to find out what is needed by a certain college, and it may not be a physical building.

Dean Salome: There should be peer review for promotion and tenure and this should be clear with the college's mission. The new Science building came from the national fund, and was not taken from the allocation for other colleges.

Dr. Azanza: I cam from the College of Arts and Letters. I am a social scientist. The allocation of funds should be balanced. I have long been pushing for the creation of a National Institute for English and Comparative Literature.

Dr. Claudio: We should give or offer common criteria for all in the distribution of funds.

Dean. Tolentino: It is but normal that some colleges are more advanced tan other small colleges. What we should focus on is to creat a sense of community, rather than focus on individual colleges.

3. The Administration’s assessment of the RGEP has still to be disseminated widely but news has cropped up of the flaws of the program. What will you do as Chancellor to address these flaws?

Former Dean Guevarra: RGEP is like a remedial course for the first and second year students. This matter should be decided upon ASAP and implemented immediately.

Dean Salome: This offers a wide view of what is available in the world of academics. However, no program is perfect, so this should be constantly reviewed.

Dr. Azanza: There should be a system wide study and evaluation of RGEP. There are some courses that are necessary for a student to go through, and RGEP allows the student to avoid those subjects because they find it hard.

Dr. Claudio: RGEP was implemented without clear parameters to find out if it works or not. These must be set.

Dean Tolentino: The University Council instituted this, so it must go back to the University Council for review.

4. How do you intend to handle issues of plagiarism in the university?

Former Dean Guevarra: The fact that U.P. has not defined plagiarism has us divided on the matter. We should have a unified definition and policy that will support it; then educate our students and faculty.

Dean Saloma: We should look at the present system for handling of misconduct.

Dr. Azanza: Plagiarism should not go unpunished.

Dr. Claudio: No to plagiarism and implementation of ful extent of policy and due process.

Dean Tolentino: We should be forthright in the implementation of the law.

5. There are flaws in the tenure process for faculty with the Sarah Raymundo case as the most recent example. How are you going to handle such cases taking into account departmental autonomy?

Former Dean Guevarra: There should be departmental autonomy and there should also be a proper grievance process and transparency.

Dean Saloma: This should be decided inside the college/department. There should be a committee making the decision, not just one person.

Dr. Azanza: Ratify the policy.

Dr. Claudio: Proper implementation of existing policy and mentoring of faculty, especially with new lecturers.

Dean Tolentino: Faculty of college should have autonomy in the process of granting tenures. Transparency should be present.

6. Paano mo ipatutupad ang palisiya sa pambansang wika at ano ang maging papel ng Sentro ng Wika sa iyong administrasyon?

Former Dean Guevarra: We have 3 groups in U.P.: same syllabus and same sound; based on the number of people using it and the use of the dictionary. First, we should have a unified policy on language use.

Dean Saloma: If we take it on, we will need to come up with a dictionary of technical terms.

Dr. Azanza: We are lucky that we have a university that is more open than others in having Filipino to be researched as the national language.

Dr. Claudio: Basic education should be done in the vernacular, because for kids, it is easier to learn concepts in the home language.

Dr. Tolentino: Create an enabling condition for Filipino to be used as a teaching language.

7. What are your thoughts on the recent approval of the BOR of the Ayala contract to lease the present UPIS site?

Former Dean Guevarra: For any kind of income, we should have a clear picture of where it will go.

Dean Saloma: We need transparency. We shouldn't give control of our assets to just one land developer.

Dr. Azanza: We need a thorough review of policy and we need to take a look at what will happen to idle assets in the long run.

Dr. Claudio: We should have transparency and see if any income flows to benefits for constituents.

Dean Tolentino: An open study of what is being done with an emphasis of the balance of the priorities between academic and commercial needs.

8. Who among your professors/colleagues have inspired you the most?

No notes are available for this question.

To return to the main story, please click on this link:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Continuation of "U.P.'s Unfinished Infrastructure Projects are in Danger of Becoming White Elephants Due to Aquino Administration Budget Cuts"

(The proposed Department of Mining, Metallurgical & 
Materials Engineering Building, U.P. Diliman.
To enlarge the picture, just click on it)

According to the Department of Budget and Management, P 275 million was allocated in 2010 for the Engineering Research and Development for Technology Projects which includes the proposed Department of Mining, Metallurgical & Materials Engineering Building at U.P. Diliman. This was a project of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) Program.

(National Institute of Physics Building
Phase-B, U.P. Diliman)

(The back view of the proposed National 
Institute of  Physics Building)

Then there is U.P. Diliman's uncompleted National Science Complex as well. According to the College of Science website ( the College of Science is "in dire need of additional funding support to properly maintain and operate the National Science Complex (NSC) that is scheduled for completion in 2011. The NSC is built to provide a nurturing and enabling environment to Filipino scientists, researchers and students allowing them to generate new knowledge and to offer cutting-edge technical support and accurate scientific advice to the Philippine government and the private sector especially the small and medium scale enterprises."

"Today, the College is composed of eleven constituent units including five national institutes and seven CHED Centers of Excellence. Four of the national institutes were established in the 1980’s (MSI, NIGS, NIP, NSRI) while the fifth (NIMBB) was created in the 1990’s. The yearly MOOE budget allocations that are used to fund R&D activities in the national institutes have not been increased since the institutes were first founded if only to neutralize the debilitating effects of inflation and to support the needs of an increasing number of PhD faculty members that are being employed in CS units," the website said.

