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House boosts LUCs plan

February 2, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 285 views

THE House of Representatives approved on third and final reading the proposed “Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) Governance Act.”

House Bill 6630, which got an overwhelming 271 votes, provides guidelines on the establishment of local colleges and the conversion of local colleges into universities to achieve a standard and integrated system of higher education.

It also seeks to provide the appropriate direction in LUCs’ governance, and ensure that they will deliver quality and relevant education to students.

Under the bill, certain mandatory requirements for the establishment of LUCs are provided such as the conduct of a feasibility study that will look into the necessity for a local HEI in the area, the requirements of the industry to determine the proposed program offerings, target offerings, and financial capacity of the LGU.

The bill also proposes the following requirements: a certification of availability of funds by the Treasurer of the concerned LGU, a project development plan, and a five-year institutional development plan duly approved by the Sanggunian.

In the interest of efficient control and supervision by the CHED, all LUCs existing at the time of the effectiveness of the measure, shall be allowed to continue their operation, subject to compliance with the requirements within a non-extendible period of three (3) years.

Non-compliance with the requirements of this will result in the phaseout of the programs being offered by the concerned LUCs.

The bill requires that before a local HEI or Dalubhasaan be established and operated by an LGU, it must be enacted through an ordinance by the Sanggunian concerned. Prior to the enactment of the ordinance, the LGU establishing a local college must consult with the CHED, through the regional office that has jurisdiction over the area where the institution is intended to be established, to ensure full compliance with the mandatory requirements set forth.

The governing board of a College or Dalubhasaan shall be its Board of Trustees (BOT), while the governing Board of a University or Pamantasan shall be its Board of Regents (BOR).

Section 14 of the bill also provides that a local college, upon the recommendation of the Board to the Sangguniang Bayan, or Sangguniang Panlungsod, or Sangguniang Panlalawigan, may subsequently apply with the CHED for university status, subject to requirements and accreditation. The bill also provides penalties for non-compliance.

Among the principal authors are Tingog Party-list Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez and Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr.