/ 11 July 2021

COMMISSION on Higher Education Chairman Prospero de Vera III on Saturday denied the accusation he is withholding the proposal of Cagayan State University’s Smart Campus project.

De Vera said the school was not included in the approved list of grantees since other state universities and colleges that submitted their proposals for the project did not have unliquidated fund transfers.

“On record, Cagayan State University has unliquidated fund transfers from CHED (P86,310.00 past due for 31-90 days; P18,334,000.00 past due for 91-365 days; P71,976,114.24 past due over 1 year; and P1,232,724.76 past due over 3 years),” De Vera said.

The clarification was in response to the claim of Ranhilio Aquino, CSU Vice President for Administration and Finance, that the development of a Smart Campus was already “promised” by CHED Commissioner Perfecto Alibin, but was withheld when CHED wanted to take over the governance of the university.

De Vera pointed out a priority list was made and those which have no unliquidated funds transfers were given first priority to present their projects.

The CHED chief added a total of 111 SUCs submitted project proposals and 89 were given grants of up to P25 million to improve their capability to provide flexible learning.

“CSU was not one of the 89 simply because their priority rank was low due to their unliquidated fund transfers, plus they did not have a BOR Resolution endorsing the project proposal duly signed by the Board Chair,” De Vera said.

He also maintained CHED projects are not promised by any official of the commission, and projects are competitively vetted by experts and CHED officials.

For the Smart Campus project, De Vera said the vetting panel includes Mapua University President Rey Vea, Holy Angel University President Luis Calingo, DICT IT Officer Nico Silva, CHED Commissioners Perfecto Alibin and Aldrin Darilag, and CHED Directors Sylvette Gunigundo and Lily Milla.

“All SUC Presidents who defend their proposals before the panel will attest that the vetting was thorough and no project was passed because these were promised to them,” he said.

“It is an insult to the vetting panel and to all SUCs that defended their proposal to say that CSU should get a project because it was promised to them.”

Instead of attacking CHED, De Vera urged Aquino and other CSU officials to focus on practicing good governance and liquidating all projects funded by CHED so they can avail of CHED-funded projects in the future.