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University of the Philippines Manila

The University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) is a medical and research state university located in Ermita, Manila, Philippines. It is known for being country's center of excellence in the health sciences, including health professional education, training, and research. It is the oldest of the seven constituent universities of the University of the Philippines System, predating the founding of UP by three years. Originally established on December 1, 1905 as the Philippine Medical School and later called as the UP College of Medicine and Surgery on June 10, 1907. It was renamed as University of the Philippines Manila in 1983.

University of the Philippines Manila
Unibersidad ng Pilipinas Maynila
University of the Philippines Manila Logo.png
Logo of the University of the Philippines Manila
Former name
  • Philippine Medical School
  • University of the Philippines
    College of Medicine and Surgery
  • University of the Philippines
    College of Medicine
Motto Honor and Excellence
Type National University, Research University
Established December 1, 1905 (1905-12-01)
Academic affiliation
Chancellor Carmencita D. Padilla[1]
President Danilo L. Concepcion
Location Manila, Philippines
Campus Urban; total 14 ha (35 acres)[2]
Nickname Fighting Maroons
Sporting affiliations
UP logotype.svg

UP Manila exercises administrative supervision over the Philippine General Hospital, the largest medical center and the national referral center for health in the Philippines. The university is also the home of the National Health Sciences Center and the National Institutes of Health. Its 14 hectare campus occupies two large city blocks[2] and it contains pre-war heritage buildings and structures built during the American Period designed by American Architect William E. Parsons.

Since 2001, the College of Medicine and the College of Nursing has been recognized as Centers of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education.[3]



The PGH Administration Building was declared by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines as a heritage building. It was built in the 1930s.

On December 1, 1905, the Philippine Medical School was established under Commonwealth Act No. 1415. It opened on June 10, 1907, and was housed at the School for the Deaf and Blind on Malecon Drive (now Bonifacio Drive). On June 18, 1908, the Philippine Assembly passed the Act No. 1870, also known as the University Charter, marking the birth of the University of the Philippines. It renamed the Philippine Medical School as the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and Surgery. The control and management of the medical school was entrusted to the University of the Philippines Board of Regents on December 8, 1910. Its name was shortened to the University of the Philippines College of Medicine on March 1, 1923.

UP opened its doors in 1909 with the School of Fine Arts, the College of Liberal Arts, College of Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Engineering and the College of Law. It also operates the UP College of Agriculture in Los Baños, Laguna. These schools and colleges, established on different locations, were transferred to the UP Campus along Pedro Gil Street, Ermita, Manila on July 1, 1910 except for the College of Agriculture.

In 1907, the US government passed a law establishing the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). It was founded by Dean C. Worcester, an American who was a member of the United States Philippine Commission. On September 1, 1910, the 350-bed capacity hospital was opened to the public for health care delivery and clinical instruction and training of medical students. Dr. Paul Freer served as its first Medical School Dean until 1912. On February 5, 1915, the Philippine Legislative Act No. 2467 reorganized the Training School for Nurses into the PGH School of Nursing and established it as a department of PGH. A few years later, in 1914, 1915 and 1927, the School of Pharmacy, Department of Dentistry and the School of Public Health were created, respectively, under the UP College of Medicine. These units eventually became full-fledged degree-granting units in 1935, 1948, and 1932, respectively.

The Old Supreme Court Building was known as the UP Rizal Hall during the American Colonial Period. The present-day Rizal Hall was formerly known as the Villamor Hall.

The UP Campus was destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945. However, the College of Medicine under then Dean, Dr. Antonio G. Sison, and PGH were still able to fulfill their mandate of attending to the injured and the sick. On December 15, 1948, much the university transferred to its sprawling 493 hectare campus in Diliman, Quezon City. Three units, Medicine, Dentistry and Public Health, were left behind in the war-torn UP Campus in Manila. On the 40th anniversary of the University of the Philippines in 1949, the original Oblation was transferred to the Diliman Campus in Quezon City from its original site along Padre Faura Street in Manila as a symbol of transfer of administrative seat.[4] In April 1948, the UP College of Nursing, which established in the Diliman Campus, instituted the first baccalaureate program in Nursing in the Philippines. More academic units were established in the 1960s. These included the School of Allied Medical Professions (1962), housed then at the National Orthopedic Hospital (now called the Philippine Orthopedic Center), and the Philippine Eye Research Institute in 1965.

With the clamor to meet the health science education needs of the growing population, a Health Sciences Center within the University of the Philippines was created through the passage of RA 5163 on June 17, 1967. It was mandated to seek and emphasize the highest standards of training and research in the various health sciences.[5] However, the Center at the Diliman Campus did not materialize due to fiscal constraints.

