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PIA Press Release

Iligan exec sets public hearing on HB No. 1743

by Lorry V. Gabule

Iligan City (15 September) -- Introduced by Rep. Vicente "Varf" Belmonte, Jr. of the Lone Congressional District of lligan City, House Bill No. 1743 seeks to convert the Mindanao State University-lligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), this city into a national state university to be known as the lligan National University.

In a public hearing with the Congressman held at the MSU-IIT campus, several issues were raised from a multi-representation, approximately 500 in attendance.

Concerns of the faculty and students on the increase of tuition and other fees, decrease in employees' salaries and other benefits, security of tenure, disintegration of the MSU System, localization of IIT, and privatization/commercialization of IIT among others were deliberated.

All these were answered by Cong. Varf as the proponent, based on the primer of the bill, as to what kind of university it will be and how it differs from what is IIT today.

MSU-IIT has reached an outstanding level of accomplishments and stage of growth and development for it to be converted into a national state university, in addition to University of the Philippines (UP) and Mindanao State University (MSU).

Thus, it is high time for it to become a full-pledge and independent University, not just an institute and a unit or campus of MSU, said the proponent.

Further, IIT can be a national state university in the country to serve Southern Philippines, based on its achievements, faculty strength and varied expertise, quality of its academic programs and graduates, and physical facilities.

As such, it can provide the people of Southern Philippines, especially the tri-people of Mindanao, access to quality state-of-the-art education, as well as help answer demands for globally-competitive human resources.

Coming up with positive responses from within the MSU-IIT family, the local government unit represented by three (3) council members, the punong barangays, the civil society groups, business/industry sector, the non-government organizations, students from and outside IIT, observers and concerned constituents of lligan, the proposed conversion of the MSU-IIT into a self-determining national university in southern Philippines, can grow and develop even faster and strategically serve lligan City and Southern Philippines as the hub of socio-economic and industrial development.

It will also serve as the venue for Filipinos in the south to have easy and affordable access to quality tertiary and graduate education and programs in many fields which are currently only available in Metro Manila and outside the country.

Another public hearing is slated in October this year, so as to deliberate the house bill itself, Cong. Varf said. (PIA LDN) [top]

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