NOTE: This story was first published in The Bohol Chronicle’s Sunday print edition.
The House of Representatives Committee on Higher and Technical Education approved in a virtual meeting on May 8, 2020, House Bill No. 6120 filed by Cong. Edgar Chatto, of the first district of Bohol.
Chatto says, “Amidst the uncertainties of the time, the establishment of a CHED office in the capital city of the province ensures compliance with the physical distancing measures in the new normal scheme of things,” of the said House Bill entitled, “An Act Establishing a Field Office of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) In Tagbilaran City, Province of Bohol, and Appropriating Funds Therefor”.
“With Cebu posting one of the highest COVID19 positive cases, we cannot afford to send our students and teachers there without bringing danger to their life and health,” he continues citing the fluidity of the pandemic situation.
To support the measure, Cong. Chatto states that Bohol is home to around twenty-four public and private higher learning institutions. Students who need to apply for financial assistance, grants and scholarships as well as those securing necessary documents for employment and other education purposes are forced to travel to Cebu for processing of requirements. This entails costs in time, money and effort that can be addressed with the establishment of a CHED office in Bohol.
CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera strongly backed the Chatto measure. He added that he is supporting the move to create a full CHED Provincial Office, not just a Satellite Office, consistent with vision of the agency towards a higher education system that is locally responsive.
The proposed provincial CHED affirms the call of the President for enhanced decentralization, improved delivery public service as well as the integration of the Balik Probinsya Program contained in a recently signed Executive Order.
“Again, this can be considered as one important transition measure towards the new normal,” Cong. Chatto reiterates.