UP in Iloilo
In the wake of World War II, the entire country echoed with reconstruction as it rose from the ashes of destruction. The University of the Philippines reopened at its old site in Padre Faura, Manila. Long considered as an important component in Philippine education, a UP degree opens doors for employment opportunities and offers a promise of improvement in the quality of life for those who earn it.
Even if many colleges in Iloilo sprang up after the war, the desire to have a UP education in this part of the country resonated in the hearts of the Ilonggos. On 18 December 1945, the Municipal Board of Iloilo authorized a resolution for the opening of a branch of UP in Iloilo City at the site of what was then the Iloilo City Hall. One year and seven months later, the University of the Philippines Iloilo College (UPIC) opened its door in July 1947. It started with a Lower Division for third and fourth year high school students and an Upper Division for first and second year college levels. In jsut seven years, UPIC earned the status of being a full-fledged college and was renamed UP College Iloilo (UPCI) in 1954, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs including a complete high school.
During the term of UP President Onofre D. Corpus in 1975, an interdisciplinary team within the University conceived of an autonomous unit which would become the country's premiere institution for fisheries and marine science education and research. Its establishment was embodied in the Philippine Five-Year Development Plan of 1978-1982, which also provided that Region VI would be the site of this new unit.
On May 31, 1979, the Board of Regents (BOR) during its 114th meeting approved the establishment of an autonomous University of the Philippines in the Visayas (UPV). Executive Order No. 628 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos on October 30, 1980 operationalized UPV, with its main campus in Miagao, and with the College of Fisheries as its flagship college.
Originally, UPV consisted of only two colleges the College of Fisheries (CF) and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), formerly UP College Iloilo. Then it had five colleges and a school in four campuses Miagao, Iloilo City, Cebu City, and Tacloban City. The additional colleges and school are the College of Management (CM), formerly the School of Development Management (SDM), UP Cebu College, UP Tacloban College and the School of Technology and Environmental Resources or STER (now, the School of Technology or SoTech). The Graduate School was established by the Board of Regents in 1984. It was phased out in 1991 and became the Graduate Program Coordinating Office (GPCO). It was renamed Graduate Program Office in 1995. Its main function is to monitor and standardize the graduate program offerings of the colleges and school of UPV.
The main campus of UPV is in the 278-year-old municipality of Miagao, which is located about 41 kilometers from Iloilo City. It is built on a 1.294 hectare area of rolling hills and lush greenery with a spectacular view of the sea on one side of the campus and the distant mountains on the other. It covers 12 barangays and is one of the biggest in the country today.
The development of the site and construction of facilities in the Miagao campus began in September 1981, which was made possible through the Sixth Educational Loan of the Philippine Government approved by the World Bank. The loan proceeds of about $17.63 million were used for site acquisition, construction of buildings, procurement of equipment, and the transfer of the CF personnel and properties from Diliman to Miagao. Today, a two-lane concrete road on the campus connects the wide expanse of fields, beaches, and forest hills with modern laboratory complexes, lecture and audio visual halls, administration offices, the library museum, infirmary, student dormitories, faculty and staff houses and apartments, all providing a fascinating contrast to the rural setting.
The transfer of CF to the Miagao campus in 1988 was spearheaded by Chancellor Rogelio Juliano and Dean Efren Ed C. Flores. In June 1990, Chancellor Francisco Nemenzo implemented the transfer of the CAS Division of Humanities and Division of Social Sciences. The School of Technology followed soon after. The existing CF library collection was transferred to the Library Museum and enriched with titles in the Liberal Arts. In May 1993, the transfer of the Division of Physical Sciences and Mathematics and the Division of Biological Sciences along with Office of the Dean completed the transfer of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Two degree-granting units remain in the Iloilo City Campus. They are the College of Management and College of Arts and Sciences' Division of Professional Education which maintains the UP High School in Iloilo.
The UPHSI is an experimental laboratory for innovative teaching strategies designed to provide academic training for underprivileged students in order to better prepare them for access to tertiary education in the University of the Philippines.
Some units that also remain in the Iloilo City campus are: 1) the Center for West Visayan Studies (CWVS), to make it more accessible to those interested in the study of Visayas culture; 2) the Office of Continuing Education and Pahinungod (OCEP); 3) the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino (SWF); 4) the Graduate Program Office (GPO), which caters to clientele who are mostly working professionals in the city; 5) the Language Program; and 6) the UP Open University Learning Center Iloilo.
With the creation of UPV, the regional campuses of UP Cebu College and UP Tacloban College were integrated into the UPV administration in 1986 and were renamed UPV Cebu College and UPV Tacloban College.
On September 24, 2010, the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines declared the University of the Philippines Cebu College as an autonomous unit under the Office of the President of the University effective January 2011. The said elevation will allow the unit greater freedom in pursuing the directions set and patterned on the needs of Cebuanos and the students from its immediate vicinities.
At present, UPV, located strategically in three campuses in Regions 6 and 8, continues to be at the forefront of higher education, pioneering academic programs relevant to local and national development.