Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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This article is about the university in Manila. For other uses, see Polytechnic University of the Philippines (disambiguation).
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Politeknikong Unibersidad ng Pilipinas
Seal of Polytechnic University of the Philippines.svg
Seal of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Former names
  • Manila Business School
  • Philippine School of Commerce
  • Philippine College of Commerce
Motto Tanglaw ng Bayan
Motto in English
Light of the Nation
Established October 19, 1904
Type State
Academic affiliation
Budget ₱1.048 billion (2015)[1]
President Emanuel de Guzman
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 48,213 (2015)
68,249 (2013)
Location Manila, Philippines
14°35′50″N 121°0′39″E / 14.59722°N 121.01083°E / 14.59722; 121.01083Coordinates: 14°35′50″N 121°0′39″E / 14.59722°N 121.01083°E / 14.59722; 121.01083
Campus Urban
Language Tagalog, English
  Maroon and Gold
Sports Archery, Badminton, Basketball, Chess, Combat, Football, Flying disc games, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Ultimate, Volleyball, Water Polo
Nickname PUP Mighty Maroons
Mascot PUPOY
Sporting affiliations
Website www.pup.edu.ph

The Polytechnic University of the Philippines (Filipino: Politeknikong Unibersidad ng Pilipinas; abbreviated as PUP and commonly known as PUP Sta. Mesa and PUP Manila) is a coeducational, research state university located in Santa Mesa, Manila, Philippines. It was founded on October 19, 1904 as the Manila Business School, under the Division of City Schools – Manila as the city's business school.[2] PUP Manila is the flagship campus and the seat of administration of the PUP System where about 48,213 students are enrolled.[3] With a combined student population of 70,000 in 2015, which includes all branches and campuses, the PUP System is largest state university in the Philippines. PUP confers diploma, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, and is composed of its graduate school, an distance education program, 14 colleges, a secondary laboratory school and the Institute of Technology.

PUP is known as the "Poor Man's University"[5][6] where the economically challenged and other marginalized people study.[7] It is notable for charging the lowest tuition among all universities in the Philippines at 12 pesos (US$0.29) per academic unit, a rate that has remained unchanged since 1979.[8]

PUP's sports team is known as the Mighty Maroons and plays in the National Capital Region Conference of the State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA). The team also plays in the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (NAASCU) since becoming a member in 2013. Its official volleyball team, the PUP Lady Radicals, plays in the Shakey's V-League.


This institution started as the Manila Business School[9] (MBS, also referred as the Manila School of Commerce),[10] founded on October 19, 1904[10] as part of the city school system under the superintendence of Gabriel A. O’Reilly.[11][12] The school was established to meet the demands of needed businessmen and businesswomen for government service and private employment.[13] It was renamed as Philippine School of Commerce on 1908[9] and was made an Insular (or national) school.[13] In 1911, the school was again placed under the administration of the city school system but still kept its status as a national school.[13]

In 1933, the Philippine School of Commerce merged with the Philippine Normal School[9] and the Philippine School of Arts and Trades. The resulting merger placed PSC under the administration of Philippine Normal School[13] and its students who completed their courses were considered graduates of the PNS.[13] President Manuel L. Quezon promised a new building for the school through his graduation address in 1940.[13] This was supported by Congressman Manuel A. Alazarte and PSC's Department Head Luis F. Reyes, who formulated a bill to this effect and present it to the Congress in 1942. Unfortunately, the plan was not carried out because of the Japanese invasion in the Philippines during World War II.[13]

In 1946, efforts for the school's re-establishment and rehabilitation was intensified. The Bureau of Public Works released more than 8,000 for the repairs and maintenance of public buildings of which the school is a beneficiary. The ruins of PNS's Normal Hall was reconstructed and the college resumed its operations. Afterwards, the Normal Hall was converted as a dormitory, forcing PSC to continue its operations on its former campus before the merger with PNS and PSAT.[13] However, its campus size is inadequate to serve its ever-growing student population and the school authorities sought to acquire a bigger campus. PSC moved to its new campus in July 1947 which is located at S. H. Loyola Street in Sampaloc, Manila.[13] It continued its operations there until 1971.

