THE Universidad de Manila (UDM), originally the City College of Manila, will be known as the Alfredo S. Lim University (ASLU) in honor of the former mayor who founded it 25 years ago, thus earning him the tag, ‘Ama ng Libreng Edukasyon.’ \This was announced by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who said that “renaming the UDM after Lim is a fitting tribute to the former mayor who introduced the first college that offered free, tertiary education to poor but deserving students, not only in Metro Manila but in the entire country, when he was serving as mayor of the city.”
It was learned that an enabling ordinance had been introduced in the Manila City Council on the initiative of Moreno and under the tutelage of Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna as the council’s presiding officer.
The ordinance had already passed on first reading and will have to undergo two more as a matter of procedure. After it is passed on third and final reading, it will be up for the required publication in newspapers of general circulation.
Moreno, who is also chairman of the UDM as the sitting mayor, said he has already discussed the matter with UDM president Maria Lourdes Tiquia who threw her full support to the idea of naming the said university after Lim.
“There is no denying the fact that thousands of poor students now enjoy much better lives after graduating from the CCM. Mayor Lim changed countless lives by plucking them out poverty through free college education and if only for that, he deserves to be thanked and recognized for this accomplishment,” Moreno said.
“Just like Mayor Lim, I too believe that education is the surest key out of poverty and know how it is to want to pursue education but not being able to afford it. This is the very reason why we in the city government did not only sustain the free tertiary education in the city but even continue to improve on it,” Moreno added.
Earlier on, Moreno has vowed to immortalize Lim, as he touted the latter’s accomplishments during his 12-year rein as city mayor and for having served Manila and its citizens for 50 years, which is equivalent to more than half of his entire life.
All in all, Moreno noted that Lim had served in government for a total of 58 years, to include those he spent as NBI Director, DILG and Senator. Lim was with the then Manila Police Department for 38 years, initially as a patrolman until he became its chief. He was a major general when he retired as head of the Western Police District.
It will be recalled that in 1995, Lim established the then CCM which was originally located at the PNB Building on Escolta, until the said building was razed by fire, prompting its transfer to its present site. From 2,000 enrollees when it first opened, the UDM now has at least 14,000 students taking up a wide range of courses.
As a student, Lim, who is a product of poverty, took on odd jobs as security guard, bus conductor, vendor of native delicacies, warehouse man and shoe shine boy, among others, just to be able to support his studies.
Noting that the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), then the lone city-run university that aids poor students, caters to those who have graduated with honors from various high schools in Manila, Lim saw the need to build a college that would accommodate average students who comprise the majority, cannot make it to the PLM and want to study but do not have the money to spend for it.