LEGAZPI CITY (PIA) -- More students in the Bicol region will have access to quality college education as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) bestowed the Gawad Parangal award to 18 local universities and colleges (LUCs) in the Bicol region.
CHED Chairperson Dr. J. Prospero De Vera III led the awarding ceremony held in the province of Albay May 6, Thursday.
De Vera said the Bicol region has the highest number of LUCs accorded with the institutional recognition and Certificate of Program Compliance (COPC) which qualifies them to avail of the Free Higher Education and Tertiary Education Subsidy programs including the Student Loan Program (SLP) for tertiary education.
"The CHED is going around the country to declare victory and to show achievements of the free tertiary education which currently benefitted 1.5 million young filipinos subsidized to continue their tertiary education for free, without paying the tuition fees and miscellaneous fees, in government-run universities, colleges and technical-vocational institutions," De Vera said.
Of the 18 awardees, 16 LUCs received the institutional recognition. These are Aroroy Municipal College, City College of Naga, San Pascual Polytechnic College and community colleges of Baao, Calabanga, Donsol, and Governor Mariano E. Villafuerte community colleges of Garchitorena, Libmanan and Siruma.
In Albay, the community colleges of Daraga, Libon, Ligao, Oas, Polangui, San Jose Malilipot, and Tiwi were also accorded with institutional recognition. Meanwhile, the community colleges of Caramoan, Manito and Donsol received the COPC.
Institutional recognition assures that the LUC has complied with systems and procedures for all HEIs to avail Free Higher Education and Tertiary Education Subsidy programs including the Student Loan Program (SLP) for tertiary education.
The COPC, on the other hand, is a recognition that the specific degree programs being offered by SUCs/LUCs are fully compliant with the policies, standards, and guidelines of CHED. It is the quality assurance system of CHED for the students to get quality education.
Albay solon as father and pillar of free college education
Albay 2nd District Congressman Joey Sarte Salceda was also accorded with special recognition as the father and pillar of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education (UAQTE) Law or the free college education law.
During his time as governor of Albay, Salceda pioneered free higher education and prioritized investment in human capital with the goal to have at least one college and one technical-vocational graduate per family, which paved way to substantial decrease in poverty and education rate of Albay.
"During my time as governor of Albay, education in all community colleges in the province is free, most working students. Many were able to finish their studies. Those we helped before are now helping us today,"Salceda said. (PIA5/Albay)