State school regents OKd Alaminos campus

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DAGUPAN CITY—The establishment of an Alaminos City campus of the Pangasinan State University (PSU) was approved by the university’s board of regents, documents obtained by the Inquirer showed.

The board, sitting en banc on April 19, 2009, issued a resolution that allowed PSU and the Alaminos City government to enter into a management agreement for the Alaminos campus.

According to a PSU certification issued by Board Secretary Emerito Urbano, the regents met at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, to approve in principle “the establishment of [a] PSU Alaminos campus.”

Pangasinan Accountancy and Science School (PASS) College president Ruben Morante had challenged the legality of the PSU operations in Alaminos, and sued Mayor Hernani Braganza, PSU president Victoriano Estira and City Administrator Wilmer Panabang at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial board).

Morante claimed the campus had no approval from the regents.

But Braganza said Morante had “offered his services to be a partner of the bilateral agreement between the city government and the PSU.”

In the college’s Facebook account, PASS College wrote: “For the record we have never wished for the closure of PSU Alaminos. In fact we even offered to share our authorized CHEd (Commission on Higher Education) permits to PSU Alaminos [through] a consortium. [The] LGU (Alaminos city) and PSU rejected our helping hand for reasons we do not know.”

Since Morante filed his complaint, education officials in the Ilocos region, like CHEd Region 1 Director Caridad Abuan, have been evasive on the status of the PSU campus in Alaminos.

Abuan said the CHEd had investigated the Alaminos campus but she refused to reveal the findings, insisting that it must come from CHEd Chair Patricia Licuanan.

The Inquirer tried to reach Estira but he did not answer text messages or telephone calls.

In an earlier interview, Estira said: “I don’t want to comment on that issue. I’m tired of it. He (Morante) should just file [the case] in the proper court.”

Braganza said he and Estira met with Licuanan on June 20. He said the CHEd chair had not ordered the campus closed.

But the CHEd ordered the state-run university to withhold three courses—BS Business Administration, BS Hospitality Management and BS Information Technology pending completion of requirements.

“As a local government unit, it is legal for us to operate a university,” said Braganza.

He said the PSU was completing the requirements for the curricular offerings in the three degree programs. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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