By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara is now pushing for the passage of a measure that would officially designate the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP)—the country’s largest state university by student population—as the “National Polytechnic University.”
Angara said that in filing Senate Bill No. 2037, or the proposed “Revised Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Charter,” said it is high time that PUP is strengthened as an institution and that its position as one of the country’s premier state universities is solidified.
“It is high time that we strengthen the PUP and officially designate it as the ‘National Polytechnic University,’ which will cater to educating and developing the country’s future industry leaders,” Angara said.
“Through more than a century’s worth of history, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) has evolved into a premier state university—never ceasing in its efforts to provide responsive, quality, relevant yet affordable higher education to aspiring students, or more fondly called, ‘iskos at iskas ng bayan’,” the senator said in the explanatory note of the bill.
“By imparting the knowledge and skills that will expand the livelihood opportunities available to our youth and improve their chances at fulfilling their hopes and aspirations for themselves and their loved ones, the PUP has contributed significantly to the nation’s development,” he further stated.
The PUP, which was established in 1904, has more than 20 campuses serving more than 70,000 students, making it the largest state university in the Philippines in terms of student population. Its main campus is located in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
Prior to the enactment of the law providing free higher education in public colleges and universities, the PUP is considered the state university that offers low tuition but still provides high quality education.
Through his proposed measure, Angara said the government would strengthen the PUP as an institution and equip it to better fulfill its mandate of providing technical and professional instruction, training students in the applied arts and sciences.
“In doing so, the PUP will be able to propagate more widely the ideals for which its core values are based—social justice, peace, freedom, academic excellence, ethical and moral standards, cultural identity, and respect for diversity, civil society engagement, and passion for learning,” Angara pointed out.
“The PUP has stood out, being among the first in the country to emphasize hands-on, skills-based education that respond to market demands and societal needs,” he added.
Aside from pioneering two-year associate’s degrees that bring students faster and closer to gainful employment, the senator noted the PUP piloted ladderized technical courses, which the national government is currently working to ramp up across the country with the recent passage of the Philippine Qualifications Framework.
Moreover, Angara said the PUP has performed consistently well, producing topnotchers in the various licensure exams such as in engineering, architecture, and information technology.
“On top of this, the results of annual surveys conducted by Jobstreet.com show that employers in the Philippines consider graduates of PUP as their top choice for employment—underscoring that a PUP education is competitive and relevant to society’s needs,” he said.