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LA TRINIDAD, Benguet– Provincial and municipal officials expressed their unwavering and uncompromising support to the new leadership of the State-run Benguet State University (BSU) with the hope it will be instrumental in facilitating the immediate resolution of prevailing problems between the institution and indigenous cultural communities aside, from being a catalyst of development not only in Benguet, but also in the Cordillera.
Gov. Melchor D. Diclas said that the selection of a homegrown talent, Dr. Felipe S. Comila, as the president of the higher education institution by the Board of Regents is a welcome development among the elders of the province as it has been quite some time that the university was under the leadership of a person from Benguet who is aware of the existing issues and concerns and how to find ways on how to solve such problems.
Speaking before the simple turnover ceremony held at the BSU closed gymnasium Wednesday, the governor pointed out the results of the latest election of BSU president only proves the verdant desire of the members of the BSU board for a veteran in the university to lead the way in charting the school’s future amidst the prevailing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that caused a worldwide economic slowdown.
He added the provincial government is supportive of the thrust of the new BSU president to help elevate the status of the university in the global village to produce globally competitive graduates in their chosen fields of expertise.
On his part, Mayor Romeo K. Salda claimed the municipal government is grateful to BSU for allowing the use of its vast tracks of land in the municipality for the production of the famous strawberries is sustained the livelihoods of thousands of strawberry farmers and more importantly, contributed in placing La Trinidad in the world’s tourism map for having baked the largest strawberry shortcake enshrined in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2004.
He urged the BSU leadership to fastrack the completion of its tourism development plan that will be aligned with the local government’s tourism development plan to help in sustaining the independent promotion of La Trinidad as one of the preferred ecotourism destinations not only in the Cordillera but also in the country.
According to him, BSU has been the solid partner of the municipal government in charting the overall growth and development of the municipality thus BSU must sustain such partnership that had been nurtured over the past several decades after being chartered as a university in 1986.
However, Salda insinuated that it is high time for BSU to go back to the drawing board and dialogue with the municipal government and the indigenous peoples on how to formulate a possible ‘win-win’ solution to the issues and concerns that had been raised against its housing project in barangay Wangal for the same to be resolved the soonest.
On his part, Comila openly accepted the challenge hurled on him by the provincial and municipal officials and vowed to closely work with everyone to independently deal with the problems besetting the university during his term as president of the university. By HENT