Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) President Eldigario D. Gonzales led two days of discussion by the presidents and other top officials of 111 state universities and colleges (SUCs) on how higher education can accelerate the socio-economic development of the nation. The sessions were the plenary event of the Mid-Year Conference of the Philippines Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) held in Ilo-Ilo City on July 7 to 8.
WMSU nursing student Melanie Adjarani was also proclaimed Miss PASUC during the 2nd PASUC Cultureal Festival, whose theme was “Sustaining Unity and Solidarity Through Diverse Arts and Cultures.” The festival featured skills competition in several artistic fieds wherein Central Luzon’s SUCs romped away with the overall championship..
Among the main speakers of the two-day confab were Dr. Tereso Tullao on “Findings of the Summative Evaluation of the Medium-Term Higher Education Development and Investment Plan 2001-2004″; Dr. Ma. Cristina Padolina on “National Quality Assurance in Public Higher Education”; Mr. Danilo Malabonga on “PASUC Knowledge-Based Project”; Secretary Emilia Boncodin on “Budget Issues and Concerns in SUCs”; and Mr. Emmanuel Dalman on “Auditing Issues and Concerns in the SUCs”. Dr. Gonzales gave a response on each of these presentation.
At the opening program, guest speaker Commission on Higher Education (CHED) commissioner Dr. Carillo Puno challenged SUCs officials to “make a difference… (in that) while education is considered the greatest equalizer of all time, educational institutions can provide the spark tha will ignite economic development in our country.”
“SUCs are not just meant for social development. In other countries, they are playing a very important role in economic devellpment”, Dr. Puno asserted.
Dr. Gonzales also formally declared the opening of the PASUC cultural festival held at the Ilo-Ilo Cultural Center, during which Ms. Adjarani was crowned.
The conference and festival were hosted by the Western Visayas State University, whose president Dr. Lourdes Aranador in her welcome remarks told the top-level participation that “your presence in the conference is an affirmation of your sensitivity to respond to the challenge of elevating higher education to the forefront of excellence.” The conference theme was “The SUCs Responding to the Challenges and Concerns of the Higher Education Development Plan.”
Dr. Gonzales also gave a report on PASUC’s accomplishments and his remarks on the concerns and issues affecting the organization. (Rey-Luis Banagudos / Public Affairs Office, WMSU)