Cebu News

City to CHED: Probe school

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Questioning their legality, the Cebu City Legal Office is asking the Commission on Higher Education-7 to investigate the ongoing extension classes of the Cebu Technological University held in the mountain barangay of Bonbon.

“There must be prior permit coming from the CHED (Commission on Higher Education), so I asked the CHED whether or not this extension classes, are they considered as extension classes within the contemplation of law? And assuming that they are considered as extension classes, has CTU secured the prior consent of CHED?” asked city attorney Jerone Castillo.

Last week, a conference was held at the request of Mayor Michael Rama on the concern raised by Bonbon Barangay Captain Alexander Ibarita who confirmed that there were classes being held in the barangay’s gym.

“I told him (Ibarita) can you just place on record that there are really ongoing classes there so that we can check the veracity and then have a meeting,” said Castillo.

The meeting called the attention of CHED officials and CTU representatives.

“Regrettably, none came from CTU but there was a representative from CHED. And so CHED gave us a copy of something like a memorandum that before really an extension class can be made, there must be compliance of certain rules,” Castillo said.

The legal office has drafted a letter addressed to CHED Regional Director Dr. Freddie Bernal seeking clarification whether or not the officials behind the program complied with the necessary procedures.

“(There are concerns such as the) facilities or requirements as to infrastructure for them to provide the necessary extension classes… (We have pushed for this) because this is already prejudicial to the interest of the students,” said Castillo.

“What I know is, they are holding classes in the gym, ang tubig magtulo tungod kay wala’y klaro ang facilities, magbanaw ang tubig sa gym, dili g’yud siya classroom in contemplation of law, kuyaw kaayo kon unsay mahitabo,” he added.

Castillo also asked the CHED officer who should be held liable in case there are accidents, considering that the officials of the program did not seek the consent either from the barangay captain or the city government.

Before the scheduled conference, he said Ibarita had a talk with the president of CTU, who said that were no extension classes of CTU being conducted in the barangay.

However, South District Congressman Rodrigo “Bebot” Abellanosa, who is supporting the educational program, pleaded with both the City Hall officials and the media to spare the students from the “political crossfire” so they can focus on their studies.

Abellanosa said classes have already started and CTU has already appointed the faculty members to handle the different subjects.

“The ball is in the hands of the CTU administration… The CTU local members of the Board of Regents approved the holding of extension classes in Barangay Bonbon during a special meeting held at CTU last June 23 presided by Vice Chair and CTU President Rosein Ancheta Jr.,” he said in a text message.

“In another special meeting held in Bohol last July 24, the complete CTU Board of Regents attended by the CTU chair and CHED Commissioner Minella Alarcon, as well as by the representatives of Senator Pia Cayetano and Congressman Roman Romulo, unanimously approved the extension classes in Barangay Bonbon,” the message further read.

Abellanosa said his district office assists the students in their scholarships and financial assistance, and in transporting them to the main campus along M.J. Cuenco Avenue on Saturdays and Sundays to attend their major subjects while minor subjects such as P.E. are held in the Barangay Bonbon gym.

“Every time City Hall intimidates and harasses CTU officials and the extension classes, the delivery of instruction is adversely affected to the detriment of the hopeful poor students and parents in the mountain barangay,” said Abellanosa. — /BRP (FREEMAN)



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