The Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (WVCST), one of the oldest educational institutions in the country having been established in 1905, inches closer to being a state university, after House Bill No. 4432, which proposes to convert WVCST into a state university, was approved by the Senate Committee on Education yesterday.
“We are a step closer to victory,” said bill proponent Iloilo City Lone District Representative Jerry P. Treñas, who was present during the committee hearing.
He said the committee report will then be submitted to the plenary for deliberation on the second and third reading of the Senate.
Once passed into law, the WVCST will be renamed into Iloilo Science and Technology University or ISAT University.
Treñas emphasized that a University status is a distinctive honor reserved only for truly deserving higher education institutions that have proven excellence in instruction, research and outreach.
The conversion to a university grants the WVCST with the same powers and responsibilities as other state universities in Iloilo like the University of the Philippines (UP) and the West Visayas State University.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Committee Chairman Senator Edgardo Angara noted that the Philippines is a young nation with an average age of only 23, “hence education must be prioritized.”
Vice Chairman Senator Loren Legarda, on the other hand, cited that all of the legislators and members of the executive branch present “have education etched in their hearts thus there is no cogent reason to disapprove the bill.”