Cotabato will now have its own state university.
This is after the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Popoy De Vera led the conferment of the university status of Cotabato City State Polytechnic College (CCSPC) on Thursday, July 22, 2021, after it had complied with the CHED standards as required by the law.
Republic Act No. 10585 was passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate on February 6, 2013 mandating the conversion of the CCSPC into a state university to be known as the Cotabato State University (CotSU).
Former 1st District of Maguindanao Rep. Bai Sandra Ampatuan-Sema is the author of Republic Act 10585 also known as, “An Act Converting The Cotabato City State Polytechnic College In Cotabato City Into A State University To Be Known As The Cotabato State University And Appropriating Funds Therefor” also expressed her gratitude on the inauguration of CotSU.
“I cannot express the happiness in my heart being a mother, being an educator, being a Bangsamoro and seeing our dreams come true. Without education, we will not be where we are now. This is the time for the Bangsamoro. Now, the Cotabato State University will be a partner of the Bangsamoro government in championing the minds of our dear students,” Ampatuan-Sema stressed.
Minister Mohagher Mohammad Iqbal of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) also attended the inauguration of CotSU.
“Gaining the University status is not only a matter of prestige for the ones who made this possible. Rather, it is more of a dream unleashed for decades. More importantly, it opens a window of hope for the larger part of the BARMM populace in the Central Mindanao who have been deprived of higher education caused by lack of financial resources, armed conflict and other similar reasons,” Iqbal said.
CHED and MBHTE under the leadership of De Vera and Iqbal, respectively, ensure that Bangsamoro students in CotSU are being assisted.
“We need MBHTE’s assistance so we can extend our services to Bangsamoro students especially in CotSU. CHED provides technical assistance to the BARMM government through Higher Education in the Context of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (HECBOL),” De Vera said.
“I am also confident that your esteemed institution will be an indispensable partner of the Ministry of Education to strengthen the Bangsamoro educational system and empower our constituents, including students, teachers and school administrators, and parents,” Iqbal added.
Meanwhile, CotSU will continue to produce science and technology professionals; and peace and development advocates; promote and undertake research and extension; generate resources; and provide progressive leadership in the fields of specialization.
Incumbent CCSPC President Sema Dilna shall serve as its first University president.
“As duly appointed and newly inducted first University President of the Cotabato State University, I humbly accept the duties, responsibilities and accountabilities, as well as the challenges inherent to my decisions with your support. My deepest thanks and gratitude to all of you in supporting the realization of the conversion of the Cotabato State Polytechnic College into Cotabato State University,” Dilna said.
Assisted by the newly installed CotSU President Sema Dilna, De Vera led the unveiling of the official marker of the newly converted Cotabato State University.
The unveiling ceremony was also witnessed by Atty. Ryan Estevez, OIC-Executive Director of the Unified Student Financial Assistance System (UniFAST), CHED Commissioner Ronald Adamat, CHEDRO XII Director Nelia Alibin and CHEDRO VII/HECBOL Director Maximo Aljibe; and the officials of the Bangsomoro government.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III
Commission on Higher Education