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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Rillo files bill granting separate board seat for UP research staff

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Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo has introduced a bill aiming to give the research, extension, and professional staff (REPS) of the University of the Philippines (UP) their own seat on the school system’s Board of Regents (BOR). 

This proposal, filed under House Bill No. 7821, is meant to enhance the representation and influence of this crucial sector within the UP system’s highest governing body. The single seat that REPS and administrative staff currently share in the BOR would be split into two.

Rillo, who serves as the vice chairperson of the House committee on higher and technical education, emphasizes that this proposed change will democratize the governance of the UP system, ensuring that every sector within the institution has a distinct voice and vote in the BOR. 

“Our measure, once enacted, will make UP more democratic… It will also further boost UP’s institutional research capabilities,” Rillo stated in a press release emailed Sunday, June 16. 

HB 7821 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9500 (the UP Charter of 2008) to allow the REPS and administrative staff their own sectoral representative. This would mean that each group would have individual elected representatives in the BOR. 

The BOR is a 12-member panel that governs the UP system, comprising the Commission on Higher Education head, the UP president, chairs of the Senate and House committees on higher education, regents from the alumni, faculty, students, and one shared regent from the REPS and administrative staff. Three additional regents are appointed by Malacañang, and the UP secretary serves as a member.

With eight constituent universities spread across 20 campuses nationwide, UP is a vital educational institution in the Philippines. It supports 64,144 degree-seeking students, 2,757 basic education students; 7,105 faculty members; 8,948 administrative staff, and 1,443 REPS. 

The university system has a significant presence in Rillo’s congressional district, particularly its flagship campus in Diliman, Quezon City.

For the fiscal year 2024, UP operates with a budget of P24.8 billion, which includes P4.9 billion allocated for hospital services. The system manages the Philippine General Hospital in Manila and other healthcare facilities.

In addition to its current campuses, UP is expanding with five new campuses under development or in the planning stages. These are located in Vista City, Alabang; Tacloban City in Leyte; New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac; Panabo City in Davao del Norte; and Pandan, Antique.

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