Two world-class infrastructures to be used as safe spaces for academic activities and services in the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman were inaugurated on February 9: the new seven-story Student Union Building and the renovated Vinzons Hall. Officials of UP and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), under the leadership of UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, former DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar, and DPWH Undersecretary for NCR Rafael C. Yabut, who represented DPWH Secretary Roger G. Mercado, graced the event.
Concepcion said the Student Union Building is an ideal venue for student activities. It would become the home of TVUP, the University Student Council, the Philippine Collegian, the Office of Student Projects and Activities (OSPA), the University Food Service, and UP-based student organizations.
The rehabilitated Vinzons Hall, on the other hand, will house units under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA), which includes the Office of Student Projects and Activities (OSPA), the Office for Student Ethics (OSE), the Office of Scholarships and Grants (OSG), the Office of Counselling and Guidance (OCG).
Vinzons Hall’s renovation ensures its structural integrity, safety, and efficient use of space. The makeover also includes an upgrade of its electrical, plumbing, and security systems.
A scenic elevator and security cameras were also installed.
President Concepcion added that Vinzons Hall and the old student union building housed G. Miranda Bookstore, where UP students bought textbooks and school supplies when he was still a student. Government scholars received their monthly allowance at the old Philippine National Bank (PNB) branch in the area. For him, the inauguration of the two buildings ushers in a new beginning for today’s UP students.
“We build upon the strong foundations set by our predecessors because it is what our constituents deserve,” Concepcion said. “Ang pagpapasinaya natin ngayon ay bunga ng ating kolektibong hangarin na pagbutihin pa ang mga espasyong hihikayat sa husay at galing ng ating mga estudyante tungo sa paglilingkod sa bayan [This inauguration is the product of our collective desire to improve the spaces that will nurture the skills and talents of our students and harness these toward service to the country],” he concluded.
UP Diliman Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo thanked the DPWH and Pres. Concepcion for all their efforts. He said the Vinzons Hall and the Student Union Building would continue to serve among the epicenters of student activities and symbols of the University.
Former DPWH Secretary Villar said a world-class institution like UP deserves world-class infrastructure. He is proud and happy to have been part of these projects. He supports President Concepcion’s vision for UP to become a top university globally, not just in Asia.
UPD Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Louise Jashil R. Sonido said they were excited to come home to these buildings. She said, “The past years of remote learning emphasized how much the learning environment and spaces contribute to the formation and education of our students. When we build for our students, we enable so many experiences, opportunities, relations, the incubation of new ideas and initiatives that serve the people.” She concluded her message by saying that they expected the new and next normal for students to be a better one.
After the officials delivered their messages, they unveiled the buildings’ commemorative markers. They also toured the Student Union Building and the Vinzons Hall.
UPD Chancellor Fidel R. Nemenzo, UPD Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Louise Jashil R. Sonido, UPD Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development Raquel B. Florendo, UP Vice President for Development Elvira A. Zamora, TVUP Director Grace J. Alfonso, Atty. Gaby R. Concepcion from the UP College of Law, , and UP Assistant Vice Presidents for Public Affairs Ma. Angelica D. Abad and Jose Wendell P. Capili also attended the ceremony.
DPWH Undersecretary Yabut and former Sec. Villar were accompanied by Assistant Secretary for Regional Operations (NCR) Wilfredo S. Mallari and Quezon City District Engineers Loida S. Busa, Eduardo V. Santos, and Art Corpus.
Additional photos from the inauguration of UP Diliman’s new Student Union Building and newly renovated Vinzons Hall below.