CHED, PRC, DepEd versus MCC

Mandaue City College located in Basak is the old MCC duly created through an Ordinance No. 10-2005-324A co-authored by then Councilor Jonas C. Cortes (now incumbent mayor) and amended by Ordinance No. 10-2005-419. It started its operation on Academic Year 2006-2007 which offers undergraduate programs and advance studies or graduate programs. The public are totally aware of the legality of MCC’s creation by the City Government of Mandaue, per City Ordinance No. 324-A, as amended by C.O No. 419, and the noble purpose of the local government to provide almost free college education for the poor students of Mandaue City and its neighboring cities and town. It is also known that B.P. 232 (Education Act of 1982) provides that recognition of a local college is deemed granted simultaneous to its establishment.

Section 27 of Republic Act 232 says that in the case of government operated schools, whether local, regional, national, recognition of educational programs and/or operations shall be deemed granted simultaneously with establishment. Also CHED Memorandum Order #32, Series of 2006: strictly states and provides that a local college is a learning institution created by operation of law by virtue of a valid ordinance and that an ORDINANCE is the charter of the local college.

Said City College became functional and had a promising initial student population of one thousand one hundred (1, 100) and a teachers organization of not less than thirty (30) and through the years said City College was able to nurture and develop eager young minds who never had the opportunity to study in private educational institutions due to financial impediments to be licensed professionals. Mandaue City College produced more than 100 professionals licensed by the Professional Regulations Commission (as of this writing).

Sometime in 2007 under the administration of Mayor Jonas Cortes another Mandaue City College was created and operated in the Mandaue City Sports Complex through then Dr. Susana B. Cabahug who is convicted of DepEd graft and corruption. The matter of the legality of these two community colleges in the City of Mandaue was put in issue in a case still pending for the last five (5) years.

Both, the new and the old community college have found willing recipients as well as beneficiaries of the program to serve the needy and economically underprivileged residents not only of Mandaue City but of the neighboring localities as well. Through the years the graduates of both colleges have been accorded legal recognition by the Professional Regulations Commission by allowing them to take the National Licensing Examinations.

On July 24, 2011 the graduate of MCC-Basak Campus where informed that they could no longer take the licensure exams because of MCC-Basak does not have any proof of recognition from CHED;

The CHED Regional Quality Assessment Team (RQAT) of Region 7 conducted an evaluation of MCC on 03 November 2008, led by Dr. Marcelo Lopez, President of Cebu Normal University, with Dr. Jucel Ann M. Jumao-as as one of its four members, publicly announced that MCC was 90% complaint with the requirements. Dr. Jumao-as announced it, to the top of her voice at our campus. Then CHED 7 Director Dr. Enrique Grecia said that the Cañete-led MCC is only one recognized by the CHED (AAG/NRC, “CHED clears Mandaue City College”, Sun Star Cebu, Wednesday, June 6, 2007). This was repeatedly announced over DYKC radio and in other media outlets. Dr. Marlon Lopez even congratulated Dr. Milagros L. Cañete for MCC’s RQAT performance. The City’s Sanguniang Panlungsod even passed Resolution No. 11-878-2008 commending MCC for its passing the RQAT with flying colors.

Dr. Jucel Ann Jumao-as recently told the graduates at Sunburst Restaurant A.S. Fortuna, in a meeting called by Cong. Luis Gabriel Quisumbing, that she was just pressured by then Cong. Nerisa Soon Ruiz and Dr. Cañete to make such announcement of compliance with RQAT. There may even be a ground to hold her administratively accountable of the Office of the President or at the Office of the Ombudsman for such an irresponsible admission of a misdeed that misled local government officials, students, parents, faculty members and staff of MCC, and the general public. It is unimaginable how a legislator can pressure a public official of a national agency into saying something UNTRUE that will have far-reaching effects on the various stakeholders.

CHED is not an accrediting body (accreditation is voluntary in nature) nor authorized by their charter to close programs or school campus but can only make such recommendation. They must observe status quo while there is still a pending mandamus case of this matter in the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City and a pending “Petition Couple with Motion for Reconsideration for Nullification of the Closure Order” before the Office of the President and the Commission on Higher Education.

On December 3, 2010 CHED without due process, ordered, issued and at the same time served a “Closure Order” to the College which was immediately protested by filing a “Petition for the Nullification of the Order” before the CHED National Office in Manila but until now MCC have not received any answer or communication whatsoever from the CHED office relative to the petition as of this writing. Since then CHED has always been threatening and even willing to physically close the campus (without a court order and not even their power) together with the City Treasurer upon Mayor Jonas Cortes instruction to padlock the campus for failure to secure a business permit and non payment of taxes which is irrelevant since MCC is a government institution.

On July 24, 2011 with that Closure Order, CHED National through their Chairman Dr. Patricia Licuanan, issued a Notice to the Public through Manila Bulletin declaring among other things;
1. That MCC under Dr. Paulus Mariae L. Cañete, is spurious and illegal because it does not possess a permit of authority to operate a granting institution and that, graduates of the said school shall not be allowed to take any board examination and even advised to transfer in any degree granting institution.

As a result PRC Regional in Cebu City will not allow graduates from taking the September 2011 LET Examination because of the CHED Closure Order and the required permit. The said candidates, graduates and the MCC family felt disturbed, humiliated and discriminated. Even the DepEd Region 7 Director does not allow the 4th year student to have their practicum studies in any public schools in the Cebu Province.

Further, some graduates who are DepEd Teachers from the Graduate School studies of MCC were out-rightly denied of due recognition of their hard-earned degrees by the Ranking and Promotion Committee of the Department of Education, Mandaue City Division and Southern Leyte Division because of the Notice to the Public (Closure Order) from CHED Chairman not from a court of law.

The institution contends that if such act is true, it is tantamount to discrimination, deprived of their property without due process, denied by the equal protection of law and non-recognition, punishable by law under Sec. 25 – 29 of BP Blg. 232, known as the Education Act of 1982.

The 2000 Revised Rules of Court provide a disputable presumption that government regularly performs their official (presumption of regularity) unless, there is conclusive presumption rendered by the lawful authorities in accordance with law.

Therefore, BP Blg. 232 – Section 28 – It entitled the school or college to give the students who have completed the course for which recognition is granted, a certificate, title or diploma”; and It shall entitle the students who have graduated from said recognized course or courses to all the benefits and privileges enjoyed by graduates in similar courses of studies in all schools recognized by the government.

Section 9. Right of Students in School – In addition to other rights, and subject to the limitation prescribed by law and regulations, and student and pupils in all schools shall enjoy the following rights: 2. The right to freely chose their field of study subject to existing curricula and to continue their course therein up to graduation, except in cases of academic deficiency, or violation of disciplinary regulations.

With respect to the Closure Order, assuming that the CHED Order exists, it was not established that it has the authority to issue the same. In the absence of court judgments invalidating the existence of our school, the City Government of Mandaue & CHED have arrogated unto itself not to recognize it. They should at least wait for final judgment from the Court determining whether or not MCC under Cañete validly exists.

What is now the reason base on law for not taking into consideration the degrees earned by MCC graduates for the PRC – LET Board Exam and the ranking and promotion in the Department of Education?

What is now the reason base on law for requiring the Local Colleges and Universities to be required with a permit or authority to operate if CMO#32, S.2006 is self explanatory?