CHED denies withholding CSU's Smart Campus project

Published July 10, 2021, 2:43 PM

by Gabriela Baron

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) denied on Saturday, July 10, that it is withholding Cagayan State University’s (CSU) Smart Campus proposal.


In a Facebook post, CSU Vice President Ranhilio Callangan Aquino said the university was promised development of a Smart campus by CHED Commissioner Perfecto Alibin, but was “withheld when CHED wanted to take over governance of the university.”

CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III responded to Aquino, saying the Smart Campus project funded by Bayanihan 2 “prioritized project proposals from state universities and colleges [SUCs] that participated in the surveys on connectivity and did not have unliquidated fund transfers.”

De Vera said CSU has unliquidated fund transfers from CHED: P86,310 past due for 31-90 days; P18,334 past due for 91-365 days; P71,976.114.25 past due to over one year; and P1,232,724.76 past due over three years.

He added that a priority list was made and those who have no unliquidated fund transfers were given first priority to present their projects.

A total of 111 SUCs submitted project proposals and 89 SUCs were given grants of up to P25 million to improve their capability to provide flexible learning, De Vera noted.

“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.

The CHED chairman also underscored that CHED projects are not “promised” by any CHED official, but projects are “competitively” vetted by experts and CHED officials.

Mapua University President Rey Vea, Holy Angel University President Luis Caligo, Department of Information and Communications Technology IT Officer Nico Silva, CHED Commissioners Perfecto Alibin and Aldrin Darilag, and CHED Directors Sylvette Gunigundo and Lily Milla were among the vetting panel for the Smart Campus project.

“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’,” De Vera 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’,” he added.

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