By Wyslly S. Ala & Ma. Fe C. Malagueño
Photo: Emmanuel B. Ricalde

Exactly a year after the implementation of face-to-face classes, the University of Santo Tomas-Legazpi received another citation from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) after a visit conducted on November 9, 2022. 

Looking back, UST-Legazpi started its limited in-person classes last November 3, 2021, for its Health Sciences programs (Nursing and Medical Technology) after a rigorous inspection and recommending approval from CHED while a university-wide return of the face-to-face classes for S.Y. 2022-2023 happened last August 9, 2022, after the country’s education departments, gave a green signal to conduct onsite classes as pandemic restrictions eased up.  

CHED Bicol’s Regional Director, Atty. Septon Dela Cruz, CESO III led this year’s visit together with Dr. Pamela C. Viñas, CHED Bicol’s Focal Person that began with a courtesy call to the university’s Rector and President, Rev. Fr. Ernesto M. Arceo, OP, STL, Ph.D., together with the university Crisis Management Committee (CMC).


Rev. Fr. Ernesto M. Arceo, OP, STL, PhD, UST-Legazpi’s Rector and President, stands in the middle of Atty. Septon A. Dela Cruz, CESO III, Regional Director, and Dr. Pamela Vinas from CHED Bicol, together with the University Crisis Management Team during CHED Bicol’s visit at UST-Legazpi last November 9, 2022


The university’s Crisis Management Committee (CMC) was composed of the following officials: Rev. Fr. Edwin A. Lao, OP, MM, Vice President for Administration and Finance; Marytina Raquel R. Bonganay, MOS, Assistant to the Rector for Academic Affairs; Athena G. Masip, RN, MAN, Dean, College of Health Sciences (CHS); Edherlyn A. Auditor, MSME, Institutional Safety and Planning Officer; Roslin P. Adra, RN, Institutional Health Officer; Ma. Fe. C. Malagueño, Institutional Information Officer; Eric Parlade, RN, Representative from the Faculty Association, and; Bea Bianca D. Dando, Representative from the Student Association.

Present also in the said visit were Prof. Alvin A. Sario, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education (CASE), and Mr. Silvino B. Balasta Jr., MRP, MA Philo, Director for Office of Student Services. 

CHED Bicol’s visit to UST-Legazpi this year was to monitor the university’s compliance with the guidelines on the implementation of limited face-to-face classes for all programs of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) under the Alert Level System for COVID-19 Response as stated in the Joint Memorandum issued by the said commission under Circular No. 2021-004. 

Classrooms, laboratories, isolation rooms, and library, including facilities situated at the Peñaranda Campus of UST-Legazpi, were thoroughly inspected by CHED Bicol’s representatives. 

Edherlyn A. Auditor, MSME, Director for Physical Plant and Facilities Management Office leads CHED Bicol during their monitoring visit at UST-Legazpi


At the end of the inspection, Atty. Dela Cruz and Dr. Viñas expressed their firm confidence in UST-Legazpi and its implementation of the guidelines set by the education commission on limited face-to-face classes and even gave recommendations on how to further strengthen the university’s operation and the safety of Legazpi Thomasians in this time of new normal.

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