R.A. No. 7666, AN ACT CONVERTING THE SORSOGON COLLEGE OF ARTS AND TRADES IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF SORSOGON, PROVINCE OF SORSOGON, INTO A STATE COLLEGE TO BE KNOWN AS THE SORSOGON STATE COLLEGE, INTEGRATING THEREWITH THE MAGALLANES SCHOOL OF FISHERIES IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAGALLANES, THE SORSOGON NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF CASTILLA, AND THE BULAN VOCATIONAL SCHOOL IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF BULAN, ALL IN THE PROVINCE OF SORSOGON, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFORE

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7666
AN ACT CONVERTING THE SORSOGON COLLEGE OF ARTS AND TRADES IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF SORSOGON, PROVINCE OF SORSOGON, INTO A STATE COLLEGE TO BE KNOWN AS THE SORSOGON STATE COLLEGE, INTEGRATING THEREWITH THE MAGALLANES SCHOOL OF FISHERIES IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF MAGALLANES, THE SORSOGON NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL SCHOOL IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF CASTILLA, AND THE BULAN VOCATIONAL SCHOOL IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF BULAN, ALL IN THE PROVINCE OF SORSOGON, AND APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFORE

Section 1. The Sorsogon College of Arts and Trades in the Municipality of Sorsogon, Province of Sorsogon, is hereby converted into a state college to be known as the Sorsogon State College, hereinafter referred to as the College and integrating therewith as its branches, the Magallanes School of Fisheries located in the Municipality of Magallanes, the Sorsogon National Agricultural School located in the Municipality of Castilla, and the Bulan Vocational School in the Municipality of Bulan, all in the Province of Sorsogon.

Section 2. The College shall primarily provided higher professional, technical, and special instructions for the special purposes and promote research and extension services, advanced studies and progressive leadership in education, engineering, arts and sciences, and other fields as may be relevant. It shall also provide primary consideration to the integration of research/studies for the development of the Province of Sorsogon.

Section 3. The College shall offer undergraduate and graduate courses in the fields of education, engineering, arts and sciences, agro/fisheries courses, and other degree courses as the Board of Trustees may deem necessary to carry out its objectives. It shall also offer opportunity in short-term technical or vocational courses within its area of specialization to meet the needs of the nation.

Section 4. The existing high schools shall be transferred under the supervision of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports: provided, that these high schools shall be allowed to remain and operate within the campuses of the College until they shall have been transferred to other locations, or until its students shall have been accommodated in other high schools, public or private: provided, further, that the College may operate a reasonably-sized laboratory school of one or, at most, four classes per curriculum year if it offers a teacher training program.

Section 5. The College shall have the general powers of a corporation set forth in the Corporation Law. The administration of the College and the exercise of its corporate powers shall be vested exclusively in the Board of Trustees and the President of the College insofar as authorized by the Board.

Section 6. The governing body of the College shall be the Board of Trustees, hereinafter referred to as the Board, which shall be composed of the following:

(a) The Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, chairman;

(b) The President of the College, vice-chairman;

(c) The Chairman or member of the Committee on Education of the Senate, member;

(d) The Chairman or member of the Committee on Education of the House of Representatives, member;

(e) The representative of the National Economic and Development Authority, member;

(f) The president of the federation of faculty associations of the College, member; and

(g) The president of the federation of supreme student councils of the College, member.

In addition, the Board may appoint the following as members, when deemed necessary:The president of the federation of alumni associations of the College;The president of the federation of employees associations of the College; andTwo (2) prominent citizens who have distinguished themselves in their profession or fields of specialization of the College chosen from among those qualified in the Province of Sorsogon.

The presidents of the federation of alumni associations and of the federation of employees associations as well as the two (2) prominent citizens so appointed by the Board shall have the same powers, authority, and privileges as the regular members of the Board.

The Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, the President of the College, the Education Committee Chairmen of the Senate and the House, and the representative of the National Economic and Development Authority, shall have an ex officio term of office, while the presidents of the federation of faculty associations and the federation of student councils and, when deemed necessary, the presidents of the federation of alumni associations and the federation of employees associations shall serve for one (1) year and, when likewise necessary, the two (2) prominent citizens shall serve for four (4) years and two (2) years, respectively.

For the purpose of the provision of this section, the associations of faculty, alumni and employees associations and student councils in each campus of the College shall organize their respective federations.

Section 7. The Board shall promulgate and implement policies in accordance with the declared state policies on education and other pertinent provisions of the Philippine Constitution on education, science and technology, arts, culture and sports.

Section 8. The Board shall have the following specific powers and duties in addition to its general powers of administration and the exercise of all the powers granted to the board of directors of a corporation under existing laws:

(a) To enact rules and regulations not contrary to law as may be necessary to carry out the purposes and functions of the College;

(b) To import duty-free materials and equipment for educational or technological programs as an exception to existing laws, provided such materials and equipment are not available locally;

(c) To receive in trust legacies, gifts and donation of real and personal properties of all kinds and to administer and dispose the same when necessary for the benefit of the College and subject to the limitations, directions, and instructions of the donor, if any. Such donations shall be exempt from all taxes and shall be considered as deductible items from the income tax of the donor;

(d) To fix the tuition fees and other necessary school charges such as, but not limited to, matriculation fees, graduation fees and laboratory fees, as the Board may deem proper to impose;

(e) To authorize the construction or repair of its buildings, machineries, equipment and other facilities and the purchase and acquisition of real and personal properties, including necessary supplies, materials and equipment. Purchases and other transactions entered into by the College through the Board shall be exempt from all taxes and duties;

(f) To confirm appointments of vice-presidents, deans, directors, heads of departments, faculty members and other officials and employees of the College made by the President of the College;

(g) To approve the curricula, institutional programs and rules of discipline drawn by the administrative and academic councils as herein provided;

(h) To confer degrees upon successful candidates for graduation, to award honorary degree upon persons in recognition of outstanding contribution in the fields of education, public service, arts, science and technology or in any field of specialization and to authorize the award of certificates for completion of non-degree and non-traditional courses;

(i) To establish not more than two (2) branches within the Province of Sorsogon if and when it becomes essential and necessary where there is no existing school offering similar programs or courses to promote and carry out equal access to education opportunities as mandated by the Constitution;

(j) To establish chairs in the College and to provide fellowships for qualified faculty members and scholarships to deserving students; and

(k) The Board shall have the power to absorb/integrate other public schools within the province that will eventually offer tertiary courses in the future.

Section 9. A quorum of the Board shall consist of a majority of all members holding office at the time of the meeting: provided, however, that among those present is the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, who is Chairman of the Board, or the President of the College who acts as presiding officer in the former's absence. The Board shall convene regularly once every two (2) months. The Chairman of the Board may call a special meeting whenever necessary.

The members of the Board shall not receive salary but shall be entitled to reimbursement for actual and necessary expenses incurred either in attendance in meetings of the Board or in other official business authorized by resolution of the Board subject to existing laws on honoraria and allowances.

Section 10. The College shall be headed by a President to be appointed by the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Board and shall hold office for a term of six (6) years without reappointment unless he reaches the age of retirement or earlier removed for cause or incapacitated to discharge the duties of the office.

In case of vacancy in the office of the President by reason of death, resignation, incapacity of the President to perform the functions of his office, or removal for cause, the Board shall have the authority to designate an officer-in-charge of the College pending the appointment of a successor. The new President shall hold office for the unexpired term but in no case shall his term be more than six (6) years subject to the provision of the preceding paragraph.

The powers and duties of the President of the College, in addition to those specifically provided in this Act, shall be those usually pertaining to the office of the president of a college.

The salary of the President of the College shall be fixed by the Board and shall be comparable to that being received by the president of similar educational institutions of like enrollment and standing.

