Today marks another milestone for Iloilo City, the education center of Western Visayas. It is hosting this year’s State Universities and Colleges (SUC) Fair from July 10 to 13 at SM City Iloilo in Mandurriao district.
West Visayas State University (WVSU) under the stewardship of its president, Dr. Joselito F. Villaruz, is leading the region’s state universities and colleges in hosting SUC Fair 2023.
Now on its third year, the annual event organized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) brings together over 100 SUCs from all over the country to showcase their best practices, innovations and technologies, creativity and artistry, and unique products through an exhibit.
Anchored on the theme, “Navigating the Global Academic Landscape through Innovations, Cultural and Arts Preservation and Higher Education Quality”, the event is also part of CHED’s anniversary celebration.
According to CHED Region 6 director, Dr. Raul C. Alvarez Jr., through the SUC Fair, CHED hopes to propagate the best practices of SUCs, especially their innovations and researches.
“We hope that our visitors from all around the country and our local government units could benefit through technology transfer. Our SUCs have many inventions ad researches especially in agriculture and fisheries. I hope mapansin sang aton mga stakeholders and investors. Also, this gathering is a very rich exposition of culture and arts of regions were the SUCs come from. Masadya ‘ni nga event, both educational and very technical,” said Alvarez.
Iloilo City’s Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said Iloilo City is thriving hub for higher education.
“We have the most number of graduates in the whole of Visayas and Mindanao. Our universities are among the best in the country,” he said.
Western Visayas has 11 state universities and colleges.
The standard of manpower produced by local universities is one of the reasons investors favor lloilo, stressed Treñas.
The city government is also helping businesses, here the business process outsourcing (BPO) companies that provide employment to graduates.
“This is the reason I make sure Iloilo remains the most business-friendly highly-urbanized city in the country. As we continue to invest in education, I do not doubt that Iloilo City will continue to be a beacon of progress and opportunities,” Treñas said.
Iloilo City has its own version of “University Belt”. It is home to big universities and best private schools producing outstanding graduates and professionals in various fields.
Some SUCs have even been designated by CHED as Centers of Excellence (COE) and Centers of Development (COD).
Education is one of the priority agenda under Treñas’ governance development road map, W.H.E.E.L.S. (Welfare, Health, Environment, Education, Livelihood, and Sustainability) for Inclusive Development.
The Treñas administration has embarked on programs and projects to level up the learning system in Iloilo City. One of these is the USWAG Scholarship Program which helps financially challenged but deserving Ilonggo students to finish their studies.
The city government also invests in the improvement of school facilities and builds more public schools.
All these efforts led to the city mayor being recognized as an education champion, and the city government landing on the Top 3 in the 1st Gawad Edukampyon Awards Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) – Highly Urbanized City Category.
The city also ranked third among Highly-Urbanized Cities in the 2022 National Literacy Awards.
Just like Mayor Treñas, SM is also a champion of education. With National University (NU), SM has been a consistent partner of CHED, the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) and other stakeholders in holding the SUC Fair.
Last year’s SUC Fair was held at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
Meanwhile, through its social arm SM Foundation Inc.’s (SMFI) scholarship program, thousands of students across the country are given the opportunity to finish their education and eventually thrive in their chosen fields.
Anchored on its mantra, “People Helping People,” SMFI has college and technical-vocational scholarships benefitting many deserving and qualified students.
SMFI also builds school buildings for underserved communities.
SUC Fair 2023 activities include: Fair on Innovation, Research, and Extension Services Technology; Innovation Pitching; Digital Arts Competition; Songwriting Competition; Vlog Entry Competition on Best Practices in Pursuit of World-Class Higher Education; Youthpreneurship Competition; Same-event Edit; and the Search for Mr. and Ms. SUC Fair 2023.
There will be also cultural presentations.(BY GLENDA TAYONA/Panay News)