On October 20, 2018, the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), led by UP President Danilo L. Concepcion and DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar, held the groundbreaking ceremony for the UP Student Union Building to be constructed at the back of Vinzons Hall and facing Katipunan Avenue in UP Diliman, Quezon City.
Designed to have a total floor area of 7,800 square meters, the proposed seven (7) storey building will serve as the new home of the University Student Council, the Philippine Collegian, the Office of Student Activities, the University Food Service, various student organizations, shops, and other facilities conducive for students’ activities. The 200-million peso project will be implemented by the DPWH’s Quezon City 2nd District Engineering Office, with its Phase 1 expected to be completed by December 15, 2019.
UPD Chancellor Michael L. Tan welcomed officials and guests. He said that he had many happy memories of the old building, with a bookstore and some shops they frequented as students several decades ago, and being a center of students’ activities even at night. He added that maybe UP can still retain some of the old “heritage” materials to be used again in the new building.
Concepcion envisioned the area to have a bank or ATM machines, a bookstore, restaurants, offices for the students, and a kitchen and a mess hall to be built on the second floor.
Villar, whose parents Manny and Cynthia were UP graduates, said he also supports UP’s initiatives. He added that the DPWH has many ongoing projects with UP, not only in the Diliman campus, as part of the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration. These, he said, boost UP’s very progressive and unique character, in line with UP’s mandate.
With Concepcion, Villar, and Tan, the groundbreaking ceremony was witnessed by representatives of student organizations, faculty, and other UP System officials: Student Regent Ivy Joy P. Taroma; Staff Regent Liza S. Fulvadora; Regent Angelo A. Jimenez; Regent Frederick I. Farolan; Executive Vice President Teodoro J. Herbosa; VP for Administration Nestor G. Yunque; VP for Development Elvira A. Zamora; VP for Public Affairs Jose Y. Dalisay Jr.; Assistant VP for Public Affairs Jose Wendell P. Capili; UP Visayas Chancellor Ricardo P. Babaran; and Philippine Association of University Women (PAUW-UP) President Gabriela Roldan Concepcion. (Fred Dabu, UP MPRO)