The company of famous business tycoon Henry Sy donated a new building for the campus of University of the Philippines Bonifacio Global City (UP BGC), which is set to open soon. For his contribution, the said building was named after him and was called Henry Sy Sr. Hall. However, militant labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) called the idea as an insult to Filipino workers.
“The UP BGC will bring UP’s brand of quality education to those working and living in the southern Metro Manila areas, including those living in the nearby cities and provinces, desiring to partake in the knowledge generated by the country’s leading educators, scientists, artists, and public intellectuals.” UP President Alfredo E. Pascual was quoted at www.up.edu.ph this March 1, 2016.
According to the press release, the nine-level Henry Sy Sr. Hall has a total floor area of 12,000 square meters. It has 29 classrooms, 3 computer laboratories, libraries, an auditorium, a moot court, a multipurpose hall, faculty lounges,several discussion rooms, conference rooms and office spaces. Other Key personnel of SM Investments Corporation were present during the turnover.
The departments of the UP BGC campus include College of Law, College of Engineering, Virata School of Business, College of Architecture, School of Labor and Industrial Relations, School of Urban and Regional Planning, School of Statistics and the UP Open University. The units will be offering graduate level courses, education programs, seminars, workshops and training courses.
SM Investments Corporation is noted to be a long-time partner of UP in their college scholarship program nationwide via SM Foundation, Inc. Under this program, deserving children coming from poor families are given the opportunity to finish college so they can help build a better country. But while the aim is noble, the KMU strongly opposed the naming of the P400-M building after Henry Sy.
“It is a well-known fact that Henry Sy Sr., the wealthiest Filipino, kept many of his workers as contractuals. Filipino workers have been condemning him for this and have labeled him ‘Contractualization King’. So why was a new building of the University of the Philippines named after him?” A part of the lengthy statement posted at KMU Facebook page this Thursday, March 3 said.
“This is no less than an insult to Filipino workers from the UP administration, the government of Pres. Noynoy Aquino and, through his SM Prime Holdings, Sy himself…His malls promote crass consumerism, aggravate the chaos in urban centers all over the country, and contribute to the environment’s destruction,” Added by the KMU, which aims to protect and promote workers’ rights.