On the 31st anniversary of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa (PLMun) this week, I extend my warmest greetings and best wishes to PLMun President Dr. Raymond Arcega, President Emeritus Dr. Ellen Presnedi, the PLMun Board of Regents headed by Mayor/Congressman-elect Jimmy Fresnedi, the department heads, faculty and staff and the student body.
It is a proud moment for me, having watched the institution grow from a three-course polytechnic college in 1991 to a multi-course university duly accredited by CHED.
Sometime towards the end of 1990, the Muntinlupa People’s Economic Council (PEC), led by businessman-journalist Joe Leuterio, conducted a survey of job opportunities in Muntinlupa. The PEC found out that majority of those being hired in the factories and offices were non-Muntinlupa residents. Company officials explained that resident job applicants for supervisory positions, did not have college degrees. For non-supervisory positions, those with college units were preferred over high school graduates. We responded by establishing the Muntinlupa Polytechnic College (MPC).
On May 29, 1991, thru a resolution sponsored by Councilor Ruffy Joaquin and unanimously approved by the municipal council, the municipal government formally sought the approval of the DepEd to be able to open and operate a community college.
We made arrangements with Pedro E. Diaz High School (PEDHS), then headed by recently retired Muntinlupa School District Superintendent Dominico Idanan, for the temporary use of some of PEDHS’ classrooms. Dr. Idanan graciously acceded by designating one school building to be used by the MPC college freshmen from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.
We drew from the rich reservoir of incumbent and recently retired Muntinlupa teachers to form the first teaching staff of MPC. Mr. Simeon Bumanglag, my former grade school teacher, became the first dean of the college. Another recently retired teacher, Mrs. Felicidad Perez, also joined. Mrs. Perez, as many alumni recall, composed the MPC-PLMun hymn. Mayor/Congressman-elect Jimmy Fresnedi also joined the faculty, teaching Philippine government and constitution during the early years of MPC.
With the help of local businesess, we did a quick library build up sufficient to meet DepEd requirements.
We had three initial course offerings – liberal arts, teacher education and criminal justice. The third course was especially relevant for employees of the Bureau of Corrections and members of the local police force. On the very first registration day, I was gratified to see one of our local traffic policeman, in full uniform, filling up his registration application.
Fortuitously, PEC did the spadework to establish the college even ahead of the municipal council resolution. In less than six months after the PEC jobs survey, we obtained our permit and we were ready to operate in time for the opening of classes in June of 1991.
Two years later, as the student population grew, we decided to move the campus to the second floor of the Contessa Building in Barangay Poblacion. In 1995, MPC moved to its present wide open-space campus adjacent to the Muntinlupa National High School.
In March 2003, the city government, thru a city council resolution authored by Councilor Raul Corro, applied for the conversion of MPC into a state university, henceforth to be named as Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa (PLMun).
Over the years, both the student population and course offerings have increased, enabling MPC to apply for university status. From an initial enrolment of 309, the student population has grown to 12,000. PLMun now offers courses in elementary and secondary education, computer science, criminology, commerce, marketing and management, associate in computer technology, and liberal arts. Its graduate school offers MBA, MaEd and master in criminology. Moving forward, PLMun is exploring new frontiers. PLMun is tying up with the Ospital ng Muntinlupa to be able to offer a medical degree program. Another offering in the pipeline is a law degree course.
I am proud that MPC, now PLMun, has improved the lives of countless Muntinlupeños who are now doing their own share in uplifting others. Incidentally, most of the pioneer students took up Philippine government and constitution under Mayor/Congressman-elect Jimmy Fresnedi.
Dr. Reynaldo Samson was an outstanding student leader during his time and is now a member of the faculty of PLMun. Dr. Ester Añonuevo-Dungca, the first valedictorian of MPC, is now a high value faculty member of Soldiers Hills Elementary School. Maricel Labra, who shared scholastic honors in the first graduating class, went on to become the head of the early education center in Muntinlupa. She now heads the Muntinlupa City government’s asset management group. Dr. Buena dela Cruz is principal II in Bayanan Elementary Unit 1. Dr. Mylene Marasigan-Vallejo is focal person for academics in MNHS senior high school. Dr. Jonel Joaquin is now principal in Gulod Elementary School in Batangas. Dr. Michael Landrito is principal in CCA National High School – Las Piñas. Dr. Zoren Pepito Gubalane is now senior education program supervisor, DepEd Muntinlupa.
The others – Angelio Malacad, Eufracio Macalalad, Gerardo Aro, Cecilio Tomas, Julius Bernados, Jonathan Villamor, Catalino Maglinao, Robert Mandap, Arnaldo Mendoza, Jr. – later assumed senior positions either in the Bureau of Corrections or in the Philippine National Police.