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CHED orders school closed

CHED officials leave the Mandaue City College after posting the closure order. ALDO NELBERT BANAYNAL

CEBU, Philippines - Tensions flared at the Mandaue City College run by Dr. Paulus Cañete after the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) served the closure order to the said school yesterday morning.

The school, however, will not heed the CHED order even if it was told that its graduates would not be allowed to take exams administered by the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC).

A team from CHED central office based in Manila led by lawyer Lily Freida Milla went to the MCC campus in barangay Tipolo, Mandaue City.

The school also has a campus in Jagobiao, which is also covered by the order. The Jagobiao offers Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

The CHED order does not, however, include the Mandaue City College, which is run by Dr. Susana Cabahug and recognized by the city government. The campus of this school is located in the compound of the Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex in barangay Centro.

The CHED originally also checked the school of Cabahug for compliance of the requirements, which is followed. 

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The MCC under Cañete, however, failed to comply with the requirements, thus the closure order. CHED required both schools to comply with the standards set by the agency for institutions of higher learning. 

The closure order for the MCC under Cañete was signed by CHED executive director lawyer Julito Vitriolo.

Milla explained to the student of MCC in Tipolo that those who are graduating this March will not be allowed to take the board examinations. The campus offers education and nine other courses.

She advised the students to transfer to other schools.

It was at this point that some teachers of the school argued with the CHED official and students started to heckle her.

Cañete did not go out of his office to meet the CHED officials and it was Elmer Ripalda, dean of the IT Department, who talked to the delegation from Manila.

The officials of MCC called the act of CHED as harassment.

Students of the school also said that they are not transferring despite the closure order.

Rene Jun Renandan, president of the Supreme Student Council and a second year Computer Engineering student, said that he believes the administration has complied with the laws to operate such institution.

Another student Aiza Malibay said that even if a closure order has been served she will continue her studies at MCC because it has good teachers and the tuition fee is affordable.

Ripalda said that Cañete and Mayor Jonas Cortes have agreed to cease from any act of hostility as several cases regarding the MCC are now pending in court.

While they did not say that Cortes had a hand in this closure order, Ripalda said that it is a form of political harassment.

Cañete was appointed president of the MCC during the term of then Mayor Thadeo Ouano.

Cortes first won as mayor in 2007 and was re-elected last May. He appointed Cabahug to head the school, but Cañete insisted on staying. The MCC under Cañete recently had four of its graduates passing the Licensure Exam for Teachers.

In a separate interview, Cañete said that they will continue to operate the school.

He said that the order to close their school was illegal as it was not signed by the chairman of CHED, only the executive director.

He also said that CHED has no power and control over colleges and universities of local government units as its mandate is only over private schools.

 He also claimed that the order was with malice because  the school should have been notified beforehand not that they only knew that there was a closure order that was coming only last Thursday afternoon.

The embattled school president said that they have in fact already complied with 90 percent of the requirements as attested by Regional Quality Assessment Team of CHED-VII.

While they wanted a 100 percent compliance, there was no more communication from CHED about the matter.

There are a total of 1,300 students enrolled in both campuses of this school under Cañete.

The campus in Tipolo is on a building leased for P20,000 a month. The other campus is inside the compound of Eversly Childs Sanitarium in barangay Jagobiao.—/NLQ (FREEMAN)

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