As the flagship campus of the University of the Philippines System, the 493-hectare UP Diliman campus is home to renowned cultural sites such as the Oblation Plaza, the University Amphitheater, the Carillon Tower and Plaza, the Sunken Garden, the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, the Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center, the UP Main Library, the University Theater Complex, and the Asian Center. The campus attracts thousands of visitors from Metro Manila, the provinces, and other countries daily. The UP Diliman administration manages 167 academic and administrative buildings, 11 dormitories, and 1,143 University-provided housing units, plus its open spaces, parks and protected forest areas.
These buildings and sites—and the health and safety concerns of the community—are all attended to by the UP Diliman Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA) headed by Prof. Nestor T. Castro. The OVCCA oversees the following offices to address the community’s ever-growing needs: the Office of the Campus Architect (OCA), the University Health Service (UHS), the Campus Maintenance Office (CMO), the Housing Office, the Chief Security Officer, the Office of Community Relations (OCR), and the Task Force on Solid Waste Management (TFSWM).
UP Diliman’s Office of the Campus Architect (OCA), with Arch. Enrico B. Tabafunda as its director, is in charge of infrastructure planning and delivery. To keep up with the demands of the times and to better serve the UP Diliman community, the OCA recently completed several infrastructure projects, and has several more projects currently ongoing.
Maintaining the campus grounds
The UP Diliman Campus Maintenance Office (CMO), headed by Arch. James Christopher P. Buño, provides building and grounds maintenance services to colleges and units of the University. According to Dir. Buño, “building maintenance services include works in carpentry, painting, plumbing, electrical installations and welding that are necessary for the upkeep of UP Diliman’s buildings. Grounds maintenance services, on the other hand, involve the upkeep of its roads, drainage and sewage systems, sweeping of streets and other open spaces, cutting of grass, collection of litter, and care of trees and ornamental plants.” The CMO annually receives more than 6,000 work orders for maintenance services.
“Aside from these, the office also provides support services like hauling and assistance in venue setups during special events. It also has a Quick Response Team which handles maintenance operations during typhoons and emergencies and incidents that pose threats to the upkeep of the campus facilities and safety of the members of the UP Diliman community,” Buño adds.
The CMO could use more workers, utility trucks, and heavy equipment. The office has a workforce of around 160, but according to Buño, the office is “approximately 40 people short of its projected ideal manpower.” He explains that “continuous development in the campus is also expected to affect the operations of the CMO as more and more buildings being built increases the scope and demand for maintenance services.”
To address these challenges, Buño says the CMO teams up with faculty, students and administrators “in improving existing processes and creating new practices, through: active involvement in different committees and projects where the campus facilities and amenities are involved; coordination with Building Administrators who share in the responsibility of maintenance particularly within their respective units; and partnership with faculty and students in various research and academic projects relating to the maintenance of the campus and the office’s other operations.”
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