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BU to open vet school in Ligao

By Sally Atlea

LEGAZPI CITY--- The government has given the green light for Bicol University (BU) to proceed with the establishment of a veterinary school in its Ligao campus.

BU officials together with representatives from Ako Bicol Partylist and the city government of Ligao led the groundbreaking ceremony for the College of Veterinary Medicine campus.

This came after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed Republic Act 11973, which establishes and provides funds for the establishment of Bicol University - College of Veterinary Medicine (BUCVM) in Ligao City, Albay.

BU President Baby Boy Benjamin Nebres III expressed his gratitude to the President for approving the new college as it provides a wider opportunity for quality education.

“We are very happy. The Bicol University family welcomes RA 11973,” Nebres said.

RA 11973 mandates the university to offer a six-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Program, which includes a two-year preparatory curriculum and a four-year professional veterinary medicine curriculum.

Its main objective is to train a corps of veterinarians skilled in preventing, diagnosing, treating, and controlling both terrestrial and aquatic animal diseases.

Currently, BU is offering the DVM program at its College of Agriculture and Forestry campus in Guinobatan, Albay.

The program has 32 freshmen and 35 sophomore students, and the university hopes that the first batch of graduates will come from the new BUCVM campus in Barangay Bay Tuburan, Ligao City.

The five-hectare area donated by the city government of Ligao will include three buildings for the DVM program: two three-story buildings for a lecture and veterinary medicine laboratory, and a two-story building for a veterinary teaching hospital.

Mayor Fernando Gonzales stated that Ligao City, as the connecting hub among neighboring provinces, is a strategic and accessible location for the BUCVM.

Gonzales pledged the assistance of the city government in accomplishing the program’s objectives, with the hope of providing additional livelihood opportunities and an improved economy.

“Our local government is fully committed to providing all the needed assistance for the establishment of this college. We are hoping that it will provide us with the necessary education capabilities to be able to propel our city and surrounding areas of Bicol to achieve the prosperity we need to lead happy and fruitful lives,” Gonzales said.

The new building is targeted to be finished by 2026 and be fully operational by 2028.

Before the college’s establishment and offering of new and revised courses and programs, the BU shall ensure compliance with the applicable policies, standards, and guidelines of the Commission on Higher Education.

Albay Congressman Fernando Cabredo, who proposed the creation of the BUCVM, has announced the approval of the P250 million appropriation for its construction in the national budget for 2023.

“The new College of Veterinary Medicine will be a state-of-the-art facility, equipped with the latest technology and resources to support both classroom instruction and hands-on training,” Cabredo said. (PIA5/Albay)

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