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Lara Hall
Return Service Agreement

The College of Allied Medical Profession, College of Dentistry, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, College of Medicine and School of Health and Sciences (SHS) are covered by the Return Service Agreement (RSA).

The RSA is an absolute admission requirement for the accepted applicants to the abovementioned colleges. The agreement states that the student shall serve in the Philippines within five years after graduation.


The Philippine Medical School was established by Commonwealth Act No. 1415 on 1 December 1905 to address the critical lack of physicians as raised by the local medical society. In 1915, the government expanded its health services which led to increased demands for medical graduates. A contract was signed by students for them to serve for 2 years in government in exchange for tuition fee waiver for 5 years of medical education. This provision was discontinued in 1920.

Most of our health professions graduates, especially the medical and nursing graduates, have joined the exodus to the US, the Middle East and other countries. Thus, in 1976, the School of Health Sciences (SHS) in Tacloban, Leyte, administratively under UP Manila, was established with the mandate to serve the underserved Filipinos in rural and remote areas. Graduates of SHS serve 2 years for every year of education. They serve either as midwife, nurse or physician, preferably in the community which nominated them. After 33 years, about 90 % of SHS graduates are still serving the Philippines. Most of those who left have served the required period of return service. The return service agreement was based initially on verbal social contract but in 2008, SHS was the first component of UP Manila which asked students to sign a tripartite contract with the University and the local government units.

In 2005, the Regionalization Program of the UP College of Medicine (UPCM) started implementing the “Acceptance to Serve and Assumption of Liability (ASAL) Agreement.” Prior to 2005, the Regionalization Program was introduced by the UPCM so that candidates from Philippine areas deemed to be in need of doctors will have a chance to be admitted to UPCM and serve their respective areas. These students undertake annual summer immersion in their region. Students who indicated Regionalization Program in their application shall serve for 5 years in the region which nominated them after graduation. UPCM medical graduates will be leaders, experts, and educators upon their return to these areas.

In 2009, applicants to the medical degree program of UPCM started signing a 'Return Service Agreement” as requirement for admission. When they graduate in 2014, they shall serve for 3 years in the Philippines. Service will be completed within 5 years after graduation.

Outside UP Manila, return service mechanisms are currently undertaken through the following projects:

1. “Bagong Doctor para sa Bayan” of former First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo which started in 2006 and will continue for 5 years. Students in their clerkship are given scholarships up to internship. In return, they will join the Doctors to the Barrios Program of DOH. They will serve for two years in the barrios they are assigned to. Ten students in the first batch and 10 in the second batch were students from UPCM.
2. Pinoy MD Program of DOH which started in AY 2006-2007. They will serve for 2 years for every year of training or a total of 10 years. There are from UPCM and SHS in this program.
3. Midwifery Student Scholarship Program of the DOH which started including SHS students in AY 2009-2010.


The general policy shall serve as guide for all UPM colleges and units, including the Philippine General Hospital (as approved during 1252nd meeting of the BOR on 18 December 2009).

1. Return Service Agreement is an absolute admission requirement for the CHW Program (SHS), baccalaureate health sciences programs (CAMP, CN, CP, CPH, SHS), DDM and MD programs.
2. The agreement states that the student shall serve in the Philippines within 5 years after graduation.
3. The agreement is signed by the Chancellor of UP Manila for the University and the prospective students and the parents, witnessed by the Dean/Director.
4. The graduate shall serve for a period specified by his/her college - the period of which should not be less than 2 years.
5. The graduate shall serve, preferably, in accordance with the role of the defined profession or health-related profession along three functions, but not limited to, direct service, education/training, and research. Return service shall preferably be an employment with government agencies/institutions, underserved towns/provinces, non-government and cause-oriented organizations.
6. The graduate is expected to serve fully within 5 years. If after 5 years, the graduate has not fully complied with the RSA, he/she will play double the cost of his/her education at a prevailing rate from the time of entry, plus interest, and less the total amount of tuition fee paid.
7. Cost of education shall be computed based on total subsidy of UP/government and donations made to specific colleges/units that enhance education/training of students in the university.
8. Enrolling for a second degree like a master's degree, Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Bachelor of Laws (LLB) or other programs cannot be considered as return service.
9. To facilitate serving of the RSA by graduates of UP Manila, the Philippine General Hospital and UP System shall give priority to UPM graduates for employment after requirements for employment are met.
10. UP Manila shall develop a placement process for implementation of the RSA with the Office of Alumni Relations as the implementing office for the program.


1. The University of the Philippines is the national university and is heavily subsidized by the government;
2. One of the mandates of the University is to lead as a public service university by providing various forms of community, public, and volunteer service, and scholarly and technical assistance to the government, the private sector, and civil society while maintaining its standards of excellence (RA 9500 Sec. 3, No. 5);
3. The University of the Philippines Manila is one of the constituent universities and was mandated by RA 5163 (1967) to be the Health Sciences Center. It has 9 degree 4 granting units, namely: College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Dentistry, College of Pharmacy, College of Allied Medical Professions, College of Public Health, National Teacher Training Center for the Health Professions, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Health Sciences; and 2 non-degree granting units: the Philippine General Hospital and National Institutes of Health.
4. In the 2009 workshop where UP Manila formulated action plans to respond to future directions set by the University of the Philippines System for the next 100 years, the Return Service Agreement (RSA) as admission requirement was identified as one of the main action points.
5. All colleges/units going into RSA consulted all stakeholders through meetings, conducted surveys and made presentations in their respective College Councils before it was presented to the University Council and the Board of Regents for approval.

Office of Alumni Relations: