■ Ofelia C. Empian
As Benguet State University looks back at its accomplishments in the last 107 years, it also looks forward to more developments in the future, as highlighted by the establishment of the College of Medicine.
President Felipe Comila said BSU will start the construction of the College of Medicine complex located at the Km. 6, Cabanao in Barangay Balili within the BSU lot in 2024.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Samuel Poliden said the college complex will house the COM building, the medical research center, and primary healthcare centers.
The complex will also implement green engineering and architecture such as a rainwater harvesting facility, floating garden, operable windows, and solar panels that will make it sustainable.
“The finalization and packaging of the complete staff work of the College of Medicine is being undertaken and to be submitted to the concerned agencies for deliberation before it will be submitted to the board of regents (BOR) for approval,” Poliden said.
He said after the BOR’s approval, the college will undergo an evaluation by the Commission on Higher Education’s regional quality assessment team, which will examine the compliance of the program to CHED’s minimum requirements.
Benguet Rep. Eric Go Yap, during BSU’s foundation day celebration, said he is sourcing out for more funding for the college for its building construction.
Yap has supported the COM since its proposal, as it will cater to more students from the province and the Cordillera and it will also provide an inexpensive alternative to study medicine.
Earlier, Sen. Pia Cayetano provided P45 million to jumpstart the course, which was already included in the General Appropriations Act for 2023.
The funding was also through the support of Yap and Rep. Mark Go of Baguio City.
Gov. Melchor Diclas also underscored the importance of the college for the Cordillera, as its neighboring Regions 1 and 2 already have their own college of medicine.
On Sept. 25, the Senate approved the House Bill 6704 or an Act Establishing a College of Medicine in Benguet State University. The bill was primarily authored by Yap and co-authored by Go, Mikaela Suansing of Nueva Ecija 1st District, Antonieta Eudela of Zamboanga Sibugay 2nd District, and Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan De Oro 2nd District .
BSU celebrated its 107th founding anniversary with the theme “Beaming with pride, sustaining engagements and excellence, unfolding medical futures today and beyond.”