Cunanan's concern for UP (PDI, 12/02/04)
Editor's Note: Published on page A16 of the December 2, 2004 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
IT WAS irksome reading Belinda Olivares-Cunanan’s opinion on the deadlock in the election for a new president of the University of the Philippines (PDI, 11/22/04). Her argument that past UP presidents would never have gotten their position had there been no intervention from past Philippine presidents was mere grasping at straws—a classic case of trying to win an argument not by merit but by mudslinging.
Why would Edgardo Espiritu have been an ideal UP president for our times? Because he was a banker who made waves in the private sector but did nothing of consequence as a member of President Joseph Estrada’s Cabinet? What did he do as finance secretary when UP started to experience massive budget cuts?
On the other hand, Emerlinda Roman has proven to be one of the leading business educators in the country. Through her pioneering researches -- published and unpublished -- she has shown a firm grasp of current management issues, negating the argument that Espiritu is the better choice because of his new way of thinking. I would bet that Roman is even more conversant about new management theories and paradigms than Espiritu.
Cunanan’s “concern” for UP’s decrepit buildings and underpaid faculty may sound touching. But instead of sharing her opinion on the UP presidency, she should have asked her good friend, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, to realign our national budget and priorities in favor of education. Then she would have done UP a big service.
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