By Dave S. Albarado
The city council just bought some time to go over and deconstruct the contents of the feasibility study crafted for the establishment of the City College of Tagbilaran (CCT).
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Friday agreed to meet on March 22 for a special session just for the CCT.
The city councilors agreed they need time to go over the feasibility study submitted by Marie Frances Macabenta on Friday.
It appears the city government resorted to asking another person to craft a feasibility study after a certain Dr. Glenn Andrin, who had proclaimed himself as the incoming president of CCT, could no longer be found.
Andrin, in a series of paid print ads, had been disowned by the University of Bohol for “unspecified reasons.”
Before UB’s print ads came out, Andrinhad been reportedly hired by graduate school students “to advise” for their thesis and dissertation.
The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has been notified concerning Andrin’s profitable activities, including his online transactions with graduate school students, and is set to conduct a thorough investigation into his dealings with master’s and doctoral aspirants.
As of last year, Andrin was known to have earned four Ph.Ds, allegedly making him as the most qualified thesis and dissertation adviser in this part of the archipelago.
IN SEARCH OF A COPY
Meanwhile, city councilor Augustinus Gonzaga said the study presented to the city council back last June 2017 by Andrin was just a template. Copies of the study made by Andrin were never distributed to the councilors.
Several months had passed, and there was no feasibility study that was presented. As such, the city resorted to asking Makabenta, a faculty member from the University of Bohol, to craft another one.
The 118-page feasibility study made by Macabenta was submitted only last Friday morning to the city council.
Controversy surrounded the CCT due to the lack of a feasibility study when the ordinance was passed.
The councilors agreed there is a need to review the ordinance to ascertain whether the CCT can be viable since there was no feasibility study submitted to the council.
Gonzaga told the Bohol Tribune he is inclined to propose to the rest of the council to ask Andrin to appear and explain what happened to the previous feasibility study.
While it is unlikely Andrin to appear before the alderman, given the fact he is no longer reachable, just the same, for records purposes, Gonzaga sees the need to request the presence of Andrin.
The city paid Andrin P20,000 per month for six months to draft the feasibility study for the CCT. A “template” was presented to the city council back in June, but the full study and copies of such were never submitted to any of the city councilors.
Macabenta said her background in making feasibility studies is extensive. She had worked with mostly non-government organizations (NGOs). She admitted to the council she had no prior experience in crafting a “feasibility study for a school.”
However, she is banking on her experience with UB is enough for her to craft a respectable feasibility study. She told the council, she has ample experience in the crafting of the curriculum for different areas of the university. She also took some case studies of schools as part of her research.
The one who crafted another feasibility study for CCT said it took her more or less “two months” to finish.
Macabenta said she is only engaged with the city as far as crafting of the feasibility study. She signed the contract to craft the study on December 18, 2017. She was supposed to finish the study on the third week of February, but was able to submit the study a week ahead of time.
The city paid Macabenta P250,000 fewer taxes. The study was subject to deliberations by a core team composed of officials of different offices of the city government such as the budget office, human resources, and the youth sector, among others.
Gonzaga asked Macabenta if she was aware of the previous feasibility study.
“I do not know of the first feasibility study,” said Makabenta. She even denied ever knowing Andrin.
“I only knew him from what I read in the newspapers,” Makabenta said.
She said she accepted to craft the feasibility study out of “goodwill.”She said doing the feasibility study is a way for her to “pay back” Tagbilaran for being so good to her. Makabenta is an Ilongga who transferred here to Tagbilaran. She thought the project is “helpful.”
Macabenta said it was only on February 18 when she saw some information such as the cost of tuition per unit based on data coming from Trinidad Community College.
Gonzaga asked whether she volunteered her services to the city. She said someone referred the engagement to her. A certain May Blanco referred her to the city government to craft the feasibility study.
She said she never underwent any bidding to capture the contract for the crafting of the feasibility study for CCT.
It took two weeks to come up with an agreement as there were several requirements needed to be met, said Macabenta.
Macabenta said she was not aware there was already of the ordinance creating the CCT when she accepted the task. But, she was aware that the city is planning to put up a city college.
Back in June 2017, the city council of Tagbilaran passed an ordinance pushing for the establishment of the P50 million TCC.
The ordinance was passed with Andrin giving assurance to the city legislators the feasibility study was complete, but copies of which were never provided.
Andrin said the “academic” portion of the feasibility study was yet to be completed. Thus, Gonzaga with Kagawads Greggy Gatal and Jonas Cacho voted against the ordinance.
The three were outvoted by the rest of the councilors and passed the ordinance authored by Kag. Joseph Bompat, who is the chair of the city council’s Committee on Education.