The Philippine School of Commerce became the Philippine College of Commerce on 1952 by virtue of Republic Act 778, which broadened the school's course offerings. PSC's Department Head Luis F. Reyes continued to served as its president.[14] For its excellency as a college whose main thrust is commerce, the college was awarded by the Business Writers Association of the Philippines the title of "Business College of the Year” in 1955. In the following years, it began expanding its program offerings and established several satellite campuses. It was on 1968 when the college was assigned to use and dispose its A. Mabini Campus in Santa Mesa, Manila near and on the former site of National Development Corporation, which will become the main and flagship campus of the institution. It was also awarded the title lot for its S.H. Loyola Campus.[14] As a hotbed of student activism, a handful of its students participated in the First Quarter Storm, one of the factors leading up to the declaration of Martial Law in 1972.

PCC became a chartered state university and was accordingly renamed as the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, through Presidential Decree 1341 on April 1, 1978. Dr. Pablo T. Mateo served as the first President of PUP.[15] Mateo was succeeded by Dr. Nemesio E. Prudente who was known for his educational reforms and revitalizing public education in the Philippines.[16] The Freedom Plaza was constructed for PUP's centennial in 2004 at the center of Mabini Campus in honor of Prudente, his achievements and for the great contribution of the PUP community. In 2000, PUP was recognized as a Virtual Center for Technology Innovation in Information Technology by the Department of Science and Technology.[17]

In 2004, PUP celebrated its centennial anniversary. To highlight the signing of the Declaration of Peace to be put before the United Nations, PUP made the world's largest human rainbow in its centennial celebration held in Rizal Park.[18] It is made up of 30,365 students, faculty, staff and alumni and it held the record for the world's largest human rainbow.[19]

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared the PUP Mabini Campus as the official and permanent home of the Mabini Shrine, a house where Apolinario Mabini lived. She enacted Proclamation 1992 to preserve its historical and architectural value.[20] PUP Mabini Campus is the fourth and final site where the Mabini Shrine was transferred according to the National Historical Institute's resolution to protect it from a flood control project of the Metro Manila Development Authority.

In 2005, Dr. Dante G. Guevarra was installed as the President of PUP. His term include the construction of a wall based on Fort Santiago around the Luntiang Pilipinas Forest Park and the creation of PUP iApply, a web-based application system.[17] Guevarra's tenure was also controversial due to allegations of graft and corruption and the assassination of then-Vice President for Administration Augustus Cezar.[21][22][23] He was suspended from his duty as the President of PUP along with other officials.[24][25]

In March 2012, Emanuel de Guzman was appointed as the new President of PUP after a painstaking transition period.[26][27] PUP participated in a successful attempt to set a world record for most organ donation pledges in 2014, a project spearheaded by the Department of Health. It broke the record for most organ donation pledges in one hour. 3,548 people signed up in the span of 30 minutes, beating India's 2,755 pledged organ donors.[28][29]

PUP placed 3rd in the "Go Green in the City" contest held at Paris, France in June 2015, representing the Philippines. Engineering students John Paul Santos and Christian Santa Romana won the award for their invention, the ELECTRIFILTER (Electricity Generation from Filthy Water). It generates electricity from waste water, has the capability to filter and cleanse water and is portable so that it can be delivered to places where clean water and electricity are short in supply.[30][31]


Panoramic view of the Freedom Plaza in Mabini Campus
The PUP Pylon
Freedom Plaza and the North Wing of the PUP Main Academic Building

The 10-hectare[32] campus of PUP occupies the lot formerly owned by the National Development Corporation that sits at the riverbanks of the Pasig River. Its main campus is the A. Mabini Campus, named after Apolinario Mabini, a Filipino revolutionary during the Spanish colonial times. It hosts the core cluster of academic buildings and services. The first building built on the site is the Main Academic Building, which was originally intended to be a military tenement. The Ninoy Aquino Library and Learning Resources Center is regarded as one of the largest libraries in Southeast Asia.[33]

Parks inside the campus include the Luntiang Pilipinas Forest Park, which contains a lagoon and is sealed by walls that imitates Fort Santiago and its walls in Intramuros, and the PUP Linear Park that was constructed in 2006 facing the Pasig River. The Freedom Plaza which was built for PUP's Centennial in 2004 is a place where different activities are held. Sports facilities in the campus include the PUP Gymnasium and Sports Center, an Olympic-size swimming pool, two basketball courts, tennis courts, and the university oval (sports ground) and grandstand.

