MANILA – House Deputy Minority Leader Rep. Mujiv Hataman on Wednesday urged his colleagues to help boost the economy of the entire Basilan by establishing a state college for agriculture and fisheries in the province.
Hataman filed House Bill (HB) 7085 which seeks to establish the Basilan Agriculture and Fisheries College (BAFC) and to enable students from the province to study the latest trends and new technologies applicable in the field of agriculture and fisheries.
He said Basilan should invest more in agriculture and fisheries and his bill could be the key to developing these two most important sectors in attaining food security and boosting the economy of his province.
He said the establishment of this “tertiary educational institution” would be a potential move to uplift the well-being of the Basileños in general.
"Agriculture and fisheries are two of the main sources of livelihood for Basileños. A college that specializes in these two sectors will greatly benefit not only the citizens of Basilan, but the economy of the whole province as well,” Hataman, former governor of the now-defunct ARMM, said.
According to HB 7085, the BAFC “shall primarily provide technical and professional training in sciences, arts, teacher education, agriculture, engineering and technology, fisheries, food technology, nutrition, as well as short-term vocational courses.”
“Yamang lupa at yamang dagat ang isa sa pinakamadaling pagyamanin na kabuhayan dito sa aming lalawigan. Kaya marapat lamang na ito ang aming pagtuunan ng focus at makatulong sa pag-angat ng aming lalawigan (Land and sea resources are the easy livelihood to cultivate in our province. So it’s just proper for us to focus on them and help for the progress of our province),” he said.
The bill shall likewise promote research, advanced studies and academic leadership in the stated areas of specialization.
The BAFC shall be governed by a Board of Trustees composed of 11 individuals and chaired by the Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), it added. It shall also have the President of the College as vice chair, and the chairs of the committees on education and higher technical education of the Senate and the House, respectively, as two of the Trustees.
The rest of the board shall be composed of the Regional Director of the National Economic and Development Authority; the Minister of Basic, Higher and Technical Education of BARMM; the President of the alumni association; the President of the faculty association; the Chairperson of the supreme student council; and two prominent citizens of Isabela City or of the Province of Basilan.
The Board of Trustees shall have the power to establish the following: an Institute of General Education Studies, a School of Agriculture and Aquatic Sciences, a School of Forestry and Environmental Science, a School of Engineering and Technology, a School of Education, a School of Business, a School of Veterinary Medicine, a School of Food Technology and Nutrition, an Indigenous Arts and Crafts Institute and other schools and departments as the Board may deem necessary.
“We wish that this college can offer other courses to provide our students more options on what they would want to take up,” Hataman said. (PNA)