- Category: President's Corner
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The Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, a merger of three public education institutions in the province of Zambales, was formally created as a state university on February 12, 1998 by virtue of Republic Act 8498 authored by Zambales Second District Rep. Antonio M. Diaz. The University Charter integrated the former Ramon Magsaysay Polytechnic College (RMPC) in Iba, the Western Luzon Agricultural College (WLAC) in San Marcelino, and the Candelaria School of Fisheries (CSF) in Candelaria. Dr. Feliciano S. Rosete assumed office as the first duly elected and appointed President of the University effective February 12, 2001, the start of the full operation of the institution as a multi-campus university system.
Over the last ten (10) years, the Rosete Administration has effectively strengthened RMTU’s capability in line with its mandated mission to provide instruction, undertake research and extension, and to provide advanced studies and progressive leadership in agriculture, forestry, engineering, education, arts, sciences, humanities and other fields relevant to the development of Zambales (Section 2.0, RA 8498). The institution transformed dramatically as the Administration accelerated the full integration and upgrading of the component campuses. Moreover, Dr. Rosete’s strong network with the local government units (LGUs) made possible the establishment of LGU-subsidized satellite campuses in Masinloc, Castillejos, and Sta. Cruz in the year 2002, 2003 and 2004, respectively.
Faculty development shifted to high gear. For the period in review, more than 100 faculty members were granted local and international scholarships. The university has established a strong partnership with prestigious universities in South Korea especially with Andong National University which is a recognized center of excellence in engineering and information technology. Local scholarships consist of Type A (full-time), Type B (part-time) and Type C (thesis support) which are funded from internal income. Degree programs grew almost five times, from 12 to 65 in accordance with the mandate of the university to offer relevant and marketable courses (nursing, tourism, HRM, computer technology, etc.) and to produce highly employable graduates to help alleviate poverty and unemployment problems in the province. Enrolment quadrupled from 2,000 to 8,000 per semester primarily because of the “AMD Educational Assistance Program” which provides massive financial assistance, partial and full scholarship grants to students.
In terms of infrastructure development, more than 90% of the 58 existing/old/dilapidated buildings/classrooms/laboratory rooms in various campuses have been repaired and renovated. With funding support from the LGUs, Congressional PDAF, DPWH and other sources, new infrastructures have been constructed namely the College of Nursing Building (Iba and San Marcelino Campuses), the College of Law Cum Student Center, the College of Tourism, Home, Hotel and Restaurant Management, the New Administration Building Cum Library (2nd, 3rd and 4th Floors), CTHHRM Hostel, RET Center, and others. Road networks in Iba campus have been asphalted. Office/classroom furnitures and laboratory equipment in all campuses have been purchased, fabricated and/or upgraded.
RMTU’s major curricular programs attained various accreditation levels in accordance with the standards of the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (AACCUP). Based on the CHED-PASUC-DBM “SUC Leveling System”, RMTU attained an unprecedented Level III-A status, only seven points (7) short of the maximum Level IV rank. Moreover, RMTU has been listed as one of the top 30 higher education institutions (HEIs) recognized by the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and other technology - oriented countries.
RMTU graduates also registered commendable ratings in licensure examinations especially in electrical, mechanical and civil engineering with passing rates consistently higher than the national average for the past four years. The university has recently produced board topnotchers namely Mr. Richard William Domondon (8th Placer, 2009 Nursing Board Exam) and Mr. Gonzalo Guatlo Ong (7th Placer, 2008 Master Electrician Board Exam).
In terms of research, RMTU contributed to the stock of new scientific knowledge when it won the Regional Best Research Paper Award in agriculture among 26 CLARRDEC-member agencies in 2008, and eventually emerged as Second Placer among hundreds of PCARRD-member agencies nationwide in the same year. And in 2009, RMTU also won the Regional Best Research Paper Award in energy/environmental remediation research among 19 CLIERRDEC-member agencies. From a mere transmitter of knowledge through traditional classroom teaching, RMTU emerged as a vibrant educational institution capable of generating new scientific knowledge through research. Its dynamism also spurs the diffusion of new technologies through extension service to the communities within its sphere of influence. With more than 20 annual training programs, RMTU has directly provided technical assistance to the farmers, fisher folks, cultural minorities and other sectors.
The Rosete Administration’s distinctive contribution to the higher education sector and SUC management in the country is its successful implementation of RMTU’s corporate powers as vested in its Charter (RA 8498). It has implemented more than 50 Self-Liquidating Academic Programs that generate about Php 80.0 M internal revenues annually which is almost of the same level as its annual budgetary subsidy from the national government. RMTU has been employing more than 200 contractual faculty and about 200 contractual non-teaching staff whose wages come from internal incomes from tuition fees and IGPs. Many contractuals were granted “regular status” with regular wages and benefits by virtue of BOR resolutions and in coordination with the Civil Service Commission. To generate more funds, mango orchards, seedling nurseries and mango processing projects have been expanded. Likewise, commercial stalls for canteens, computer shops, and other auxiliary services have been established in various campuses to generate rental incomes and to provide efficient and responsive services to the studentry.
To date, RMTU stands proud with its high-performing seven (7) campuses, 65 degree programs, 8,000 students, 600-strong faculty and staff, and viable international linkages and consortium agreements. With such splendid achievements and enduring legacy, the Rosete Administration has set a good example for other SUCs in the country. It has launched a paradigm shift in SUC Management i.e. a development strategy of maximizing SUCs’ corporate powers to ensure institutional growth and development despite declining government subsidy. It has also demonstrated how strong networks with various stakeholders (LGUs, NGAs, NGOs and international agencies) can generate massive resources for the university. Therefore, at this crucial point in the history of the university as it enters into a new era of its bicentenary, it is imperative to ensure the continuity of its development efforts to pursue world-class academic excellence amid the challenges of globalization.