MIST in Makilala town: Mindanao’s first LGU-funded free college education

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MAKILALA, North Cotabato— Mindanao’s first locally-funded  free college education gets the full recognition and accreditation of the  Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The CHED in an en banc decision last July 4, 2017  passed resolution no. 463-2017 recognized and approved all the curriculum of the Makilala Institute of Science and Technology (MIST).

After four years, the  Commission Makilala Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) as a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in the Municipality of Makilala.

With it’s recognition,  Makilala Municipal Mayor Rudy Caoagdan and CHED regional director Maximo C.  Aljibe installed the first MIST president in the person of  Dr. Gerardo Rigonan  on July 28, 2017.

Makilala, is identified as among the hotspots and breeding areas of communist insurgents.

Makilala Mayor Rudy S. Caoagdan in his speech said “I know it was a gamble to have this project, but when I bet, I know the people of Makilala will be victorious in this game of chance.”

“To discourage the youth to join any  rebel movement, you must educate them and give them the information they need to be empowered,” Caoagdan emphasized.

Established in 2012, the MIST register at least 1,400 students a year as it operates  an annual budget of P10-million from the municipal  government.

During the investiture, Aljibe noted the sacrifices of Mayor Caoagdan in pushing  for the establishment of the MIST in 2012.

“Blood and tears shed for the realization of this institution” Aljibe recalled and he remembered asking  Caoagdan how  the municipal government sustain a free college institution.

A  stiff in involved in the  process of  establishing a school “But as we go along, I knew that the Mayor was so determined to realize the project and was willing to endure just to making things done for the your of his municipality.”

“This project is a very laudable project that the People of Makilala and the taxpayers should be proud of,” Aljibe stresed.


Caoagdan in his speech said when their study showed that 70 to 80 percent of Makilal high school graduate do not go to college because of poverty, he then searched how to establish a free college education,  “I know it was a gamble to have this project, but when I bet, I know the people of Makilala will be victorious at the end of the game, now this is it! we win.”

He recalled being ridiculed for embarking on an ambitious project specially his political critics “Gina-ingnan pa i nga peke daw among eskuelahan ug masayang ang hago sa mga estudyante.”

“My only desire is to give our children free education is taken from the fact that I am a son of poor  of  farmer, whose parents only dream of having an educated son, I know how much it cost for parents to send their children to school, but if we will not undertake this ambitious project, where will our children go after high school education? they will end up construction worker or just pack their things and leave abroad or worse, going up to the mountains and join the revolution,” Caoagdan added.

To ensure that the school will be funded even after his term, the municipal government passed an ordinance making the budget allocation a statutory obligation that even politics cannot stop its operation.

Makilala town mayor Rudy S. Caoagdan, DPA (left) administered oath of Dr. Gerardo Rigonan, the first MIST president. photo: -Newsline.ph

Rigonan in his acceptance speech stressed “This is a challenge to me but I know with the support of the municipal government and the people of Makilala, this institution will grow up as we envision to educate every student here.”

Among the courses which MIST offer includes,  public administration, Computer technology; agriculture, technical vocation courses, automotive services among others.

This developed as President Rodrigo Duterte in the evening of August 3, 2017 signed into  law the Universal free education for all state colleges and universities.

With the CHED recognition, all courses of the MIST is accredited and every curriculum is accredited.

For one to avail the free college education, he/she must be a resident of Makilala.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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