In 1972, the UP College Manila was instituted as the first extension unit to offer liberal arts courses. Thereafter, the UP was reorganized into the University of the Philippines System to effect institutional unity, while allowing decentralization of authority and autonomy of the component units through Presidential Decree No. 58, promulgated on November 20, 1972, under the administration of President Ferdinand E. Marcos.[6] It was approved by the Board of Regents at its 828th meeting on November 21, 1972, and was implemented on January 1, 1973.

The Health Sciences Center became an autonomous component of the UP System through Executive Order No. 519 dated January 24, 1979. At that time, the Center was composed of the College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, College of Dentistry, Institute of Public Health (now the College of Public Health), School of Allied Medical Professions (now the College of Allied Medical Professions), Philippine General Hospital, UP Health Service, Philippine Eye Referral Institute (renamed as the Institute of Ophthalmology), National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions, Comprehensive Community Health Program, and the Anesthesiology Center Western Pacific. The last two units have since been abolished.

UP-PGH Nurses Home as seen from the intersection of Taft Avenue and Padre Faura Street. It was designed in Neoclassical Style by Filipino Architect Tomás Mapúa.

Through Executive Order No. 4, issued by then UP President Edgardo Angara on October 22, 1982, the Center was renamed University of the Philippines Manila and became the second autonomous unit of the UP System. The Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy from Diliman were transferred to the Manila Campus where they joined the rest of the health science units at the Old NEDA Building in Padre Faura Street. On December 21, 1983, UPM underwent its first reorganization through Executive Order No. 11 integrating the UP Health Sciences Center and the College of Arts and Sciences (formerly called UP College Manila).

The Board of Regents approved the second reorganization of the UP Manila at its 1007th and 1008th meetings on December 21, 1987 and February 11, 1988, respectively. This reorganization transformed and crystallized UP Manila’s philosophy, mission, organizational structure, governance and academic programs to what they are today. In 1989, the Institute of Health Sciences which used to be an extension unit of the College of Medicine, was transformed into the School of Health Sciences and became an independent unit.

Since 2001, the College of Medicine and the College of Nursing are recognized as Centers of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education.[3] In addition, the College of Nursing is a WHO Collaborating Center for Leadership in Nursing Development in the Asia-Pacific region. The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization named the College of Public Health as the SEAMEO-TROPMED Regional Center for Public Health, Hospital Administration, and Environmental and Occupational Health. The National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions is a WHO Regional Education Development Center for Health Professions Education.


The Supreme Court Annex Building, formerly the Main Library of UP.
Oblation Plaza as seen from the main entrance of Philippine General Hospital.

The University of the Philippines Manila is situated in the bustling area of Ermita, Manila. Its 14 ha (35 acres) campus[2] is the home to the Philippine General Hospital, National Health Sciences Center and the National Institutes of Health. It is the second largest university campus in the City of Manila after the 22 ha (54 acres) University of Santo Tomas. The campus is bounded by United Nations Avenue to the north, Taft Avenue to the east, María Orosa Avenue and Robinsons Place Manila to the west and by Pedro Gil Street to the south. The university is served by the United Nations and Pedro Gil Station of the LRT Line 1.

UPM's buildings vary in age from the PGH Administration Building of the 1930s to new dormitories and facilities constructed in 2017. Most of UP Manila's buildings are designed in Neoclassical style, a theme which has been preserved in recent architectural addition. Many buildings in the campus were designed by American Architect William E. Parsons, in accordance to the Burnham Plan of Manila. The design of the Philippine General Hospital became the template for many tropical hospitals in Asia and tropical America.[7] The National Historical Commission of the Philippines declared several sites within the campus, specifically the Philippine General Hospital, as heritage zones and were listed in the National Registry of Historic Sites and Structures in the Philippines.

The UP Manila Campus Planning, Development and Maintenance Office (CPDMO) offers planning and design services to all sectors of the university. It manages the creation of spaces that support and enhance teaching, research, and public service activities of UP Manila. It is also tasked to recover the lots and buildings that belongs to the university which are now occupied by the Court of Appeals, Department of Justice and the Supreme Court of the Philippines. The Supreme Court has announced its plans to vacate its UP Campus site and move to its own building located in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig by 2019, and the others are expected to follow suit.[8][9][10] CPDMO is located on the former UP College of Dentistry Annex Building, which was constructed in the 1960s.

Academic facilitiesEdit

The UP Museum of a History of Ideas along Padre Faura Street.

