‘SP will examine city college plan’

The proposed city college will undergo a serious legislative scrutiny to ensure it cannot, in the words of a Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) fiscalizer, turn into a “headless” project with “no direction.”

Tagbilaran City CouncilorAugustinus“Dodong” Gonzaga would have the ordinance establishing the city government-run public tertiary school “thoroughly reviewed” by the SP itself.

The majority bloc of the city legislature led by Kag. Adam RelsonJala supported the move of Gonzaga, a minority councilor.

Presided over by Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso, the city council still even awaits the project’s feasibility study for which over P200,000 was long allocated.

Gonzaga feared that without proper wisdom backed up by a good study and planning to guide city hall, the project is but “headless” and, thus, “cannot find its direction.”

He cited a similar government-run college in Mandaue City in Cebu which had ultimately gone to failure and locked doors.

Also called the “conscience” of the council, Gonzaga said a serious review of the ordinance is necessary and crucial.

The ordinance wasthen assailed as approved “without thinking” because what was presented to the council then was just a template, a pattern, instead of a comprehensive feasibility study for the project itself.

Later on, a resolution was instigated by the majority bloc and approved, also “in haste,” authorizing Mayor John Geesnell Yap II to enter into a lease agreement with the Holy Spirit School (HSS) for the use of the latter’s old building for the city college.

This is accordingly while the city government is yet to construct the city college on an identified government lot.

Gonzaga was disturbed why the city has seemed to be in a hurry to start operating a city college in a private property when, apart from the absence of the feasibility study, higher education authority accreditation can yet go a tasking process.

As far as he could recall, the city already allocated nearly P100 million for the project and “if parts of it have been spent already,” they in the SP could not know “for what.”

The legislative review is up for conduct also after a lawyer representing the HSSlately wrote to the city inquiring about the intent of the city to lease the HSS property until 2022.

It was accordingly initially agreed that the city will only use the building for three months as a proof of facility for the purpose of getting accreditation for the city college.

During the ordinance review, the councilors would like that the concerned officials or competent people have to update the city council on the city college project, Gonzaga said.

According to Gonzaga, even Jala now questioned the competence of the “focal” person on the project who had then appeared before the SP.

The review will be conducted by the council convening as a committee of the whole, with Jala as chairman.

Even if there are now higher learning institutions where tuition fee is free like the state university to help the poor get aquality education, Gonzaga said he is not questioning the noble intention of the project.

But without good project planning and study, the city may better build a good hospital, just even a starting infirmary, Gonzaga hinted.

He said the millions for a government college created by uncertainty should better fund hundreds of city scholars every year. (VenreboArigo)





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