Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Monday unveiled a new P20-million state-of-the-art technology and laboratory center at the city-run Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.
Estrada said PLM students now have greater access to the kind of technology and equipment they need to succeed in the future through the MVP Technology and Innovation Center, built through funds provided by tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan.
“This facility is an important step in enriching the learning experience of PLM students as they seek to be the next generation of our city’s leaders,” Estrada said during the turnover ceremonies.
“On behalf of PLM officials, faculty and students, as well as the entire City of Manila, I extend my deepest thanks to you for this generous gesture of support to our city’s educational sector,” the mayor told Pangilinan.
Pangilinan, chairman of PLDT-Smart and One Meralco Foundation, said it was with “great joy” he turned over the facility, as he thanked Estrada and PLM president Lenny de Jesus for giving him an opportunity to help the university.
“It is really not just my generosity, but this flows from the generosity and efforts of my colleagues at Meralco and PLDT. We are partners in this endeavor,” he said.
Born in Manila where he spent his early childhood years, Pangilinan vowed to help the city more, particularly public schools such as PLM.
“This will be a continuing engagement with PLM because they still need a lot of things, such as desks, facilities, and others. And the auditorium, we will fix it,” he said.
The tycoon said his companies could also provide on-the-job training and summer jobs to IT students “so they can be more familiar with the practical aspects of IT.”
The MVP Technology and Innovation Center occupies two floors of the new Gusaling Emilio Ejercito Sr. recently constructed by the city government. It has fully equipped laboratories for civil and chemical engineering students.
The center also has an instrumentation and control laboratory, four computer laboratories, a mechanical and manufacturing engineering laboratory, drawing rooms, data center, and information and communication center.
De Jesus said the facility is a big contribution to PLM’s College of Engineering and Architecture.
“We’re very grateful to Mr. MVP for his donations, and he is asking what more he can assist the university with,” she said.
With a student population of 10,000, 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.
Estrada has increased the university’s annual budget from P200 million to P440 million, excluding the multimillion-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.