A groundbreaking ceremony for the repair of two heritage structures inside the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV), Iloilo City campus – the Old High School and Woman’s Club buildings – through the Handumanan Project is slated on June 5, 2023.
The said buildings will be repurposed into an events area for arts and culture exhibits (galleries, merchandize products) and joint shop.
The ceremony at the UPV Little Theatre will be attended by prominent public servants who are also UP High School in Iloilo (UPHSI) alumni, namely former Sen. Franklin Drilon, retired Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza, and Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor, Jr.
Both Drilon and Jardeleza are instrumental for the realization of the project.
Chancellor Clement Camposano will give the background of the project. Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas is also scheduled to attend the ceremony.
The Old High School Building currently needs to address non-compliance with the Philippine Fire Code (Republic Act 9514), flooding in the surrounding area, and lack of rehabilitation of its drainage system and pathways.
The Woman’s Club Building, on the other hand, has issues with non-compliance with RA 9514 and the Accessibility Law (BP 344); flooding in the surrounding area, lack of rehabilitation of its drainage system and pathways; and lack of proper easement between the building and the UPHSI Multi-purpose Building.
The fund source for the repair of the two buildings will come from the General Appropriations Act (GAA) 2022, which was prioritized by Drilon during his last term as senator.
Meanwhile, the fund source for the assessment is from Jardeleza, the UPHSI class of 1965, and the GAA 2021 for the creation of UPV’s Land Use Development and Infrastructure Plan (LUDIP), which is handled by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development (OVCPD).
In one of her presentations, Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development Rhodella Ibabao said the Old High School Building served as a structure that was utilized by UPHSI in the early days of UP in Iloilo, while the Woman’s Club Building was the first of its kind in an Iloilo-based school by pioneering UPV’s initiatives towards women’s rights.
At present, the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) holds office at the Old High School Building, while the Health Services Unit (HSU) previously occupied the Woman’s Club Building before transferring to the newly-constructed Administration Building, Iloilo City campus.
The adaptive reuse of the two buildings ensures that they become relevant to the times, especially to the needs of the University. (Mr. Carlson B. Alelis, IPO with sources from OVCPD)