Manila Studies Program (MSP) History


The MANILA STUDIES PROGRAM (MSP) is the regional studies research center for Manila of the University of the Philippines.  Based at the College of Arts and Sciences of U.P. Manila, the MSP was primarily established to produce research studies that can be utilized in the development of policies and programs that will further develop Metro Manila as the premier urban center of the country.  It focuses on issues and concerns of the City of Manila and its immediate environs including history, culture and arts, physical and environmental concerns, urban development, and other policy-related issues.

As approved by the University Council in 1988 and formally launched in June 1989 as the research unit of the College of Arts and Sciences, UP Manila, MSP has realized its vision of becoming the research center for Manila Studies.  From June 1989 to July 1995, funding of the Program’s activities was provided for by the UP Manila Budget.  However, from August 1995 to August 1998, the funding shifted from UP Manila to the Office of the UP President through the Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP-CIDS), making MSP a part of the Regional Studies Program of the UP Center.  From September 1998 to the present, MSP is funded through UP Manila.

From 1989, there were eight (8) transfers of leadership for MSP.  Through their leadership, MSP expanded its vision and scope that included not only the issues and concerns of Manila, but also its immediate environs as well.

Program Thrusts and Objectives

MSP was envisioned to be the research unit of the College of Arts and Sciences whose main thrust is to conduct and coordinate baseline and policy-related studies on Manila and its immediate environs.  The end point is to establish a data bank containing the necessary information that can be utilized for the development of policies and programs that will further develop and/or revitalize Manila as the premier center of the Metropolis.

In addition, MSP also aims to strengthen the institutional research capability of the College of Arts and Sciences through the conduct of seminar-workshops on research methodology and the provision of small grants to faculty research projects that are within the thrust of the Program.  The Program has the following implementation objectives:

  1. To conduct and/or coordinate in-house baseline and policy-related researches on important issues pertaining to the City of Manila;
  2. To conduct and/or coordinate urban researches with external funding;
  3. To provide technical and logistical support to faculty researches that are in line with the current goals of the Program;
  4. To actively pursue databanking on Manila and its immediate environs and eventually establish a special library for Manila Studies;
  5. To conduct or facilitate training programs aimed at strengthening the research capabilities of CAS faculty;
  6. To plan, organize and coordinate conferences, seminar-workshops, for a, and symposia on special topics, i.e. history, culture and arts, urban development;
  7. To disseminate findings and reports through in-house publications; and
  8. To establish linkages and networking with government institutions, non-government organizations and international organizations and funding agencies.

Brief History