Senator Richard J. Gordon sees Tuba or any of the other four municipalities of Benguet that will be included in the cluster that will comprise the proposed Greater Baguio, as the new educational hub to decongest Baguio City and enable it to restore its old glory as the country's Summer Capital.
During the hearing/public consultation on Senate Bill No. 1692 or the Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay Development Authority in Baguio last week, Gordon said academic institutions such as the University of the Philippines, the University of the Cordilleras and the Philippine Military Academy, among others, could be relocated in Tuba and turn it into the Silicon Valley of the Philippines.
"The academe, the population of universities in Baguio, is approximately 1/3 of the population of the city. The academic population is contributing to the congestion of Baguio. If we can ask UP, UC and other universities to expand outside Baguio, you can just imagine how great the reduction to Baguio's population would be. We can develop Tuba as the Silicon Valley of the Philippines," he said.
SBN 1692 aims to create a Greater Baguio Metropolitan Authority that would formulate a master plan for redeveloping Baguio City and spreading development and opportunities in the five other municipalities under the cluster to provide better quality of living for the people.
Statistics show that 115,000 of Baguio City's 330,000 total population are comprised of students. Dr. Achilles Costales, of UP Baguio said they have 2,600 to 3,000 students while Dr. Leonardia Aguinalde, of UC, said they are already crowded with only eight buildings for UC's 18,000 student population. Both disclosed that they are requesting to be transferred to Tuba as they could no longer expand in Baguio.
"We can establish a campus outside Baguio. Coming from the Chancellor, we are willing to do that to accommodate more students. We are in the process of requesting land grants. We are thinking of Itogon or Tuba," Costales said.
"The government should also look into the concern of the private universities like UC. If the government is going to give lands to us, we would like to get a land in Tuba because we already have a land there. That would help us. We have 18,000 students right now and only eight buildings," Aguinalde said meanwhile.
Gordon said that with the available lands in Tuba or any of the four other municipalities under the cluster, the colleges and universities could put up dormitories so they could accommodate more students.
"In this climate, education will really thrive. Put dorms because maraming mag-aaral dyan. Sa Manila ang hirap mag-aral, sa traffic lang patay na. We can put up an education community with dorms in Tuba. With the good weather, it will be more conducive for learning and studying," he said.
Source: Senate of the Philippines