The Obelisk and Luntiang Pilipinas Forest Park at the PUP Mabini Campus

In 2009, Mabini Shrine, a historical landmark and a national cultural property, was transferred permanently to a lot beside the Freedom Plaza. A museum dedicated to Mabini was built at the shrine and is operated by the National Historical Institute.

Its NDC Compound Campus contains the College of Architecture and Fine Arts, College of Communication, College of Engineering, Institute of Technology. It also contains the Antique House, one of the buildings transferred by the National Development Corporation to the national government in 1989.[32] The PUP BPO Center in the campus was launched through a partnership between PUP and the Civil Service Commission.

Its M. H. Del Pilar Campus contains its graduate school and the College of Tourism, Hospitality, and Transportation Management. It was formerly known as the Hasmin Hotel, a budget hotel which at present-day now provides sleeping and residential quarters for the students and faculty of PUP.


The campus was given by the National Development Corporation when it moved out in 1989, transferring all its assets to the national government which in turn will be given to PUP. At that time, PUP is set to acquire the whole compound through a backdoor deal with NDC. Firestone Ceramics, a lessee of NDC that occupies 1.8 hectares, was granted its right of first refusal, enabling it to purchase the site it occupies.[5][34][35] Also, PUP unsuccessfully tries to takeover lot measuring 2,407 meters owned by Golden Horizon Realty Corporation inside the NDC Compound whose case is very similar to that of the Firestone Ceramics years earlier.[36]

In 2007, PUP purchased two five-storey condotel-hostel buildings near its NDC Campus from the Government Service Insurance System to accommodate its growing student population. The buildings, known as PUP Condotel, was worth ₱575.7 million upon its purchase. The Commission on Audit labeled it as a "waste of government funds" because the buildings are in unusable condition at the time of its purchase.[37] Only PUP Condotel Building A was rehabilitated and is currently in use while Building B is still unusable. The rehabilitation cost already amounted to ₱101.3 million as of 2013. The overall cost for the buildings, including its rehabilitation, already amounts to ₱677.1 million and balloons higher as rehabilitation continues.[38]


Emanuel de Guzman, popularly known as "Dekong" to the PUP community.

The PUP System is governed by a Board of Regents that responsible for the appointment of the President of PUP and the approval of institutional policies. The current board consists of fourteen people and members of the board include the President of PUP, the Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education and the Chairpersons of the Committees of Higher Education of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The current President of PUP is Emanuel de Guzman, who is popularly known as "Dekong" to the PUP community.

Allowances and salaries[edit]

Emanuel de Guzman is the highest-paid state university president whose basic annual salary was ₱3.09 million in 2013, according to the Commission on Audit.[39] Other executive officials of PUP also receives huge salaries and allowances. PUP Vice Presidents Samuel Salvador and Joseph Mercado received ₱2.7 million each; while Manuel Muhi, the Executive Vice President, was paid ₱2.4 million according to the Secretary of Budget and Management Florencio Abad.[40]


PUP rankings
CHED Top Law Schools (2009)[41] 17
PUP Engineering and Architecture Building

PUP is broadly organized into fourteen colleges, a secondary laboratory school, its nontraditional studies/distance education programs and a graduate school. PUP's graduate school and the College of Education confers doctoral and master's degrees.[42] The Open University System is the first institution of open learning and nontraditional/distance education in the Philippines, beginning with the offering of technical and vocational courses in the 1970s.[43] It delivers higher educational services in a manner that differs from the formal, highly structured, and classroom-oriented traditional approach. Its technical school, the Institute of Technology does not require passing the entrance test for admission and offers six diploma programs.

The Ninoy Aquino Library and Learning Resources Center is regarded as one of the largest libraries in Southeast Asia.

Schools, Colleges and Institute[edit]

The College of Education is regarded as the oldest college of PUP which started as a course in business education in 1904. The PUP Laboratory High School is regarded as one of the best laboratory high school in the country and serves as the laboratory school of the college where students practice-teach. From the entrepreneurship and courses offered in 1904 humbly began the College of Business Administration, while the College of Accountancy and Finance started in 1960 as a bachelor program in Commerce with major in Accounting. The College of Computer and Information Sciences started in 1969 as an Electronic Data Process course offered by the College of Accountancy. Its Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program was recognized as a Center of Development for Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education from 2000 up to 2006.[17] To develop the culture of sports and athleticism, the present-day College of Human Kinetics was established in 1978 as the College of Physical Education and Sports. The College of Engineering was established in 1986 as the College of Engineering and Architecture.[44]

In 2001, several collegiate departments were elevated into its own college which results in the establishment of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts, College of Communication, College of Law, and the College of Tourism, Hospitality, and Transportation Management. Its newest academic units are the College of Arts and Letters, College of Political Science and Public Administration and the College of Social Sciences and Development, all of which are founded through an organizational restructuring in 2012.[45]

The College of Communication is recognized by the Commission on Higher Education as a Center of Development. In a like manner, its bachelor's program in Filipinology, Business Teacher Education and Journalism and its doctoral program in Educational Management gained the same recognition.[46][47]

Open University System[edit]

PUP is known for its distance learning education programs. The Open University System is conceptualized as a "university within a university". It is composed of the PUP Institute of Open and Distance Education/Transnational Education, PUP Institute of Non-Traditional Studies Program and ETEEAP, and the PUP Center for Continuing and Professional Development. The PUP OU System is also known as the "Pamantasang Bayan" and established in the 1970's which offers vocational courses.[43]

PUP is also known as one of three universities that were able to institutionalize and implement the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program or ETEEAP, despite the absence of budgetary support from CHED. The ETEEAP program focus on people who's been working for 5 years or more without a college degree and wants to acquire one faster than the traditional way of studying. As of 2014, the cost of the tuition fee is ₱4,800 per a 3-unit subject for a bachelor’s degree and ₱6,750 per a 3-unit subject for a master’s degree.[48] PUP is also known for its Non-Traditional Study Program or NTSP, which evaluates the student's educational background, work experiences and achievements through a rating system that leads to the completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree.[49] The ETEEAP and the NTSP are handled by the PUP Institute of Non-Traditional Studies Program and ETEEAP.

Admissions and enrollment[edit]

First-Time Freshman Profile[50]
2014 2013 2012
Freshman Applicants 41,824 36,458 34,198
Admitted 10,820 10,280 8,868
 % Admitted

Admission to PUP is selective. To be admitted, aspiring students must pass the PUP College Entrance Test. Admission to selected program is based on the test score and the availability of slots. A different admission test is given to the entrance scholars, the PUP Scholastic Aptitude and Interest Test and they can enroll in any program they like upon passing regardless of slot availability. Of an estimated 50,000 annual PUPCET takers, only 8,000 will be accepted due to the university's limited budget.[51] With a population of 68,249 students in 2013, it is the largest state university in the Philippines.[4]

Tuition fee at PUP ranges from ₱600 to ₱16,000, and it is almost free for the residents of Manila.[52] Undergraduate students pay an average of ₱1,500 ($34) per semester while high school students pay an average of ₱1,000 ($22) a year.[53] For each student, the national government subsidy amounts to ₱16,000 for the school year of 2014/15.[54]

More than a hundred of the student population are foreigners from China, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ghana. Also, students from South Korea visits PUP every summer to take up intensive English courses.[2]


PUP has 2,747 employees as of the year-end 2013.[4] For the academic year of 2012/13, PUP has 1,828 faculty.[55] Its faculty-student ratio is 1:37.[56] The faculty spends two-thirds of their time in teaching and one-third for research and extension activities.[2]