The UP Manila University Library and its nine college-based units compose the campus's library network, and as of October 2000 the library has a total collection of 189,874 volumes, including videos, sound recordings, and photographs. Since 1995, the University Library was a member of the Department of Science and Technology – Engineering, Science and Education Library Network Project.[11] The UP College Medicine Library, officially as the Dr. Florentino B. Herrera, Jr. Medical Library, is a center for the study of medical and clinical sciences, and its collections are particularly strong in the subjects of basic and clinical biomedical subjects. It occupies the building adjacent to the University Library. Both library buildings were permanently closed in 2016, after they were endangered when the foundation of the nearby under-construction UP College of Medicine Academic Center sank.[12] Both buildings are now slated for demolition and will be replaced with a new University Library Building.

The UP Manila School of Health Sciences operates on three campuses located throughout the Philippines. Its main campus was the UPM-SHS Palo Campus in Palo, Leyte. The other two campuses are the UPM-SHS Baler, Aurora Extension Campus in Luzon, and the UPM-SHS Koronadal City Campus in Mindanao.


Calderon Hall, the home of the UP College of Medicine which was recognized as a Center of Excellence by the CHED.
Main entrance to Rizal Hall, the home of the UP College of Arts and Sciences.

As the leading institution for medical education and research, UP Manila is regarded as the Health Sciences Center of the Philippines.[13] The university is one of the four pillars of the Metro Manila Health Research and Development Consortium.[14] The UP College of Medicine and the College of Nursing has been recognized by the Commission on Higher Education as Centers of Excellence since 2001.[3]

UP Manila develops programs that serve as models and benchmarks of health education and health care in the Philippines. Many of the pioneering curricular programs are offered only in the University even until now, such as the Integrated Arts and Medicine Program (seven-year medical program); Master of Rehabilitation Science; MS in Clinical Audiology; MA in Health Policy Studies; the step-ladder curriculum of the School of Health Sciences, its unit based in Leyte south of Manila, which consists of integrated courses on barangay health work, community health work, midwifery, nursing, and community medicine; and recent offerings that include the MS in Medical Informatics and the Diploma in Bioethics, a joint program with UP Diliman's College of Social Science and Philosophy.

The excellence of UP Manila's health courses is proven by the consistent 100% passing of its graduates in nearly all health licensure examinations every year, their placement in the top 10/20 posts of each exam, and consistently garnering the highest national passing rate among all health universities and colleges in the country, a feat which has been recognized many times by the Professional Regulation Commission.[15] UPM has nine degree-granting units, and it is a part of the University of the Philippines System. The university has a total personnel complement of 1,328, while the Philippine General Hospital has 3,844 employees as of December 2016.[16]


Admission to the university is very selective. Prospective students must pass the University of the Philippines College Admission Test, which is part of the admission requirements for all the component units the University of the Philippines System, including UPM.

Financial aidEdit

The university spends most of its budget to the students. For the school year of 2017 to 2018, UPM offers tuition-free education for medical students. The cash grants program will be funded through ₱317.1 million "built-in appropriations" for selected institutions, with each getting ₱39 million for the cash grants. The program is separate from the ₱8 billion free tuition program for undergraduate students in all state universities and colleges nationwide, and was made in response to the lack of doctors in the country caused by the high cost of medical education, overseas migration, and brain drain. Students who will benefit from this program are expected to render a one-year return service to the Philippines for every cash grants he or she receives.[17][18] Since the passage of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Bill, the university stopped collecting tuition fee to all undergraduate students indefinitely.[19]


In research, UP Manila has been pursuing its mandate by generating and disseminating knowledge and technologies that can effectively contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of Filipinos. Its research outputs have greatly influenced the thrusts and directions of national health care programs and have been used as basis for policy formulation and implementation.

Researches which exerted the biggest national impact on Philippine health care include several research-based program recommendations generated through the national surveys on blindness and the studies on Hepatitis B, diarrhea, and common parasitic infections, which were adopted by the Department of Health; commercialization of five herbal medicinal formulations (lagundi, yerba buena, tsaang gubat, sambong and akapulko); textbooks and instructional manuals which are also used by other academic institutions; and very recently, the evaluation by NIH of the performance of PhilHealth, the country's national health insurance program.[15]

Student lifeEdit


Students of UP Manila are known for their activism, since the Supreme Court of the Philippines, the Court of Appeals, and the Department of Justice are located within its grounds. UPM has many student groups focused on political change. It also has a variety of partisan groups ranging from liberal to conservative, and several third party organizations.


The university has produced remarkable alumni in their respective fields. Carmencita D. Padilla is the current chancellor of the university, who is also an alumnus of UPM.

