THE administration of Southwestern University (SWU) yesterday announced that graduates of the College of Medicine who finished their studies last April can now be issued their transcript of records (TOR).

Dr. Albert Gamboa, vice president for operations of SWU, said the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) formally issued full government recognition for SWU School of Medicine.

“We can now accept students and the students who graduated in April 2016 were issued a special order (SOs) from Ched. They can now take the board examination. They can do internship already. That’s the good news,” Gamboa said during the 888 News Forum yesterday.

Dr. Pete Aznar, dean of the College of Medicine, said the issuance of SOs was made after Ched gave the school the government recognition for the SWU School of Medicine.

Aznar said that “government recognition” is different from a permit in the sense that it includes all the four years of studies in medicine.

“Ched was gracious enough to give us the government recognition so we will be able to accept students without any hassle from that agency,” Aznar said.

Before government recognition was granted, students of SWU College of Medicine could not get a TOR or take the board exam after Ched issued resolutions that recognized Southwestern University-Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine (SWU-MHAM) to operate a medical program.

The SWU had filed the petition before the Office of the President seeking to overturn Ched Resolutions 323-2014, which authorized SWU-MHAM to operate its medical program, and 812-2014, which ordered SWU-College of Medicine to cease and desist from accepting medicine students.

During the forum yesterday, Gamboa and Aznar said they are happy that the owner of SWU, education conglomerate Phinma Corp., is making the SWU School of Medicine a flagship program with the allocation of P200 million to improve its facilities.

The groundbreaking of the project will be in June or July.

With regard to this, Aznar said Phinma will also improve Sacred Heart Hospital facilities which is part of the direction that it will be a training hospital for the school of medicine.

Gamboa said that the P200 million in terms of capital expenditures is primarily for the renovation of the SWU medical school building and facilities.

Of the P200 million, Gamboa said P150 million will be for the main building with the university library and common laboratories for all medical programs.