Thursday, March 12, 2009



I – Whether or not PLM is state university as defined by the
Republic Act No. 8292 and it's IRR thru CHED Memorandum Order No. 3,
s. 2001.

The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila is a state university. The
distinction and definition given by our law, is to have a charter
and an independent governing board for an institution to be
considered as a state university (Par. (b), Section 3 of the IRR for
RA 8292). PLM holds a special characteristic as defined by its own
charter, Republic Act No. 4196. It reads in Section 15 of the said
charter that, the Municipal Board of the City of Manila shall
appropriate the funds for the operation of the university. Given
this difference from any other state university like the University
of the Philippines and the Polytechnic University of the
Philippines, wherein funds form part of the Annual Appropriations of
the national government, the PLM still holds the same requirements
as defined by law to be considered as a state university.
According to the plain meaning rule, absent a contrary definition
within the statute, words must be given their plain, ordinary and
literal meaning. The law is clear, thus this should not create
further interpretation or confusion.

II – Whether or not the PLM Board of Regents is violating the
provisions of the Republic Act No. 8292 or the HEMA for failure to
comply with the requirements of law for a uniform composition
and powers of governing boards of chartered state universities and

The Commission on Higher Education oversees the higher education
system in the Philippines. It is an agency attached to the Office of
the President of the Philippines for administrative purposes as
stated in its own charter. CHED is responsible for administering and
supervising both public and private higher education institutions
(HEIs) in the country.

The state universities and colleges' (SUCs) autonomy is assured by
their individual charters. In this regard, PLM is enacted by
legislation thru Republic Act No. 8292, commonly known as the PLM
Charter. The PLM Charter vested its powers to the Board of Regents
authorizing it to open curricula and institutional programs, and
award its own degrees. However, on July 22, 1997, landmark
legislation was made enacting into law Republic Act 8292 otherwise
known as the "Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997." This Act
provides among others for the uniform composition and powers of the
governing boards of SUCs with the Chairman of CHED as the Chair of
the governing boards of all SUCs. With this new set-up, in effect
this places all SUCs under the supervision, policy and development
mandate of CHED. This enables the CHED to exert influence or provide
proper guidance on the quality and directions of the academic
programs as well as on the internal operations of the SUCs.

The Board of Regents, the highest decision-making body of PLM, has
the authority to grant diplomas, certificates and titles to students
who have completed their academic programs and validate graduation
of students. The six-member Board is currently composed of the
President of PLM, a representative of the PLM faculty, a
distinguished alumnus, a respected educator, and one other respected
professional, and the Superintendent of the Division of City Schools-
Manila. Each member serves six-year tenure of office.

This current composition of the PLM Board of Regents, given the
status of PLM as a state university, is directly violating the HEMA.
As stated in R.A. 8292, the governing body of state universities and
colleges is hereby in the Board of Regents for universities and in
the Board of Trustees for colleges which shall be composed of the
(i) Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Chairman;

(ii) President of the university or college, Vice Chairman;

(iii) Chairmen of the Congressional Committees on Education and

(iv) Regional Director of the National Economic Development
Authority (NEDA) where the main campus of the university or college
is located;

(v) Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology
(DOST) in case of science and technological colleges; or the
Regional Director of the Department of Agriculture colleges; or the
Secretary of Education for an Autonomous Region. In lieu of such
representation, the commanding generals of the Philippine Air Force
and the Philippine Navy shall sit as members of the Board of the
Philippine State College of Aeronautics and the Philippine Merchant
marine Academy, respectively;

(vi) President of the faculty association;

(vii) President of the supreme student council or the student
representative elected by the student council: Provided, That in the
absence of a student council president of student representative
elected by the student council, the university or college shall
schedule one (1) weekly for the campaign and election of student

(viii) President of the alumni association of the institution

(ix) Two (2) prominent citizens who have distinguished themselves in
their professions or fields of specialization chosen from among
lists of at least five (5) persons qualified in the city or the
province where the school is located, as recommended by the search
committee constituted by the President consultation with the
Chairman of the CHED based on the normal standards and
qualifications for the position;

PLM is clearly non-compliant of the law specifically created for to
modernize and rationalize the direction of SUCs particularly in the
composition and powers of governing boards. The absence of a student
regent in the BOR is one visible indication that PLM refuses to
grant the right of the students to be represented in policy-making
within the university.
Ignorantia legis neminem excusat.


WHEREFORE, given our arguments and legal basis, we pray for this
Honorable Commission to wit:
1. Intervention in the matter of PLM's non-compliance of the
R.A. 8292 and other CHED issuances relevant to the composition of
governing boards of state universities and colleges which includes
2. Issue a restraining order to the PLM BOR from delivering its
normal function not until the composition of the BOR is fully
organized in compliance with Section 3 of R.A. 8292 with the
inclusion of a Student Regent.
3. Provide all remedies as it is deemed appropriate for the
proper resolution of this issue.

We stand by the rule of law and by the rights of the students.
Signed in the City of Manila.

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