History of UP Manila


The University of the Philippines Manila (UP Manila) is one of the eight constituent universities of the University of the Philippines (UP) System. It is a public and secular institution of higher learning that offers academic and training programs, as well as extension services in the health sciences, health professions education, arts, and sciences.

  • History
  • UP Manila at Present
  • Vision
  • Mission
  • The Chancellors of UP Manila



The history of UP Manila is a compendium of the history of its individual units, some of which, like the College of Medicine (CM) and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), antedate the establishment of the University of the Philippines.

The Philippine Medical School, CM’s forerunner, was established on December 1, 1905 by the Philippine Commission under Commonwealth Act No. 1415 and opened on June 10, 1907, initially housed at the School for the Deaf and Blind on Malecon Drive (now Bonifacio Drive). It was later renamed UP College of Medicine and Surgery under Act No. 1870. The School transferred to its present home along Pedro Gil Street on July 1, 1910. The control and management of the medical school was entrusted to the Board of Regents on December 8, 1910. Its name was shortened to UP College of Medicine on March 1, 1923.

In 1907, the US government passed a law establishing the PGH. On September 1, 1910, the 350-bed capacity hospital was opened to the public for health care delivery and clinical instruction and training of medical students, with Dr. Paul Freer as the first Medical School Dean until 1912. On February 5, 1915, the Philippine Legislative Act No. 2467 reorganized the Training School for Nurses into the PGH School of Nursing and established it as a department of PGH.

The Philippine Legislature Act No. 1870, known as the University Charter, marked the birth of the University of the Philippines in Ermita, Manila on June 18, 1908, as the first and premier state institution of higher learning in the country. The Ermita Campus at Padre Faura where UP Manila now stands, thus, became the seat of excellence in education and advanced instruction in literature, philosophy, health sciences and the arts, as well as professional and technical training.

A few years later, in 1914, 1915 and 1927, the School of Pharmacy, Department of Dentistry and the School of Public Health were created, respectively, under the College of Medicine (CM). These units eventually became full-fledged degree-granting units in 1935, 1948, and 1932, respectively.

World War II wrought havoc and left the UP Campus severely damaged, but the College of Medicine under then Dean, Dr. Antonio G. Sison, and PGH were still able to fulfill their mandate of attending to the injured and the sick. On December 15, 1948, UP transferred to Diliman, Quezon City. Three units, Medicine, Dentistry and Public Health, were left behind in Ermita, Manila. In April 1948, the College of Nursing, established in Diliman, instituted the first baccalaureate program in Nursing in the Philippines. More academic units were established in the sixties. These included the School of Allied Medical Professions (1962), housed then at the National Orthopedic Hospital (now called the Philippine Orthopedic Center), and the Philippine Eye Research Institute (PERI) in 1965.

With the clamor to meet the health science education needs of the growing population, a Health Sciences Center within the University of the Philippines was created through the passage of RA 5163 on June 17, 1967. It was mandated to seek and emphasize the highest standards of training and research in the various health sciences. However, the Center at the Diliman Campus did not materialize due to fiscal constraints.

The general objectives of the Health Sciences Center were to provide leadership in education, research and services in the various sciences and thereby in health care of the highest quality; to provide for collaboration, integration, and coordination of the units for economy and productivity; to influence national policies and decision-making relative to health; develop innovative programs, projects, and models that are responsive to the health needs and aspirations of the country; and to make the Center more responsive to the country’s healthcare system through the development of improved techniques, better facilities, and maximization of the health science units.

In 1972, the UP College Manila was instituted as the first extension unit to offer liberal arts courses. Thereafter, UP was reorganized into the University of the Philippines System to effect institutional unity, while allowing decentralization of authority and autonomy of the component units through Presidential Decree No. 58, promulgated on November 20, 1972, under the administration of President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It was approved by the Board of Regents at its 828th meeting on November 21, 1972, for implementation on January 1, 1973.

The Health Sciences Center became an autonomous component of the UP System through Executive Order No. 519 dated January 24, 1979. At that time, the Center was composed of the College of Medicine (CM), College of Pharmacy (CP), College of Dentistry (CD), Institute of Public Health (IPH) now College of Public Health (CPH), School of Allied Medical Professions, now College of Allied Medical Professions (CAMP), Philippine General Hospital (PGH), University of the Philippines Health Service (UPHS), Philippine Eye Referral Institute (PERI) renamed as the Institute of Ophthalmology, National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions (NTTC-HP), Comprehensive Community Health Program, and the Anesthesiology Center Western Pacific. The last two units have since been abolished.

