TACLOBAN CITY – The University of the Philippines Tacloban aims to start the construction of its new campus on the 114-hectare property in Barangay Sta. Elena here by the fourth quarter of this year.

UP Tacloban Dean Patricia Arinto disclosed that a total of PHP430 million has been allocated for the administration, innovation, and research (AIR) building. “We are at present completing the detailed architectural and engineering design, which are needed in order for the construction to be bid out,” she shared.

Funding for the primary campus structure was facilitated by House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Tingog Partylist under the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) this year. Their plan also includes the construction of a 500-capacity dormitory, an upgrade from the current 100-capacity dormitory, and an academic building.

The completion of construction is targeted by the end of 2025, with the relocation of operations to the new campus expected within three to five years. Despite this move, Arinto said that the main campus will be retained for their graduate programs and a Techno Park.

UP President Angelo Jimenez emphasized that the infrastructure development aligns with the expansion of academic programs to cater to the higher education needs and sustainable development of Eastern Visayas. “We are here to underscore the national university’s commitment for further growth and development in UP Tacloban in lockstep with the aspirations of Region 8, and to serve Region 8,” Jimenez said.

During his visit to UP Tacloban for its 51st founding anniversary celebration and its first year as an autonomous unit within the UP System on Thursday (May 23), Jimenez said the campus is on track to become a full-fledged constituent university of the UP system. He also led the groundbreaking ceremony for the PHP8-million Mussel Glycogen Production Facility at the new UP Tacloban campus. Said facility, the pioneer in the Philippines, aims to develop techniques for glycogen production on a scale conducive to commercialization and utilization by major industries. It is part of the intended Science and Technology Park. By Marie Tonette Marticio (EV Mail May 20-26, 2024 issue)