ILOILO CITY: The Educational Hub in Western Visayas

Rex CasipleThe authority to grant permit or recognition to open and operate a higher education institution (HEI) is the exclusive prerogative of the government as provided for in the 1987 Constitution which states that “The State shall exercise reasonable supervision and regulation of all educational institutions”. Thus, in the case of Hon. Isidro Cariño, et.al. v. Hon. Ignacio M. Capulong (222 SCRA 593), the Supreme Court Ruled that, “Batas Pambansa Blg. 232 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the establishment and operation of schools are subject to the prior authorization of the government. And as sanctions for operating without government permit, the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS), now the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as per RA 7722, is authorized either to impose the total closure of the school and/or disqualify the school from conferring title or degree in the non-recognized program or course of study. The State requires the schools to secure a permit before operating new programs or course of study to ensure their compliance with at least the minimum standards. The State Colleges and Universities (SUCs) and Local Colleges (LCs) or Community Colleges are under the jurisdiction of CHED. The SUCs are created by virtue of a Republic Act while LCs are created by virtue of a Local Government Ordinance. Both are governed by their own charter commonly known as Board of Directors (BOD) or Board of Trustees (BOT) or Board of Regents (BOR), as the case may be. The Department of Justice Opinion No. 58, s. 2009 confirmed the authority of the CHED to prescribe and implement accreditation, policies and standards to be used by accrediting bodies and to be complied upon by all HEIs, including the SUCs and the LCs. CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 30, series of 2009 declared the applicability of the Manual of Regulations for Private Higher Education (MORPHE) of 2008 to SUCs and LCs to ensure that the program offerings of such public HEIs are complying with CHED requirements, policies and regulations.

Hence, I would like to extend my congratulations to Iloilo City government for obtaining the recognition of the Iloilo City Community College (ICCC) by the CHED! This is another milestone in the history of Iloilo City and a legacy of the Iloilo City government in fighting against poverty through education. The ICCC is the first local college in Western Visayas to be recognized by the CHED through a Commission en banc resolution (ceb).

Local government units play critical role in providing affordable quality education to poor but deserving students who wish to continue their studies in college. Iloilo City has a lot of potential for growth being considered as the educational hub of Western Visayas. Last May 18, 2015 or less than a year ago, CHED has also converted the Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST) into a university known as Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT – U). This was also a milestone in education in the history of Iloilo City. The said conversion added the number of public universities in the City into three (3), and the number of public and private universities into eight (8).

Iloilo City has twenty eight (28) public and private colleges and universities. Three (3) of these are CHED Centers of Excellence (COE) and Centers of Development (COD) in various programs. Central Philippine University (CPU) is COE in Agriculture and Business Administration; and COD in Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. West Visayas State University is COE in Teacher Education; and COD in Nursing. University of San Agustin is COD in Teacher Education. The said COE/COD programs are subsidized by CHED to give assistance to other schools in the region in terms of research, faculty development, library and laboratory facilities.