State university in Cotabato City soon to rise PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 11 February 2013 11:37

Local sectors and people from the academe were elated with the approval on third and final reading by the House of Representatives of the proposal to convert the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College (CCSPC) into a state university.

The president of CCSPC, Dammang Bantala, on Sunday said House Bill 5914, authored by Maguindanao First District Rep. Sandra Sema, was approved last week on third and final reading by Congress.

Sema confirmed to The Zamboanga Times via text message the approval of her proposal, but emphasized that the Commission on Higher Education and the CCSPC administration will have to cooperate in pushing forward the final phase of the conversion process.

Sema, who studied in rural schools and finished a teaching course in a state university, said she initiated the conversion of the CCSPC into a state-run institution to provide children of marginalized Moro and Christian families access to quality, but inexpensive education.

“I’m very glad that the effort was fully supported by the people in my district, my colleagues in Congress and the academe sector in Maguindanao,” Sema said.
Bantala said the CCSPC administration will have a big role in the final stages of converting the school into a state university.

The CCSPC, Bantala said, has to comply with certain requisites to complete the process, among them involvement in extension programs, improving the quality of education and employment of teachers with higher qualification standards.

Religious leaders and peace activists, some of them involved in various projects complementing the ongoing negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, were just as elated with the approval of the CCSPC’s conversion into a state university.

Ustadz Esmail Ebrahim, a commissioner in the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, said the enactment into law of the CCSPC’s proposed conversion into a state university will boost the government’s peace overture with local Moro communities.

“Obviously, the peace process is focused on the empowerment of Moro communities and having a state university in our midst will help hasten the attainment of that goal,” Ebrahim said.

Ebrahim said children of MILF guerrillas and members of the Moro National Liberation Front, which signed a peace pact with the national government in 1996, can study at the proposed Cotabato State University at an affordable cost.

“When we educate our children, we’re building a strong nation of peace-loving, responsible Moro people,” Ebrahim said.

Meanwhile, Sema’s office has also been haggling for national offices to pour in funds for the concreting of the 17-kilometer still rough portion of the Kusiong-Tamontaka provincial road straddling along the western coast of Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao.

Sema was earlier reported to have personally asked Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez to help “source out”  fiscal support for the road project during the recent congressional budget hearing for national line agencies.

Sema even wrote Jimenez on Aug. 6, 2012, asking the Department of Tourism to include the Kusiong-Tamontaka Road in the priority projects of the DOT.

Sema told Jimenez in her letter that the project needs at least P252 million and that the proposed infrastructure project has to be supported by the DOT.

Sema said Jimenez assured he would focus attention on the issue and flex his influence to support the proposed concreting of the Kusiong-Tamontaka Road.

The DOT in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao certified on June 1, 2011 the beaches in Kusiong, a component Barangay of Datu Odin Sinsuat, as “tourism potential areas,” which can be developed into eco-tourism sites.