CHED commissioner installs first ISUFST prexy, speaks with univ faculty and students

By Jomel B. Guintivano

Inauguration. Installation. Conversation.

Visiting the newly-converted state university with a main campus in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo; Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman J. Prospero “Popoy” De Vera III led the investiture of Dr. Nordy D. Siason Jr. as the first university president of the Iloilo State University of Fisheries Science and Technology (ISUFST), formerly Iloilo State College of Fisheries (ISCOF), Friday, March 31, 2021.

Prior to the investiture ceremony in the afternoon, De Vera met the students and the faculty for a dialogue as regards their concerns and queries.

The two-part program started with the students forum participated in by 500 hundred student representatives and leaders from the five campuses of the ISUFST system – Main-Tiwi and Main-Poblacion (both in Barotac Nuevo), Dingle , Dumangas, and San Enrique.

De Vera shared his advocacy on the free tertiary education initiative as an anti-poverty investment, and the students being the products of the government’s investment.

“There is nothing you can do to not finish schooling. You are studying in a good school, now a university… Huwag sayangin ang pagkakataon,” De Vera emphasized in his opening message.

He later engaged in a dialogue with the students by answering queries and clarifications on students’ benefits and scholarships, current issues in the academe, and changes and adjustments due to the university conversion.  He also received messages of gratitude from some of the scholars.

After the dialogue with the students, De Vera inducted 100 reclassified faculty of the university per National Budget Circular (NBC) 461 8th Cycle.

In his message, De Vera congratulated the faculty for being part of the institution’s conversion to a university after 10 years, for achieving the reclassification and promotion to their respective positions. He also thanked them in behalf of the commission to continue education during the pandemic.

“The faculty is the soul of the university.  I always say this: there is no university if there are no faculty members. Because learning cannot happen if there are no faculty members,” he emphasized.

De Vera underscored the faculty member’s crucial role such that they give the students hope, guidance, and a chance to better the student’s lives.

“…When we become proud as faculty members, it is not just the successful people that we produce, that we should be proud of.  It is also every young aspiring individual who wants a better life,” he added.

After his message, he entertained questions from the faculty during the open forum, including those of faculty development assistance, CHED funded projects, and extension policies.

The CHED Commissioner also graced the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Fisheries and Marine Science Museum as one of the initiatives under the CHED funded Sustainable Agri-Fishery Tourism Project of the Study in the Philippines Education Tourism of the university, located in the Main-Tiwi Campus.

Finally, he visited the Hot and Cold Kitchen Facilities in the Main-Poblacion Campus, which were realized through his efforts.