TACLOBAN CITY – The University of the Philippines (UP) here eyes to transfer to a new location within a 114-hectare property some 17 kilometers from the current site in the next three to five years as part of its long-term expansion plan.

In a press briefing Thursday, UP Tacloban Dean Patricia Arinto said the development of the future campus in northern Sta. Elena village will start this year, with the allocation of PHP430 million for administration, innovation, and research building.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Tingog Partylist facilitated the release of funds this year to develop the property acquired by UP decades ago.

In the future, UP needs some PHP1.5 billion to construct three buildings for academics and student dormitories, according to Arinto.

The official said that although the new campus has the funds to start construction of some buildings, a dormitory with a capacity to house 500 students would have to be in place before they can move into the new site.

“The transfer will happen in three to five years. We should have at least three buildings there and decide for ourselves, and we’re thinking about smart development with major trails and spaces open to the public,” Arinto added.

UP President Angelo Jimenez said the infrastructure complements the expansion of its academic programs to better address the higher education needs and sustainable development of Eastern Visayas.

“We are here to underscore the national university’s commitment for further growth and development in UP Tacloban –in lockstep with the aspirations of Region 8 — and to serve Region 8,” Jimenez told reporters.

Established on May 23, 1973, UP Tacloban became an autonomous college of the UP system on April 27, 2023. Its existing campus, badly damaged by the 2013 Super Typhoon Yolanda, that is located along the city’s Magsaysay Boulevard will be retained for graduate programs and a techno park in the future.

Among the programs currently offered at UP-Tacloban are accounting, applied mathematics, biology, economics, computer science, literature, management, media arts, political science, psychology, and a master’s program in environmental science.

In the pipeline are diploma programs in geospatial information sciences and tourism management with a focus on ecotourism; associate programs in accounting technologies, entrepreneurship, forestry, and sports studies; and a bachelor’s program in agricultural chemistry.
(With reports from Harold R. Mariano, OJT/PNA)