NAGA CITY-Camarines Sur province now has two state universities after the House bill seeking to convert Camarines Sur State Agricultural College (CSSAC) in Pili town into Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) was signed into Republic Act 9717 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Monday (October 12).
House bill 4360 was sponsored by Representatives Luis Villafuerte (Camarines Sur), Cynthia Villar (Las Piñas), Edcel Lagman (Albay), Exequiel Javier (Antique), Jesus Crispin Remulla (Cavite), and Bienvenido Abante Jr. (Manila). Its version in the Senate, Senate Bill 3192, was sponsored by Senators Manuel Roxas, Francis Escudero, and Edgardo Angara.
The bill was approved with amendments. One of the amendments provided that no degree program shall be offered by the university without the approval of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
The bill also provided that the university status could be revoked by the Senate committee on education and House committee on higher and technical education if the university failed to comply with the requirements to maintain university status.
The secondary school of the university will remain under supervision and control of the Department of Education.
The newly-incorporated university is expected to "provide both advanced instruction and research in agriculture and allied technological sciences including education, arts and related sciences."
It is also obliged to "undertake extension and development programs, and provide the necessary instructional and research leadership in agricultural, environmental mid technological development in the Bicol Region."
Senator Escudero said modernizing the agricultural sector in the Bicol region is very important, that the establishment of a "center of excellence" in agricultural education, research and development is necessary "to address and correct the continued decline in the performance of the region's agricultural sector."
CSSAC, now CBSUA, is located in San Jose, Pili, Camarines Sur. It started as an elementary school for boys during the American colonization
It became Camarines Sur Agricultural High School in 1923, and a chartered state college in 1982.
In 2000, through RA 8760 otherwise known as the Integration of CHED-Supervised Institutions (CSIs) to State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Calabanga Polytechnic College (CPC) in Calabanga town and the Bicol Institute of Science and Technology (BIST) in Sipocot town were integrated into CSSAC.
The other state university in Camarines Sur is the Partido State University in Goa town, which was incorporated in 2001 through Republic Act 9029.