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The State of the UP Cebu Library Building

Seeing it abandoned and hearing that it will be demolished soon (for reconstruction) pains me a lot like gradually losing an important person in my life. It has been a witness to historic moments in my UP and College Life – my first year orientation, my speeches during election grand rallies, my defeat in SC chairperson election, my first fashion show that almost bore my fresh body, protest against UP High Closure and ouster of Dean Avila, among others. It has also been one of the few who/that tirelessly listened to my voice everytime I sang UP Naming Mahal.

Honestly, I only go to the Library when urgently needed but for those who have already considered the Library their home, for sure, they are deeply saddened more than I am.

The 30-year old building that houses UP Cebu Library, Conference Hall and Audio-Visual Room is doomed to fall when engineers discovered the cracks in its “beams and slab” or simply say, in its “foundation”. The order to vacate the building by the Office of the Vice President for Development (OVPD) was released in July 13.

Historically, it was renovated in 2008, during the year-long Centennial Celebration of UP. What I cannot fathom is that why were the cracks not noticed prior to the renovation? Was it thoroughly inspected or not for the sake of immediately carrying out the revamp plan? The money used for renovation could have been channeled to reconstruction.

Nevertheless, the miserable fate of the building boils down to the low budget given by the Philippine government. Aside from annual budget cuts on basic social services like education, for a long time, the government did not give any single peso to UP and other State Universities and Colleges in the country for their Capital Outlay budget, which is their source of fund for construction of buildings and rooms and for the purchase of facilities and equipments.

We recognize this problem, even our teachers and administrators recognize this problem and lament to it. But the problem with us is that we end up just complaining about and accepting the problem because “it’s the reality”, disregarding the fact that we have the power to address it. We are the ones who are as noisy as parrots but futile, and not those militant students whom we tag as “barbaric, noisy, and uncivilized” like the PUP students who walked out from their classrooms and successfully junked 2000% tuition increase, aside from asserting for greater state subsidy.

We now get the price of our inaction. We will get more if we continue our inaction towards the shortcomings, intentional and non-intentional, of the government. In that case, we are no longer in good position to complain when we will be ordered to vacate AS Building because of cracks in its foundations, too. GOD forbids!

PS: I only had the time today to write my sentiments about the sad fate of our library. My sentiments, however, does not reflect the views of the organizations I am affiliated with.


Photo courtesy of Tug-ani