The Office of the Vice President for Research, Extension, Planning and Development is the official research and planning agency of the PUP. It was established as the Department of Research and Statistics in November 1951.[57] PUP is a member of the De La Salle UniversityCommission on Higher Education Zonal Research Center.[58] It is also a member institution of the Higher Education Research Consortium Philippines.[59] Three of its research publications are accredited by the Commission on Higher Education, these are the Mabini Review, PUP Journal Science and Technology and the Social Sciences and Development Review.[60] PUP organized the 2011[61] and hosted the 2013 International Research Conference in Higher Education.[62]

In order to produce high-impact researches that will respond to the ever-changing needs of the academia, a four (4) storey building called the PUP Engineering and Science Research Center will rise at the Mabini Campus.[63]


In 2014, PUP released ₱1.7 million to finance 11 researches. 3 of the approved research proposals came from the College of Science, 3 from the College of Education, 2 from the College of Communication, 1 each for the College of Arts and Letters and the South Cluster I of PUP Taguig. The research grant was given in 3 tranches.[64] In 2015, the Approved Institutional Research amounts to ₱2,280,947.00.[65]

Student life[edit]

PUP has a variety of longstanding traditions and celebrations such as its month-long Founding Anniversary held every October, with post-foundation anniversary events being held afterwards. The Pylon Run, held annually at during founding anniversary by the PUP chapter of Alpha Phi Omega is PUP's own version of the Oblation Run.

Student organizations[edit]

PUPLHS Chorale performing at their anniversary concert "Committed" in 2012.

PUP's more than a hundred student organizations and clubs cover a wide range of interests. Cultural organizations are under the University Center for Culture and the Arts. The Central Student Council is the undergraduate student government of PUP. Under the Central Student Council is the PUP Commission on Student Organizations and Accreditation which have the mandate to accredit, re-accredit, or re-validate student organizations.

Notable political student organizations are the Sandigan ng Mag-aaral para sa Sambayan (SAMASA), Bangon PUP, and KILOS! PUP. Popular music organizations include the PUPLHS Chorale, Polysound, and formerly the internationally acclaimed bamboo orchestra group PUP Banda Kawayan[66] (now known as Banda Kawayan Pilipinas).[67]

The Federation of Alumni Associations in PUP, Inc. (FEDAAPI) is the official alumni association of PUP. It oversees various activities for alumni such as class reunions, local gatherings, alumni travel, and career services. The PUP Tahanan ng Alumni Building was established through FEDAAPI.


Militant activist protesting at the Freedom Plaza.

PUP is known for its student activism.[68][69] PUP has many student groups focused on political reform. The militant national democratic partisan groups are the cause of frequent protest and rallies in the campus. PUP's variety of partisan groups include liberal, socialist, conservative, and several third party organizations. The dominant party is the militant national democratic.

On March 2013, some activist students burned chairs in a protest regarding an alleged tuition hike. The incident came in the wake of the suicide of a University of the Philippines Manila freshman who allegedly could not afford to pay her tuition.[70] The students involved in the violent protest faced sanctions from the university.[71] The incident is not the first time that PUP students burns and destroys chairs. The first incident was back in 2010, where hundreds of agitated students walked out of the room and began throwing dilapidated chairs, tables, and examination papers from the main building to denounce an allegedly 2,000% tuition hike.[72]


PUP has a variety of media outlets. The Observer is PUP's official publication and is published monthly on print and online. The militant student-run newspaper is called The Catalyst. The PUPCreaTV is regarded as the first university-based online channel in the Philippines.[73] It was launched in February 2013 and its pioneer programs are "The Observer Flash Online" (newscast), "PUP TV" (feature magazine program), and "State U" (web series).

DZMC is the campus radio station operated by the College of Communication. Its programming tentatively include news, sports, educational/children's programs, talk shows, commentaries, to music programs and request shows, mostly geared towards the interests of students, faculty and the administration. All operations have been put on hold, due to reasons of pending license application.


