TACLOBAN CITY – The Board of Regents (BOR) of the University of the Philippines granted its Tacloban City campus a full autonomy from UP Visayas.

In its 1,380th meeting last April 27, the BOR approved the elevation of UP Tacloban College to an autonomous unit under the Office of the UP President.

UP Tacloban College Dean Patricia Arinto said that the autonomy is the first step towards becoming a full-fledged constituent university of the UP System in three to five years.

“An autonomous UP Tacloban can better fulfill the UP mandate in Eastern Visayas,” Arinto said.

UP President Angelo Jimenez, during his talk at the Climate Change Philippines Tacloban here on April 17, said that he supports the granting of autonomy to UP Tacloban.

In a memorandum issued to students, faculty and staff of UP Tacloban last May 1, Arinto said the implementation of the college’s new status will take effect once the UP President issues an executive order in the coming days.

“The grant of autonomy is also a recognition of the College’s achievements and accomplishments over the last five decades, through the hard work of its faculty, staff, and students, from the pioneers in 1973 to the faculty and non-teaching personnel and students and alumni today,” it states.

The granting of autonomy to UP Tacloban was met with anticipation from the students, faculty and alumni.

Jaime Dechos, an alumnus, said that it will be a lot easier now to get a transcript of records since it will now have its own registrar.

Faculty member Richard Cagara said it will be easier now than being under UP Visayas where the main campus was in Iloilo. “Our university meetings were mostly held in UPV in Miag-ao. Travel time alone from Tacloban already takes one whole day,” he said.

“Autonomy carries with it many advantages for the faculty like more efficient and expedient processing of promotion documents and research documents,” he said.

“Our pursuit of having the new and much bigger campus needs critical funding. Being under UPV means we only get crumbs from the whole UPV budget, but being under the OP, funding is much assured,” he added. UP is now constructing its new campus in the northern district of the city after its present campus was destroyed by typhoon Yolanda and the area considered a danger zone.

UP Tacloban was founded on May 23, 1973 but formally opened on July 2, 1973 along with San Juanico Bridge, in time for the birthday of then first lady Imelda Marcos. While it is one of the oldest campuses of the UP System, UP Tacloban will be the youngest constituent of the system after UP Cebu was granted autonomy in September 2010.

At present, UP Tacloban has four academic divisions that offer nine undergraduate and three graduate programs. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail May 1-7, 2023 issue)