Students of the city-run Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) will now enjoy free bus rides courtesy of Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
Estrada recently acquired two brand new buses to ferry PLM students to and from the university campus in Intramuros.
“We’d like to help PLM students, our beloved city scholars, save money by providing them with free transportation,” the mayor said.
“This is just a simple gift from the city government to motivate them to study hard so that they’ll become responsible citizens in the future,” Estrada said at the formal turnover of the buses to PLM president Dr. Maria Leonora de Jesus.
The mayor rode the new bus from the city hall to the PLM campus, where he was warmly welcomed by De Jesus, students and members of the faculty.
It was the first time free rides was provided to PLM students, De Jesus said.
The 60-seater air-conditioned buses will have designated loading and unloading zones in strategic locations to pick up and drop students, she said.
“All the students here are scholars and they deserve to be provided with this kind of services. PLM is one of the country’s top universities and the City of Manila is a leader in educational excellence,” Estrada pointed out.
Established in 1965, PLM is the first tertiary-level institution in the country to offer tuition-free education; the first university funded solely by a city government; and the first institution of higher learning in the country to have its official name in Filipino.
Its 11,000 students are all scholars who come from the top 10 percent of Manila’s high school graduates.
“Now that the city is debt-free, we can finally come up with more programs, especially in education,” Estrada further said.
In his first three years in office, Estrada introduced major improvements to the city-run university, one of which is the P250-million renovation of Gusaling Antonio Villegas, the three-story main building constructed in the 1960s.
The city has built 22 new school buildings, purchased P375 million worth of 50 digital computer laboratories and 1,600 desktop computers and P40 million worth of textbooks and instructional materials, and provided free school uniforms and supplies to 292,556 students in 2015 and 30,000 pre-schoolers.
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