MSU-BATARAZA CAMPUS GROUNDBREAKING EVENT: Bataraza Mayor Abraham Ibba and Palawan Governor Jose Alvarez (left-side, foreground) lead the burying of the time capsule during the groundbreaking ceremony for the MSU campus.

The establishment of the Mindanao State University (MSU) campus in Bataraza is expected to increase the quality of education, and improve the economy not just of the town but the whole province of Palawan.

MSU-Bataraza took another step forward in the province on Monday, December 6, with the groundbreaking of the six-hectare campus in Barangay Inogbong, which was provided by the municipal government, and where an initial 18-classroom three-storey university building would be built.

The campus’ ground breaking event was headed by Bataraza mayor Abraham Ibba and Palawan governor Jose C. Alvarez, as well as MSU Systems president Dr. Habib Macaayong.

The structure will be called PGP-MSU-Bataraza School Complex based on its perspective plan.

Ibba said during the groundbreaking ceremony that the establishment of the first MSU campus outside Mindanao which happened to be located in Bataraza is “a dream come true” not just for the town but for the entire province that would benefit many Palaweños.

He also said the university will be a major boost to the education and economic sector of Palawan, and even other nearby provinces.

“Hindi lang mga taga Bataraza ang makikinabang dito kundi ang lahat ng mga Palaweño at iba pang mga kalapit na lalawigan,” he said.

“Napalaki ng impact nito dahil pupunta ang mga estudyante dito at kapag dito sila ay dadami ang tao, gaganda ang ekonomiya. Kaya iniimbitahan natin ang mga mag-aaral na mag-enroll dito sa mga susunod na school year,” Ibba added.

On the other hand, Macaayong said that the MSU-Bataraza aims to provide the province with a high-quality education. MSU-Bataraza is the university’s extension site, but it is also the university’s 12th campus.

“We all know that MSU is the 2nd largest, most developed government university in the country next to the University of the Philippines. The reason we established a school here is through the request of Mayor Ibba to give quality education to the people of Palawan,” Macaayong said.

“We conducted an evaluation and we are convinced. We have 11 branches in Mindanao plus one in Palawan, so 12 na lahat,” he added.

With the development of the Bataraza campus, MSU’s commitment to delivering quality education to Muslims and Filipinos in Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan is fully accomplished, according to campus director Hernan Bacosa.

“For 60 years ay hindi ito nangyari dahil sa layo ng Palawan pero ngayon, finally ay na-realize na ito dahil mayroon nang MSU-Bataraza,” Bacosa said.

He further stated that classes at the Bataraza campus began on October 13 with 147 students.

The majority of students are pursuing Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a major in English and Sciences, Civil Engineering, Arabic Teaching, and Shariah Studies.

The university is currently using a building in Bataraza Town Center as its temporary classroom.

“Ngayon ay totally virtual classes tayo. Teachers are from MSU-Marawi at may ilan lang tayo na mula dito,” Bacosa said.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Teaching Arabic, BA in Islamic Studies majoring in Shariah, Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Secondary Education majoring in Science and English, and Bachelor of Elementary Education are among the programs available.

He added that MSU is also offering scholarships depending on the entrance exam score.

“May scholarship na depende sa score. Hindi mo i-a-apply,” Bacosa said.

MSU-Marawi also distributed 160 laptop computers to students and faculty of the MSU-Bataraza to support the online classes.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.