20th centuryEdit

Notable people from UP Manila include Elpidio Quirino, the sixth President of the Philippines, who graduated from the university with a law degree in 1915. Also of importance was Fe del Mundo, a pediatrician. She was the first woman to be admitted as a student in Harvard Medical School, and was the founder of the first pediatric hospital in the Philippines.[20][21] In 1924, Alejandro Melchor obtained his civil engineering degree with the highest honors. He served as the Secretary of National Defense and was known for his work on pontoon bridges during World War II. Other notable UP Manila alumni includes Martino Abellana, a renowned Cebuano painter, and Trinidad Tarrosa-Subido, a linguist and poet.

21st centuryEdit

Jinggoy Estrada, a Philippine Senator obtained his economics degree from UPM. Enrique Manalo, who served as the Undersecretary for Policy of the Department of Foreign Affairs also obtained his economics degree from the university. Revolutionary leader Nur Misuari graduated from UP Manila with a political science degree in 1962.

UPM alumni who served in the field of medical and health profession include three Secretaries of the Department of Health: Juan Flavier (1992-1995), Esperanza Cabral (2009-2010), and Enrique Ona (2010 to 2014). Americans who graduated from UP Manila include two Brigadier General of the United States Air Force: Van N. Backman who obtained his bachelor of arts degree in 1955, and Patricia C. Lewis, who earned her masters degree from the university in 1977. Ernesto Domingo, a National Scientist of the Philippines, also graduated from the university. Alfredo Bengzon, the President and CEO of The Medical City obtained his doctor of medicine degree from the university. UPM alumni in academia include Paulo Campos, who was known for his work on nuclear medicine, Luciano P.R. Santiago, and Gregorio F. Zaide. The latter two are multi-awarded historians. In film, entertainment, and television, UPM is represented by comedian actress Maricel Laxa, and Vinci Montaner, a founding member of the band Parokya ni Edgar. Other prominent graduates include Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, an international activist for Igorot ethnicity.

Some people, such as Diosdado Macapagal, the 9th Philippine President, Paz Latorena, a writer, and Grace Poe, a senator, attended UPM but did not graduate.

Centennial CelebrationEdit

The centennial celebration of the University of the Philippines began on January 8, 2008. As part of UP's centenary, an Oblation statue in front of the Philippine General Hospital was unveiled in December 2008.


  1. ^ "Carmencita D. Padilla, MD, MAHPS". University of the Philippines Manila. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "visitor information". University of the Philippines Manila. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "Centers of Excellence – National Capital Region (NCR)" (PDF). Commission on Higher Education. Retrieved October 16, 2017. 
  4. ^ "The Oblation Unveiled in 1935". Bahay Nakpil-Bautista. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  5. ^ "REPUBLIC ACT NO. 5163". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved October 10, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Presidential Decree No. 58, s. 1972". Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved October 10, 2017. 
  7. ^ Alcazaren, Paulo (July 5, 2003). "Building a City Beautiful". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 16, 2017. 
  8. ^ Punay, Edu (August 18, 2014). "SC wants own building in Fort Bonifacio". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ Caruncho, Eric S. (June 2, 2017). "Mañosa firm wins design tilt for new Supreme Court complex in BGC". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  10. ^ Lopez, Virgil (April 25, 2017). "SC picks PHL flag-inspired design for new ‘green’ building in Taguig". GMA News Online. Retrieved October 9, 2017. 
  11. ^ "University Library". University of the Philippines Manila. Retrieved October 10, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Foundation of new building at UP College of Medicine sinks: report". ABS-CBN News. December 17, 2016. Retrieved October 10, 2017. 
  13. ^ "About UP Manila". University of the Philippines Manila. Archived from the original on February 6, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ "MMHRDC Members – Member Institutions". Metro Manila Health Research and Development Consortium. Retrieved October 17, 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "About UP Manila". ICEDyn2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Annual Audit Reports - National Capital Region - University of the Philippines System Executive Summary 2016". Commission on Audit. Retrieved October 7, 2017. 
  17. ^ Dioquino, Rose-An Jessica (June 15, 2017). "Palace bares SUCs with tuition-free med schools in 2017-2018". GMA News Online. Retrieved October 12, 2017. 
  18. ^ Mateo, Janvic (June 15, 2017). "Medical students to get free tuition – CHED". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 12, 2017. 
  19. ^ Geronimo, Jee Y. (July 26, 2017). "No tuition for now for UP Manila, UPLB undergrads". Rappler. Retrieved October 12, 2017. 
  20. ^ Chua, Philip S. (April 27, 2003). "Fe del Mundo, M.D.: At 94, still in the practice of Pediatrics". The Sunday Times Magazine. Retrieved December 26, 2007. 
  21. ^ Contreras, Volt (November 25, 2007). "Fe del Mundo: Her children’s hospital is 50 as she turns 96". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 26, 2007. 

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit