Why not? After all, Bicol is the only major region far from Manila that has no UP campus or any unit for that matter.
Northern Luzon has UP Baguio, an autonomous campus with its own Chancellor. UP has an extension program in San Fernando City, Pampanga serving Central Luzon. A small unit, yes, but Central Luzon is near enough to Manila.
Southern Tagalog has UP Los Banos, an autonomous campus and the country’s leader center for agricultural research and education.
Eastern Visayas has UP Tacloban. This campus even offers a ladderalize medicine course. Central Visayas has UP Cebu while Western Visayas is the seat of UP Visayas. It has two campuses there and it is the country’s center for marine research and fisheries.
UP has only one unit for the whole of Mindanao. It is located in Davao City and it has two campuses. Supposedly it is the Mindanao State University System that should serve the whole island of Mindanao and that was why no UP campus existed in Mindanao for a long time.
But this takes the cake. A new extension campus of the UP Manila School of Health Sciences was established in a remote corner of the Philippines in Baler, Aurora last July. Supposedly, the school aims to solve the twin problems of brain drain to foreign shores (so the DFA won’t issue any passport for its graduates?) and the maldistribution of health manpower in the country (hmmm, it seems they are forbidden to go to Manila). Lofty aims, I say.
It aims to serve the provinces of Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, 5 provinces in all. As if Aurora has direct connection to all the provinces aforementioned and no mountain range divides it from the rest.
If Aurora deserves a UP unit, doesn’t Bicol deserve one too so that our sons, daughters, nephews, nieces and cousins don’t need to go to Diliman, Manila or Los Banos anymore?
It cannot be argued that since we have a regional university already (Bicol University), we don’t deserve a national university anymore. After all, all major regions have their own regional universities, the better-known being Don Mariano Marcos State University, Central Luzon State University, Western Visayas State University, etc. Sometimes the UP campus share the same city as the regional university like in Iloilo City and Tacloban.
So, a UP campus in Bicol?
(Photo credit: maryan54)