By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The House of Representatives has approved on second reading a bill seeking to declare the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) as the National Polytechnic University.
Under House Bill 9023 or the proposed Revised Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Charter, the National Polytechnic University shall be strengthened to guide and support other polytechnic state universities and colleges (SUCs) in developing professional courses and other technical programs.
“It is now high time to strengthen PUP and elevate it into a National Polytechnic University which will cater into educating and developing the country’s future industry leaders,” Antique Rep. Paolo Everardo Javier, one of the principal authors of the bill, said.
“No less than President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gas recognized the need to declare the PUP as the National Polytechnic University as he has committed to certify the bill as an urgent priority of his administration,” he noted.
Under House Bill 9023, the National Polytechnic University shall enjoy fiscal and institutional autonomy.
It shall exclusively determine its teaching, research and extension thrusts, plans, policies, programs and standards. On the basis of such determination, the University shall recommend its annual budget to the President of the Republic of the Philippines and Congress.
“Appropriations for the University shall not be reduced by the legislature below the amount appropriated for the previous year and shall automatically and regularly be released to the University immediately after approval,” the bill said.
The administration of the University shall be vested in the President of the University who shall render full-time service. The President shall be appointed by the Board of Regents, upon the recommendation of a duly constituted search committee and shall have a term of six years without reappointment. The incumbent President shall become the first President of the University upon effectivity of the proposed Act.
The governing body of the University shall be the Board of Regents of the PUP, referred as the “Board”. It shall be chaired and co-chaired by the chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the president of the University.
HB 9023 provides that the University, as the National Polytechnic University, shall have the right and responsibility to exercise academic freedom.
The University shall be a polytechnic university of international character and shall have international linkages. It shall adopt internationally recognized curricula.
The bill also provides that all revenues and assets of the University used for educational purposes shall be exempt from all taxes and duties.
Gifts and donations of real and personal properties of all kinds shall be exempt from the donor’s tax and the same shall be considered as allowable deductions from the gross income of the donor, in accordance with the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended.
The amount necessary to carry out the initial implementation of the proposed Act shall be charged against the current year’s appropriations of the PUP. Thereafter, such sums as may be necessary for the continued implementation of the proposed Act shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Within 60 days from the effectivity of the proposed Act, the Board shall, in consultation with the CHED, formulate the rules and regulations to fully implement the provisions of the proposed Act.