(The uncompleted National Institute of Molecular
Biology and Biotechnology building)

The National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology building is expected to be completed by June of 2011. The three-storey structure will house several laboratories as well as lecture and seminar rooms for the faculty and students of the NIMBB, according to the website, UPdate Diliman online (

The first floor will contain the administrative offices, lecture and seminar rooms, an e-library and a conference room. The second floor will house teaching labs as well as culture rooms for materials used in its research. It has a wet area as well as an animal cell and plant cell culture room, the website said.

The third floor will have more laboratories, some with airlocks to prevent contamination. There is also a freezer bay as well as storage rooms for the more sensitive materials like radioactive isotopes, the website added.

(Institute of Chemistry Phase 2 at U.P. Diliman 
will be completed by January 2011)

In the case of the Institute of Chemistry, "the implementation of Phase 1 of the construction of the research building and part of the teaching building of IC has been underway since last May 2008. Construction of the research building is expected to be finished by December 2009. Phase 2 of the project for the completion of the construction of the teaching building starts January 2010 and ends January 2011," said a statement at the Institute of Chemistry sublink at the College of Science website at:

"The Project Team led by IC and Architect Lisa Santos ensures that buildings construction are completed on schedule and within budget by holding weekly site coordination meetings with the building construction management and contractor and representatives of the UP Office of the Campus Architect," the website said.

But hand-in-hand with the various projects in the National Engineering  Complex and the National Science Complex are the mindsets of several ranking Aquino administration officials who seem to think that U.P. can hit the ground running in terms of operating these massive projects without corresponding increases in Mainetance and Other Operating expenses (MOOE) from the National Government.

For example, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad proposed massive cuts in the budget of UP and other state universities and colleges (SUCs) for 2011. From P6.9 billion in 2010, Abad decreased UP’s budget to P5.5 billion, or a difference of P1.4 billion. Other SUCs were also faced with budget cuts. Abad wants them to have a budget of P21.7 billion, down by some P700 million from their budget of P22.4 billion in 2010.

Administration officials say that since U.P. had extraordinary expenses in 2010 relating to capital outlay expenditures such as the National Engineering Complex and the National Science Complex construction in several phases, and that it also had savings of P 11.9 billion in 2010; then there was no need to increase the budget of U.P. for 2011.

An interview by Senate staff with Senator Franklin Drilon  the chair of the Senate Finance Committee over the budget of SUCs, reveals the blind eye with which Administration officials have turned to SUCs such as U.P.  who are expected to generate their own revenue to operationalize massive infrastructure projects approved of by the previous administration:

"Q: Zero po yung capital outlay?

DRILON: Yung capital outlay, ibig sabihin nagawa nay un. Yung capital outlay para sa mga sabihin nating building. Eh kung nagawa na yung building bakit natin ilagay muli? Assuming na naglagay ng P5 million sa building at yan po ay nagawa na, eh bakit mo ibabalik?

Q: Yung MOOE may cut din?

DRILON: Di babawasan ang MOOE mula sa current year. Ang dagdag, kapag kailangan pa nila ng mga salapi, yan po ay merong mga internally generated funds naman sila." (

Following Drilon's logic that U.P. must generate its own resources for any shortfalls in additional rquirements for MOOE; the last approved land use plan for U.P. Diliman is dated 1994, and it stipulates that 88 hectares or 17.8% of U.P. Diliman's 493 hectares are allotted for commercial development, according to the website of the Office of the Campus Architect of U.P. Diliman.

Assuming for the sake of discussion that U.P. is able to lease out properties at commercially competitive rates of P 200/square meter per month, then it is in fact possible to generate revenues of P 2 billion a year. However, the problem with this is that U.P. Diliman will not be able to immediately "monetize" its land assets as first of all, U.P. Diliman's land use plan needs to be updated to cope with the changes in the times. Secondly, U.P.'s bureaucratic processes, Commission on Audit oversight and the need to consult sectors in the vigilant U.P. Diliman community virtually guarantee that commecialization of U.P. Diliman properties will have to pass through the proverbial eye of the needle. Lastly, the incoming U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual, who assumes office barely a month from now, or on February 10, 2011 will have to do a balancing act where revenues geenrated by U.P. Diliman will have to also be shared across the U.P. System which also have their own pressing financial concerns.

Mr. Pascual therefore will have to expend a lot of effort in adopting a dual track formula of pressing the national government for more funds starting the first half of 2011 when the annual budget cycle commences anew with government agencies lobbying the Department of Budget and Management to consider inclusions of their various concerns before DBM wraps this up for submission by the President to Congress in the second half of the year. Mr. Pascual will also be simultaneously preparing for the worst case scenario which will be for U.P. to independently raise funds in view of a looming funding shortfall for U.P. programs and projects, including the National Engineering and National Science Complexes.

In this respect, we wish Mr. Pascual all the very best as he seeks to solve the gigantic conundrum left by his predecessor, the outgoing U.P. President Emerlinda R. Roman, who leaves behind a legacy of  many unfinished works with correspondingly uncertain fates. Mr. Pascual must press the Aquino administration and President Benigno S. Aquino III's allies in Congress for an increase in U.P.'s budget in 2012 since U.P. is tasked to do so much in engineering, the sciences and in other fields. For all these, state resources must be expended if the country is to remain competitive with its rivals in the region.

(A sign calling for budget increases for U.P.
hanging outside the College of Home Economics, U.P. Diliman)

To return to the main story, just click on this link:

(Photos by Chanda Shahani)