Maanne Ilagan Lopez

PCU accreditation still pending

Blue and Silver November-December 2008

PCU accreditation still pending

Best before: 2005

The autonomous status of Philippine Christian University has not been renewed since the expiration of the five-year full autonomy granted by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) in 2005.

Dr. Greg Melchor de Lara, acting Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), said the University is still undergoing review and the administration is waiting for the result.

“We have already reapplied for it (autonomy) last year. Dr. Suarez has already applied.”

CHEd had granted the renewal of autonomy to 22 schools and universities on Nov. 2007, which did not include PCU. Assumption College, Ateneo de Davao University, Ateneo de Manila University, Centro Escolar University, De La Salle University, Miriam College, St. Joseph College-Quezon City, Saint Louis University-Baguio City, University of St. Louis-Tugegarao City and University of Santo Tomas with a full autonomy status until 2012.

Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Baliuag University, Central Philippine University, Holy Name University, San Beda College, Siliman University, St. Paul University-Manila, St. Paul University-Dumaguete, St. Scholastica’s College, University of San Carlos, University if San Jose-Recoletos and University of St. La Salle meanwhile were granted with one year of autonomy.

CHEd autonomy grantees are exempted from issuance of Special Order for its graduates; are free from regular monitoring and evaluation by CHEd; can prescribe its own curricula; and can introduce new course programs without permission from CHEd.

Ex-VPAA recall

On Sept. 15, the Manila regional trial court (RTC) had ordered to place PCU under receivership and appointed Pacifico Aniag as receiver to report to the court as to the affairs of the University and relevant matters within 60 days from the time he takes his oath and assumes office (in Sept. 23).

“A matter of concern is the loss of autonomous status of the University,” Aniag said in the summary of his Interim Report to the court on Nov. 19. “Autonomy granted to any educational institution is the ultimate measure of academic excellence of that institution. All universities exert every effort in order to be able to attain such status. PCU-s five-year autonomy status (2001-2005) was not renewed. PCU has sent a letter of reconsideration to CHEd and is still pending up to now.”

To strengthen PCU’s reapplication for autonomous status, Aniag had hired Br. Betty Molina, former PCU VPAA, as his academic consultant.

The receiver said he had tasked Molina to assist in the renewal of the autonomous status of the University since she was the VPAA when CHEd granted PCU it autonomy from 2001-2005.

The appointment of an academic consultant did not affect the function of de Lara. “Dr. Molina’s employment ha no effect on me because I still function as the VPAA. I still oversee the academic operations: enrollment, admission, giving teaching loads to professors and teachers,” de Lara clarified.

The acting VPAA furthered that he does not question Molina’s position. “In the first place, Dr. Molina is a former VPAA of PCU. Therefore she is knowledgeable of its academic operations.”

Molina acts as the link between the office of the VPAA and the court appointed receiver. “In other words, the consultant (Molina) acts as overseer of the academic functions and processes.”

Being new to PCU, Aniag shared that he had seek the help of Molina for assistance regarding academic affairs. “Ayoko magdesisyon ng isang bagay na di ko maintindihan (I don’t want to decide on things that I don’t understand.) I have to get somebody who knows the academic measures to advise me as consultant.”

Aside from Molina, Aniag had also employed other persons to assist him in evaluating the status of the University and carry out his mandate – Isagani Arceo, in relation to the matters pertaining to finance and accounting; the law form of Belo Gozon Elma Parel Asuncion and Lucila, for legal matters; and Pablo Perez, executive assistant.

The RTC had granted Aniag the power “to employ such person or persons such as lawyers, accountants, auditors, appraiser and staff as are necessary in performing its functions and duties as management committee,” as written in the court order.

Business as usual

Despite the changes in PCU administration after the court’s decision to put the university under receivership, de Lara clarified that the academic programs have not been affected.

“There is no change in the academic setup… Ang sinasabi ng receiver (What the receiver is saying is that) the academic programs of the University will continue,” said de Lara.

In an interview, Aniag cleared that nothing will be changed in the academic programs. “Students should not be affected with all these. You continue with all your studies and activities… Nothing will be changed.”

“Those in charge in the academic will be on status quo. Thos in charge on administration and finance, I’m still investigating.”

The acting VPAA meanwhile said that everything is taking place as planned. The administration is looking forward with the accreditation on 2009, planning for graduation and the opening of a new course – Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Travel Management.

– Maanne Lopez, Ma. Luz Ungab


One Response to “PCU accreditation still pending”

  1. any news / updates on this?


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