University of the Philippines Manila College of Medicine, Philippines

The University of the Philippines Manila (UP Manila) is one of the eight constituent units (seven constituent universities and one autonomous college) of the University of the Philippines (UP) System. It is a public and secular institution of higher learning that offers academic and training programs, as well as extension services in the health sciences, health professions education, arts, and sciences.

The history of UP Manila is a compendium of the history of its individual units, some of which, like the College of Medicine (CM) and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), antedate the establishment of the University of the Philippines.

The Philippine Medical School, CM’s forerunner, was established on December 1, 1905 by the Philippine Commission under Commonwealth Act No. 1415 and opened on June 10, 1907, initially housed at the School for the Deaf and Blind on Malecon Drive (now Bonifacio Drive). It was later renamed UP College of Medicine and Surgery under Act No. 1870. The School transferred to its present home along Pedro Gil Street on July 1, 1910. The control and management of the medical school was entrusted to the Board of Regents on December 8, 1910. Its name was shortened to UP College of Medicine on March 1, 1923.

In 1907, the US government passed a law establishing the PGH. On September 1, 1910, the 350-bed capacity hospital was opened to the public for health care delivery and clinical instruction and training of medical students, with Dr. Paul Freer as the first Medical School Dean until 1912. On February 5, 1915, the Philippine Legislative Act No. 2467 reorganized the Training School for Nurses into the PGH School of Nursing and established it as a department of PGH.

The Philippine Legislature Act No. 1870, known as the University Charter, marked the birth of the University of the Philippines in Ermita, Manila on June 18, 1908, as the first and premier state institution of higher learning in the country. The Ermita Campus at Padre Faura where UP Manila now stands, thus, became the seat of excellence in education and advanced instruction in literature, philosophy, health sciences and the arts, as well as professional and technical training.

A few years later, in 1914, 1915 and 1927, the School of Pharmacy, Department of Dentistry and the School of Public Health were created, respectively, under the College of Medicine (CM). These units eventually became full-fledged degree-granting units in 1935, 1948, and 1932, respectively.

The general objectives of the Health Sciences Center were to provide leadership in education, research and services in the various sciences and thereby in health care of the highest quality; to provide for collaboration, integration, and coordination of the units for economy and productivity; to influence national policies and decision-making relative to health; develop innovative programs, projects, and models that are responsive to the health needs and aspirations of the country; and to make the Center more responsive to the country’s healthcare system through the development of improved techniques, better facilities, and maximization of the health science units.

In 1972, the UP College Manila was instituted as the first extension unit to offer liberal arts courses. Thereafter, UP was reorganized into the University of the Philippines System to effect institutional unity, while allowing decentralization of authority and autonomy of the component units through Presidential Decree No. 58, promulgated on November 20, 1972, under the administration of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It was approved by the Board of Regents at its 828th meeting on November 21, 1972, for implementation on January 1, 1973.

The Health Sciences Center became an autonomous component of the UP System through Executive Order No. 519 dated January 24, 1979. At that time, the Center was composed of the College of Medicine (CM), College of Pharmacy (CP), College of Dentistry (CD), Institute of Public Health (IPH) now College of Public Health (CPH), School of Allied Medical Professions, now College of Allied Medical Professions (CAMP), Philippine General Hospital (PGH), University of the Philippines Health Service (UPHS), Philippine Eye Referral
Institute (PERI) renamed as the Institute of Ophthalmology, National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions (NTTC-HP), Comprehensive Community Health Program, and the Anesthesiology Center Western Pacific. The last two units have since been abolished.

Through Executive Order No. 4, issued by then UP President Edgardo Angara on October 22, 1982, the Center was renamed University of the Philippines Manila and became the second autonomous unit of the UP System. This period also saw thetransfer of the Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy from Diliman to the Manila Campus where they joined the rest of the health science units at the Old NEDA Building in Padre Faura. On December 21, 1983, UPM underwent its first reorganization through Executive Order No. 11 integrating the UP Health Sciences Center and the College of Arts and Sciences (formerly called UP College Manila).

The Board of Regents approved the second reorganization of UP Manila at its 1007th and 1008th meetings on December 21, 1987 and February 11, 1988, respectively. This reorganization transformed and crystallized UP Manila’s philosophy, mission, organizational structure, governance and academic programs to what they are today. In 1989, the Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) which used to be an extension unit of the College of Medicine, was transformed into the School of Health Sciences (SHS) and became an independent unit of UP Manila.

On January 8, 2008, the University of the Philippines began its centennial celebration.As part of U.P.’s centenary, an Oblation statue in front of the Philippine General Hospital was unveiled in December 2008. U.P. Manila is the only campus with two such monuments.

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