Section 11. There shall be an administrative council consisting of the President of the College, as chairman, the vice-president(s), deans, directors, and other officials of equal rank, whose duty is to implement the policies governing the administration, management, and development planning of the College as approved by the Board.

Section 12. There shall be an academic council with the President of the College as chairman and all members of the instructional staff with the rank of not lower than assistant professor as members. The academic council shall have the power to prescribe curricular offerings subject to the approval of the Board. It shall fix the requirements for admission to the College as well as for graduation and the conferring of degrees subject to review and/or approval by the Board through the President of the College. It shall also have disciplinary power through the President over the students within the limitsprescribed by the rules of discipline as approved by the Board.

Section 13. There shall be a Secretary of the College who shall be appointed by the Board upon recommendation of the President of the College. He shall also be the Secretary of the Board and shall keep such records of the College as may be determined by the Board.

Section 14. The Treasurer of the Philippines shall be the ex officio treasurer of the College.

Section 15. No religious opinion or affiliation shall be a matter of inquiry in the appointment of faculty members of the College: provided, however, that no member of the faculty shall teach for or against any particular church or religious sect.

Section 16. No student shall be denied admission to the College by reason of sex, nationality, religion, or political affiliation.

Section 17. The College shall enjoy academic freedom.

Section 18. On or before the fifteenth day of the second month after the opening of regular classes each year, the Board shall file with the Office of the President of the Philippines, through the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, and to both Houses of Congress, a detailed report on the progress, conditions, and needs of the College.

Section 19. All the assets, fixed and movable, personnel and records of the Sorsogon College of Arts and Trade, the Magallanes School of Fisheries, the Sorsogon National Agricultural School, and the Bulan Vocational School, except those belonging to or to be used by the elementary and high school, as well as liabilities or obligations, are hereby transferred to the College: provided, however, that the positions, rights, and security of tenure of personnel therein employed under existing laws prior to absorption by the College are not impaired: provided, further, that the incumbent of the positions shall remain in the same status until otherwise provided for by the Board. All parcels of land belonging to the government occupied by the Sorsogon College of Arts and Trade, the Magallanes School of Fisheries, the Sorsogon National Agricultural School, and the Bulan Vocational School, are hereby declared to be the property of the Sorsogon State College and shall be titled under the name of the College: provided, that should the College cease to exist or be abolished or should such parcels of land aforementioned be no longer needed by the College, the same shall revert to the Province of Sorsogon.

Section 20. All accounts and expenses of the College shall be audited by the Commission on Audit or its duly authorized representative.

Section 21. The heads of bureaus and offices of the National Government are hereby authorized to loan or transfer, upon request of the President of the College, such apparatus, equipment or supplies as may be needed by the College and to detail employees for duty therein when in the judgment of the head of the bureau or office, such apparatus, equipment, supplies or services of such employees can be spared without serious detriment to the public service. The employees so detailed shall perform such duties as required of them by the President of the College and the time so employed shall be counted as part of their official service.

Section 22. It shall be a continuing policy of the College to accept the affiliation and/or integration within its operation of any existing national schools whose program can contribute largely and effectively to the attainment of its objectives: provided, however, that, in case of integration, the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports, is hereby authorized to determine and approve the specific existing national schools that are to be integrated as part of the College. In this particular case, it is understood that all funds, properties and other assets as well as obligations of the integrated schools shall be transferred to the College.

Section 23. The current year's appropriations of the Sorsogon College of Arts and Trade, the Magallanes School of Fisheries, the Sorsogon National Agricultural School, and the Bulan Vocational School, except the sum necessary to continue the operations of the existing high schools, are hereby transferred to the College. Thereafter, such amount as may be necessary for the continued operation and maintenance of the College shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

Section 24. All laws, presidential decrees, executive orders, rules and regulations contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.

Section 25. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved, December 30, 1993.