Through Executive Order No. 4, issued by then UP President Edgardo Angara on October 22, 1982, the Center was renamed University of the Philippines Manila and became the second autonomous unit of the UP System. This period also saw the transfer of the Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy from Diliman to the Manila Campus where they joined the rest of the health science units at the Old NEDA Building in Padre Faura. On December 21, 1983, UPM underwent its first reorganization through Executive Order No. 11 integrating the UP Health Sciences Center and the College of Arts and Sciences (formerly called UP College Manila).

The Board of Regents approved the second reorganization of UP Manila at its 1007th and 1008th meetings on December 21, 1987 and February 11, 1988, respectively. This reorganization transformed and crystallized UP Manila’s philosophy, mission, organizational structure, governance and academic programs to what they are today. In 1989, the Institute of Health Sciences (IHS) which used to be an extension unit of the College of Medicine, was transformed into the School of Health Sciences (SHS) and became an independent unit of UP Manila.

UP Manila at Present

UP Manila is recognized today as the country’s premier institution for the health sciences and the leader in health human resource, education, training and research. It occupies an area of 14 hectares of prime land, comprising approximately two blocks in Manila’s Ermita District. It is bounded on the north by the United Nations Avenue; on the east by Taft Avenue; on the south by Pedro Gil Street; and by Maria Orosa Street on the West.

UP Manila has nine (9) degree granting units: College of Allied Medical Professions (CAMP), College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), College of Dentistry (CD), College of Medicine (CM), College of Nursing (CN), College of Pharmacy (CP), College of Public Health (CPH), National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions (NTTC-HP), and the School of Health Sciences (SHS). These degree-granting units continuously provide the highest quality of advanced instruction, professional training, basic and applied research and community service.

The College of Medicine and College of Nursing are recognized as Centers of Excellence (COE) by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). In addition, the College of Nursing is a WHO Collaborating Center for Leadership in Nursing Development in the Asia-Pacific region. The South East Asian Ministers Educational Organization (SEAMEO) named the College of Public Health as the SEAMEO-TROPMED Regional Center for Public Health, Hospital Administration, and Environmental and Occupational Health. The National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions is a WHO Regional Education Development Center for Health Professions Education.

Along with its pursuit of excellence, UP Manila offers academic programs that are responsive to the needs and aspirations of the Filipino people. It has 20 undergraduate programs, 34 masters programs with various tracks, four (4) doctoral programs with various tracks, six (6) diploma programs and three (3) certificate programs. These programs are periodically evaluated, most notably through the Internal Academic Assessment and Development System (iAADS) of the UP System which employs quantitative and qualitative criteria to assess academic credentials, over-all track record, teaching performance, research/artistic output, and extension service.

UP Manila graduates have consistently topped the licensure examinations administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Chemistry, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy, with passing rates consistently higher than the national average. Graduates, likewise, occupy top positions in government and private institutions in the fields of health, physical sciences, the arts, and humanities. A yearly job fair allows various industries to recruit future staff complement from the graduating batch.

From 2009 to 2014, covering five academic years, UPM had an average of 4991 annual enrollment for the undergraduate programs and 988 for the graduate programs. On the average, it admitted 895 first year UPCAT qualifiers, distributed among the different undergraduate programs. The gender ratio of students on the average was 1:2 (35% males and 65% females). About 39.5%, 6% and 5.8% of UPM enrollees came from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, respectively, while 48% came from NCR or Metro Manila. A very small proportion came from foreign countries (0.7%). In terms of qualifiers by high schools, 57% came from private schools, 15% from public schools, and 28% from various science high schools in the Philippines.



The national leader in the health sciences



1. To provide health science-focused transformative education, enabling andencouraging students to take creative and constructive action that contributes to the improvement of their community, the nation, and the world, based on a strong sense of their cultural and historical identity, as well as a shared humanity.

2. To serve as a research hub in various fields of specialization in the health sciences by conducting integrative and collaborative basic, applied, and clinical research and development, contributing to the dissemination and application of knowledge,and shaping national health policies.

3. To lead as a public service university by providing various forms of community, public, and volunteer health services, as well as medical, scholarly and technical assistance to the government, private sector, and civil society while maintaining its standard of excellence.  CORE VALUES: Honor, Excellence, Integrity, Social Responsibility, Leadership, Innovation, Global Competitiveness, and Nationalism.



The Chancellors of the University of the Philippines Manila


Florentino B. Herrera, Jr.


Conrado Ll. Lorenzo, Jr, MD


Ernesto O. Domingo, MD


Perla D. Santos-Ocampo, MD


Alfredo T. Ramirez, MD


Dr. Marita V. Tolentino-Reyes


Ramon L. Aracadio, MD, MHPEd

Manuel B. Agulto, MD, DPBO, FPAO

Carmencita David-Padilla, MD, MAHPS