By Ben Rosario
Caloocan City’s local officials will finally realize hopes of getting state-sponsored tertiary education for the youth after the House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading the establishment of a branch of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in the city.
Mayor Oscar Malapitan, who is credited for establishing the locally-run Caloocan City College, said the city government has started preparing to host a PUP campus in the city that will benefit his constituents as well as students from localities in the northern part of Metro Manila.
Malapitan has his son, Rep. Dale “Along” Malapitan to thank for finally realizing a long-time dream of getting the national government to set up in his city one of the leading state universities in the country.
The young Malapitan is the principal author of House Bill 5739 which proposed the establishment of a PUP campus to be known as the PUP-Caloocan North Campus.
A re-filed bill, HB 5739 was finally approved on third and final reading on Monday.
Rep. Malapitan, chairman of the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation, believes that the measure will pass presidential approval, saying that his optimism is based on the fact that President Duterte has been very supportive of measures that would drastically reduce the number of college dropouts due to poverty.
“The bill aims not only to address the increasing number of out-of-school children and youth in the region but also operates to fulfill a high constitutional demand,” said Malapitan.
He noted that the 1987 Constitution strongly supports a “culture of education” in the country as it guarantees “in no uncertain terms the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels.”
“It bears mentioning that in Metro Manila North, also known as the CAMANAVA area, there exists not a single state university or college nor a campus thereof which students of this area may access for their tertiary, professional and technical education,” the young lawmaker said.
According to Rep. Malapitan the approval of the bill will help address the said situation, adding that the establishment of a new educational institution in the CAMANAVA area is one way of battling poverty.
For his party, Mayor Malapitan said the city government is fully prepared to help speed up the putting up of a PUP in his city.