CAGAYAN de Oro Second District Representative Maximo Rodriguez Jr. on Thursday, August 10, said the House committee on higher and technical education had discouraged the Commission on Higher Education’s (Ched) order in closing down the Bukidnon State University's (BSU) extension campuses.
In an interview, Rodriguez said the closure is unreasonable as it would displace over 5,000 students in Misamis Oriental and deprive them of their right to free education.
Rodriguez and some fellow lawmakers have approved a motion calling on Ched to abandon its plan of shutting down the external studies centers (ESCs) of BSU during an inquiry last week at the House of Representatives.
"Last week, among gituki ug among gisultian sila na dili pwede ipa close, kay una, wala nay masudlan ang mga bata, and second, dili gayud sya reasonable," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez instead suggested that Ched should address and fix what these ESCs are lacking to provide cheap but standard education to its students.
"It’s still pending to sa approval sa Ched board, however in principle, okay na dili na gyud siya mahitabo ang closure kay dili naman mo implement ang BSU sa order, we ordered them na diha gihapon sila and they continue," he added.
Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano said he supports the move of the congressmen to junk the Ched order.
Earlier this year, the Provincial Board, led by Misamis Oriental Vice-Governor Jose Mari Pelaez, passed a resolution appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to stop Ched's closure order and allow the continued operation of various BSU-ESCs in the province to avoid displacing thousands of poor students coming from marginalized families until a long-term, better, accessible, and affordable tertiary education institutions are in place.
Pelaez said BSU's ESCs have proven to be a “laudable and tangible poverty reduction program' for more than three decades now.”
He said for decades, BSU has produced successful men and women.
According to Ched-Northern Mindanao, the satellite learning centers needed to be closed because as these have no full-time faculty members, no journals, very limited facilities, outdated books and computers outsourced from a private company, all of these violating the Ched standards.
Misamis Oriental has three external centers in the first district, while second district has seven ESCs, and another one in this city.
The BSU's main branch is located in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon province.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 11, 2017.