Manuel Muhi is new PUP President
MANILA, Philippines — Dr. Manuel Muhi, the current Vice President of Academic Affairs of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) has been appointed as the 13th president of the university.
The announcement was made by the PUP Board of Regents, the university’s highest decision-making body, in a special meeting held at the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Office in Diliman, Quezon City on Friday, February 7.
Muhi was the Chairperson of PUP's Department of Civil Engineering from 1996 to 2004. He became its Dean from 2006 to 2012. He eventually served as PUP’s Vice President for Research, Extension, Planning and Development from 2012 to 2015. (READ: The search is on: Who’s the next Polytechnic University of the Philippines president?)
Muhi holds a degree in Civil Engineering from PUP in 1988, and received his master's degree in Engineering from the Technological University of Delft - International Institute for Infrastructural, Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering in the Netherlands in 2000. He earned his PhD in Technology from the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) in 2008.
Aside from his position in PUP, he is a registered Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Engineer, and also works as a licensed civil engineer and a professional engineering manager.
Muhi's vision includes making PUP a "national polytechnic university." (READ: [OPINION] A National Polytechnic University?)
He also summarized his goals for the university in a 10-pillar agenda that hopes to empower academic and administrative leaders, pattern “responsive and innovative curricula and instruction,” and create a productive environment through the provision of state-of-the-art facilities, as well as the enhancement of the university’s learning management system.
"PUP will ensure inclusive, equitable, quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities through a re-engineered polytechnic education," Muhi said.
The other contenders for presidency were Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of National Defense College of the Philippines Theresita V. Atienza; Director and Head of Academic Programs in PUP Lopez, Quezon Rufo N. Bueza, DPA; College of Communication Dean Divina T. Pasumbal, PhD; and College of Education Dean Ma. Junithesmer D. Rosales, DEM.
Met with criticism
Before the the announcement of the newly elected president was made, progressive groups such as the League of Filipino Students (LFS), National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), Alyansa ng Kabataang Mamamahayag (AKM), Gabriela Youth, Sinag Bayan, Kabataan Partylist, Anakbayan, and Samahan ng Mag-aaral para sa Sambayanan (SAMASA-PUP) staged a protest outside the CHED office.
The mobilization was organized to express the groups' disapproval on the position on certain issues of some aspirants including presidential candidate Rosales' remarks on military presence within the university ground and Atienza's stand on budget cut of student publication funds.
Other groups also called out the alleged campus militarization and violation of academic freedom in the university.
SAMASA-PUP pointed out that the election process was rushed claiming that 30 more days should have supposedly been allotted for the discussion between the student body and the candidates regarding the needs and demands of the PUP community before the announcement of the new president was made.
Muhi was part of the PUP Executive Committee with incumbent president Dr. Emanuel de Guzman.
Under the administration, the university student handbook was revised to add Mandatory Random Drug Testing (MRDT) and higher general weighted average (GWA) requirement for Latin Honors. These provisions were criticized by student groups for being "anti-student".
Muhi will take over de Guzman's position who served the university from 2012 to 2020. – with reports from Hyacinth Estrada and Dan Navarro/Rappler.com