University of Philippines Manila

Phi House Tenants’ Welfare: A UPM Admin Priority

Taking a proactive approach to the questions surrounding the UPM Phi House Dormitory (UPMPHD), Chancellor Michael L. Tee met with the Phi House tenants, University Council (USC) members, the Manila Collegian representatives, and other concerned student. The town hall meeting discussion, which was broadcast live via Facebook on 24 January 2024, was held to clarify concerns regarding the ongoing matters surrounding the Phi house dormitory, eliminate confusion, and address urgent matters on the contract of the Phi House tenants, its legalities, and the living conditions of the tenants.

In his opening statement, Chancellor Tee assured the tenants of non-displacement as the University assumes responsibility of managing the dorm and will not be affected by any untoward reaction from the evicted parties.

The UPMPHD: A Background

The UPMPHD, also known as the “Phi House,” is a project donated to the University of the Philippines by the following organizations:

  • Phi House Corporation (PHC), Inc./Phi House Foundation (PHF);
  • Phi Kappa Mu Fraternity International, Inc. (PKMFII);
  • Phi Kappa Mu Alumni Association (PKMAA);
  • Phi Kappa Mu Foundation (PKMF); and
  • Phi Lambda Delta Foundation Inc. (PLDFI).

The May 2016 Deed of Donation (DOD), executed between the Donors and the University, paved the way for the Phi House to become a property of the University, thereby subjecting its management and operations to applicable government laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.

“The donors gratuitously, voluntarily and freely gives, transfers and conveys… unto the Donee (UPM), its assigns and successors, the ownership of UPMPHD.”

Deed of Donation (DOD)

To facilitate legal management on the donated building, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Phi House was created and signed on 23 November 2016. For full public disclosure and reference, the copy of the said document was made accessible to the students of UP Manila before the town hall meeting.

To reiterate the two preceding orders which were intended to protect government and University property, Chancellor’s Directive No. 2024-004 was issued to ensure the smooth operations of the UPMPHD, implement the governing IRR, monitor the inventory of equipment, furniture, and appliances present in the dormitory, assume the preparation and processing of all payments and bills incurred, monitor proper housekeeping, and most importantly, attend to the emergency concerns and requests of the tenants.

The Tenants’ Concerns and The Chancellor’s Guarantees

In assuring dormers that they will not be affected by the change in management, Chancellor Tee explained that the University shall follow the IRR, and as such, all current tenants in the dorm shall be allowed to stay until they finish their program or until they wish to leave, whichever comes earlier (Section I, Item 5 of the IRR).

Consequently, the Chancellor also requested OSA to ensure the immediate implementation
of socialized rental fees for the dorm according to the Socialized Tuition System (STS) brackets
of the admitted tenants as stipulated in the IRR.

Furthermore, Chancellor Tee also accommodated other suggestions from the students and tenants of UPM Phi Dorm and UPM Dormitory. Now, the University will be allowing or providing for certain amenities, such as laundry services, and mineral water delivery and/or storage, and will ensure proper disposal of garbage for both mentioned dormitories. Most recently, with the approval from the City
Administrator, UP Manila Dormitory is now a “mixed-use” dormitory and is currently accepting
applications for male occupants for the second semester of A.Y. 2023-2024. The UPM Admin also
ensured the turnover of the control of the Phi House’s closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras
to the UPM Police for the safety of the tenants.

The Importance of Registration

With UPM assuming management of the Phi House, Chancellor Tee urges tenants to register and submit
the necessary documents to the OSA for them to be officially recognized as bonafide occupants of the
UPM Phi Dormitory and UPM Dormitory.

While the University acknowledges that the tenants signed a contract with the erstwhile
managers, the latter are still required to register with OSA, in line with the IRR. As tenants of the
dormitory, they shall enjoy the benefits and privileges stipulated in the IRR, such as the
socialized rental fees and dormitory assistance fund.

After some students expressed their hesitation to register with the OSA due to threats of
possible breach of contract, Chancellor Tee and the OSA Director assured them that this was a
reasonable request for the tenants’ welfare.

It was reiterated that privacy and confidentiality rules of the University shall be observed and
maintained in the collection of registration forms. As requested by the tenants, OSA
announced that the deadline of registration is extended until 31 January 2024.

Martin R. Racza with inputs from the Office of the Chancellor

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