LUNA, Apayao – Hon. Elias C. Bulut, Jr. visited the Apayao State College last September 12, 2023, to hear and discuss the issues surrounding student transportation to and from the learning areas of the college.
It came to the attention of the governor that some students drop out of their schooling or face difficulties due to the high cost of tricycle fares. Some also changed their majors so as not to study in places of learning far from the town center to avoid transport costs.
Bulut said a talk and consultation with the Tricycle Operators and Drivers’ Association (TODA) is needed to facilitate a win-win solution. Additionally, the governor offered to use the coaster buses operated by the Provincial Government of Apayao (PGA) to transport students on Fridays and Sundays.
This may not totally erase the problem but will certainly be a big help. Bulut also mentioned that lower Apayao (Sta. Marcele, Pudtol, Luna and Flora) will receive four of the Apayao Students Assistance Program buses, while Upper Apayao or Conner and Kabugao will receive two.
Nevertheless, a negotiation and careful planning have to be done with the TODA and an approval from the towns of Apayao must be sought to prevent the buses from being misused.
In said visit, Gov. Bulut congratulated the ASC Campuses for their outstanding achievement and asked how the PGA could be of assistance.
Bulut said, “It’s high time to invest in education now that infrastructures and roads are in place.”
Considering that the population is growing, Gov. Bulut stated that the PGA can acquire properties for school growth similar to DepEd in order to set up the college for potential expansions.
Plans of adding more educational programs in ASC
During the discussion, it was suggested that programs like Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) might be to the set of curriculum offers in order to attract more students from the lower municipalities and Calanasan.
If this pushes through, the Provincial Government of Apayao promises to allot some money to cover the costs associated with the expanded course offerings.
John N. Cabansag, PhD, and the college president of ASC expressed gratitude to Governor Bulut for the PLGU’s initiatives and various supports. Cabnasag, likewise, thanked the governor for allowing the hosting of the Cordillera Administrative Region Association of State Universities and Colleges (CARASUC) in the province.
The cost of the hosting of said is estimated to be at P4.8M. By Krizza Castillo