“KAPEKONOMIYA: PROBING THE UP LAND USE” is the title of the first ever public forum that I have attended in the University of the Philippines. Before attending it, I had already high expectations from the public forum since it will be held inside the UP campus. Fortunately all my expectations were really met by the event especially the discussions and interactions between the UP professors who talked and the UP students who asked questions regarding the topic. The two UP professors who talked during the forum are Professor Roberto Alonzo and Professor Taguiwalo.
Professor Roberto Alonzo was the first one to talk and the title of his talk was “Harnessing UP’s Assets to Serve UP Objectives.” He emphasized more on how the UP system benefit from private participation in the UP land. Yes it is true that the UP system acquired many land grants such as UP Basila Land Grant, Laguna-Quezon Land Grant, Laurel-Langley Properties and other more which are supposed to used wherein the UP community will be the one who will benefit the most especially its academic institutions. Most of the audience interpret that the talk of Professor Alonzo favouring the private participation in the lands of UP and I also thinks he favours it. He even really emphasized that the UP has been gaining income from the TechnoHub saying it is some percentage of the total income of the Technohub. Cause of this the UP students during the open forum asked many questions criticizing Professors Alonzo’s stand about the matter but even though it is like that he was able to answer it properly. It is true that we can’t deny that the UP system is benefiting from such non-academic infrastructure.
Professor Taguiwalo was the second one to talk about the matter and the title of her talk was “UP Diliman Land Use Plan: A Blueprint for the Further Erosion of The Public Character of UP”. In her talk and presentation she emphasized on the main mission of UP as a public state university which is to promote accessible quality education. She also said that it is the policy of the state to strengthen UP since it is the state university. I find the way she presents her idea interesting because even the topic is a very serious one she was still able to put some humour in her talk to catch more attention from the audience. I agree to her that UP should be consistent to its academic mission with freedom from commercialization. Also the higher education that UP provides should be for public good and not for private good.
In general, the entire public forum was great. The place was convenient to learn and discuss things and ideals. The students of the School of Economics were really hospitable to the students and guests. The talks were meaningful and were very much related to the topic. I learned from the forum that what is UP’s should be for UP, the one who should benefit the most from the UP land is its academic community.