Main article: PUP Mighty Maroons
PUP Gymnasium and Sports Center

PUP's varsity teams compete in the National Capital Region Conference of the State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association. They also play at the National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities since becoming a member in 2013.[74] The athletic teams of PUP are called the Mighty Maroons.

Its volleyball and basketball teams plays at the PUP Gymnasium and Sports Center. Softball is played at the PUP Oval field, which was recently rehabilitated in 2013. Non-varsity student sports clubs that compete with other area universities include the PUP Ultimate, which played at the 2011 University FriXbee Championship held at the University of the Philippines Diliman.

The PUP Lady Stars is the official volleyball team. It will play at the 2nd Conference of the 12th Season of Shakey's V-League and was known as the PUP Lady Radicals, avoiding the usage of the name Mighty Maroons because of its resemblance to the name of rival team UP Fighting Maroons. The team is the replacement for the De La Salle Lady Spikers, who pulled out of the league due to its commitment in other tournaments.[75]

The PUP Stars Cheerleading Team was formed in 1998 and was the champion in the 2011 SCUAA-NCR Cheerdance Competition. They were also the champion in the 2006 and 2010 season of the Philippine Inter Schools, Colleges and Universities Athletic Association cheerdance competition.


Persons affiliated to the university, either as students, faculty members, or administrators, are called as "PUPians". Students and graduates are also called "Iskolar ng Bayan" (Scholars of the Nation).


PUP has produced remarkable alumni in their respective fields. In a Jobstreet.com Philippines survey that surveyed more than 450 companies in 2015, PUP ranked 4th among the schools where employers sought out perspective employee from fresh graduates.[76][77] The salary range of the graduates of PUP is ₱152,271 – ₱656,178 according to The Manila Times.[78]

Filipino political leaders and public servants that are graduates of PUP include Satur Ocampo, a member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, Celia Capadocia-Yango, who once served as the Secretary of Social Welfare and Development, and Ted Failon a former politician and a broadcast journalist. Other legal figures include Antonieta Fortuna-Ibe, the Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner and former Chairperson of the Professional Regulation Commission, and Diosdado N. Silva, the Assistant General Manager of the Philippine National Railways and a lawyer.[79]

PUP alumni serving as CEOs or company presidents and executives include Fernando L. Martinez, the founder and CEO of Eastern Petroleum,[80] Joey Bermudez, the former President of the Philippine Veterans Bank, Olive Ramos, the CEO of South East Asian Airlines (SEAir) (now called Tigerair Philippines),[81] Henry M. Tan, a Certified Public Accountant and the President of the PICPA Eastern Metro Manila Chapter, the former President and CEO of Chowking.

PUP alumni in the academia include Galcoso C. Alburo, one of Metrobank Foundation's Outstanding Teachers in the field of Filipino literature, Ed Teovisio, one of Metrobank Foundation's Outstanding Teachers for 2012,[82] Francisco Dalupan, Sr., the founder of the University of the East and Rev. Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, the Rector Magnificus of the University of Santo Tomas.[7]

In the area of religion and theology, PUP alumni includes Eddie Villanueva,[83] the founder and Spiritual Director of the Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide.

In film, entertainment, television, PUP is represented by 2006 Binibining Pilipinas-International titleholder Denille Lou Valmonte; actors Bayani Agbayani,[84] and Tado Jimenez; singer Liezel Garcia; comedians such as Micheal "Pekto" Nacua, Albert Sumaya Jr., popularly known as Betong, and James Ronald and Rodfil Obeso, the duo brothers who are better known as Moymoy Palaboy. Filipino TV hosts that are graduates of PUP include Love Añover, and broadcaster and former politician Mario Teodoro Failon Etong. Notable reporters that are graduates of PUP includes Steve Dailisan, Maricel Halili, Marc Logan and Maan Macapagal and radio disc jockey John Gemperle, better known as Papa Jack. Nationally known remarkable alumni include Dr. Rustica Carpio, who was entitled to the Ulirang Artista Lifetime Achievement Awardee.


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