Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has unveiled the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila’s newest classroom building, built at the cost of P250 million.
During the formal turnover of the Gusaling Emilio Ejercito, Sr. at the PLM grounds last Monday, Estrada said the additional classrooms and laboratories will further boost the quality of education in the city-run university.
“It gives me a great pleasure to unveil a new addition to the PLM campus: this new, three-storey building, which will provide the PLM with another venue for various official activities and gatherings,” Estrada said.
“Thousands of young Manileños have graduated from PLM and have become professionals. With this new school building, we will be able to help educate many more poor but bright students, the future of our nation,” the former president added.
The new building tops the list of Estrada’s major school infrastructure projects in his second term as chief executive of the capital city.
It has 12 classrooms, four general laboratories, a state-of-the-art audio-visual room, and gender-neutral toilets, according to the Department of Engineering and Public Works.
It also has an executive lounge, a conference room, five executive offices, a general activity center, three department offices, a clerical area, two storage rooms, and a guardhouse. It also has its own canteen.
Estrada said it was an honor that the PLM’s Board of Regents has decided to name the building after his late father, Engr. Emilio Ejercito, Jr., who had a long and distinguished career as a sanitary engineer and head of the Department of Public Services in the City of Manila.
“As I have always said, my family’s ties with the City of Manila began a long time ago, way before I took over as mayor, and so my family and I extend our thanks for this honor you have bestowed on my father’s legacy as a man of honor and integrity, an engineer of great vision, and the best father anyone could have had,” Estrada said.
The new Gusaling Emilio Ejercito, Sr. has replaced the old Gusaling Villegas, the PLM’s old main building, which was more than 50 years old and had been declared condemned after many cracks were found in the structure.
With a present population of 10,000 students, PLM was established on June 19, 1965 as a tuition-free local university. It has been known as the first tertiary-level institution in the country to offer tuition-free education, and the first university funded solely by a city government.
PLM President Leonora De Jesus expressed her gratitude to Estrada whom she said is “the only city mayor who has given the most support to PLM.”
De Jesus said Estrada increased the university’s annual budget from P200 million to up to P440 million, excluding the multi-million-peso infrastructure projects, subsidies, technology updates, and other support such as free shuttle buses and Wi-Fi for the students and free subscription to e-journals and e-books worldwide.
All PLM students also have free accident insurance courtesy of the city government.
Through Estrada’s support, PLM ranked first in medicine in 2016 and is now the best school for Physical Therapy and nursing courses, fourth in architecture and law, and has repeatedly topped engineering board examinations nationwide, according to De Jesus.