Press Release
January 9, 2008

On its Centennial Year

Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the University of the Philippines (UP), in its next 100 years, must find its role in the highly complex, competitive and innovation-driven world, and respond to the demands of a growing Filipino population.

"On its second century, UP must be well prepared to produce a creative work force which generates the wealth of the world at present. After 100 years of exceptionally providing leadership for our country and producing the best scientists, engineers, and artists, we must take UP to where it should be: competitive in science and technology, and in the humanities."

He said that "times have changed. Lifestyles have changed, the content of work has changed. When UP was founded in 1908, there were only 8 million Filipinos. Today, our population has grown to 89 million. In three years' time, there will be a hundred million Filipinos."

"Educational institutions must respond to these changes. Even more so for UP, as the national university," said Angara, who heads the UP Centennial Commission which is raising P5 billion for the University.

Angara added that employment has become global and we are threatened by brain drain.

"The curriculum of every educational institution must be globally-oriented because work demands it now. But because of this highly-globalized trend in the workforce, we are also losing our best and brightest to other countries. Therefore, the educational system must continually produce, educate and train young people, otherwise we become empty of qualified workers," he said.

"The teachers, engineers, doctor and nurses we train at U.P. are not simply for the Philippines. They're teachers, engineers, doctors and nurses for the world, and are our main export," he said.

He added that almost one-fourth of the population is of school-age, and the burden of educating them is quite heavy.

"Unfortunately, while the state subsidy on public education grows nominally, it does not grow in real terms. We have 113 state colleges and universities, and the share of the pie grows smaller for each," said Angara.

He said that UP's truest treasures are its outstanding faculty and equally able and talented student population. "We have to nurture it, and provide opportunities that other countries provide."

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