4 CamSur colleges receive CHED’s Gawad Parangal

By Annalyn Gallego


‘’WE are here today because we need to recognize and commend our local governments for establishing local universities and colleges. We are here in our journey because today, CHED claims victory for higher education. We claim victory for the 1.6 million students in 112 state universities and colleges and 123 local universities and colleges who no longer pay tuition and miscellaneous fees,” shared J. Prospero De Vera III, CHED Chairperson.


On May 6, 2021, the Commission on Higher Education awarded the Gawad Parangal to the 18 local universities and colleges from Bicol Region who successfully complied with the requirements for free higher education such as the institutional recognition and certificate of program compliance.


Gawad Parangal is the CHED Institutional Recognitions for state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local universities and colleges (LUCs) who have been acknowledged as Higher Education Institution (HEI). As a recipient of the award, an institution will receive a trophy and certificate of eligibility to avail of the benefits stipulated under the provision of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.


“Because of RA 10931, the slots for TES had increased from 20,000 to 200,000 in the first year of free higher education. From then, 400,000 had increased in the second year and 500,000 this year. This success comes with what we are now achieving today, with what we are celebrating today,” De Vera added.


Among the awardees of the Gawad Parangal are the four local colleges of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur namely, Baao Community College (BCC), Governor Mariano E. Villafuerte Community College (GMVCC) Libmanan, GMVCC Garchitorena, and GMVCC Siruma.


“Today, we recognize the exemplary local universities and colleges for their efforts in meeting and maintaining the standards, policies, and guidelines set by the commission in the pursuit of higher education in the country. These LGU-funded higher education institutions truly uphold the vision and mission of the commission in providing equal, quality, and additive access to a higher education degree program for our learners most especially to the least, the last, and the lost,” said Dr. Aldrin Darilag, CHED Commissioner.


GMVCC Siruma, represented by its College Administrator, Roemil Ondis, extended utmost appreciation to CHED for the recognition given to its community college, “I want to thank the CHED for the free higher education especially the free tuition and miscellaneous fees given to our students, and of course the TES. This Gawad Parangal is a proof that we complied with the basic requirements for institutional grant, institutional permit, and program permit. Through this, I am certain that more students will enroll in our institution.”


Apart from this, the school not only catered students from the upland and coastal barangays of Siruma, but is also catering students from its neighboring towns such as Calabanga, Tinambac, Canaman, and Magarao.


Macel Peñero, College Administrator of Baao Community College, shared, “Being an awardee of this prestigious award could not be possible if not with the full support of the provincial government through Gov. Migz and Cong. Lray Villafuerte. By providing BCC with great facilities, paired with the quality education offered by the institution, we are able to produce skilled and competent students.”


This year, there are more than 2,000 students enrolled in BCC and 300 of them are beneficiaries of TES.


CamSur’s local colleges are positioned in the Geographic Inaccessible Disadvantages Areas (GIDAs) to carry through its vision of bringing free tertiary quality education to the far-flung municipalities of the province and provide equal opportunities to the grassroots communities.


Governor Migz Villafuerte, as the Chairman of the Board of Colleges, and Congressman Lray Villafuerte, as one of the authors of RA 10931, continuously support the community colleges by providing the needed funds, facilities, and other requisites to enable the institution to effectively and sustainably operate. To date, there are close to 4,000 enrolled students who are benefitting from the free higher education.


“It is with so much pride and honor that I shared this recognition and award with Governor Migz Villafuerte. This is a significant milestone and a hallmark achievement in the public education of CamSur. Education is really the long term solution in alleviating poverty. This award is a proof that we will be able to serve more students and more communities as a whole,” said Joseph Roe Ondis, Overall Focal Person of the provincially-managed colleges.


Other awardees of Gawad Parangal are Aroroy Municipal College, Calabanga Community College, Caramoan Community College, Community College of Manito, City College of Naga, Daraga Community College, Donsol Community College, Libon Community College, Ligao Community College, Oas Community College, Polangui Community College, San Jose Community College, San Pascual Polytechnic College, and Tiwi Community College.