Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Monday, February 08, 2010

RMTU marks 100th anniversary

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This is the story of Ramon Magsaysay Technological University (RMTU), one of the country’s leading state technological schools, as it marks its centenary on Feb. 8 to 12 in its quiet home in Iba, Zambales.

Named after the former Philippine president who was born in this laid-back town, RMTU traces its humble beginnings in 1910 when the American colonial regime established a farm school to cater to the agricultural needs of the province.

It was later converted into a provincial trade school in 1919, and over the years, it metamorphosed into the next level as its academic offerings grew in response to the needs of the community. The school became the Zambales Trade School in 1933, Western Luzon School of Arts and Trades in 1953, Zambales School of Arts and Trades in 1957, and Ramon Magsaysay Memorial School of Arts and Trades in 1961. It was renamed Ramon Magsaysay Polytechnic College (RMPC) in 1993 and was chartered a state college in 1995.

RMTU was formally created as a state university on Feb. 12, 1998 with the RMPC’s merger with the Western Luzon Agricultural College in San Marcelino, and the Candelaria School of Fisheries in Candelaria, by virtue of Republic Act 8498, authored by Zambales Second District Rep. Antonio Diaz. In 2001, which marked the start of RMTU’s operation as a multi-campus university system, Dr. Feliciano S. Rosete was appointed as the first university president.

Important milestones

Over the last nine years, degree programs grew almost five times, while enrolment quadrupled to 8,000 per semester due to scholarships. Graduates also registered commendable ratings in licensure examinations especially in engineering and flagship programs.

RMTU’s major curricular programs attained various accreditation levels in accordance with the standards of the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (AACCUP). Based on the standards on State Universities and Colleges Leveling jointly formulated by the Commission of Higher Education, the Department of Budget and Management, and the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges, it attained an unprecedented Level III-A status, only seven points short of the maximum Level IV rank.

Moreover, the school is also listed among the top 30 higher educational institutions (HEIs) recognized by the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and other technology-oriented countries.

In the field of research, RMTU contributed to the stock of new scientific knowledge when it won the Regional Best Research Paper Award in agriculture among 26 CLARRDEC member agencies in 2008, and eventually bagged the second place nationwide in the same year. In 2009, it won anew the Regional Best Research Paper Award in energy/industry research.

As a proof of its efficient management, the school generates some P 80 million in internal revenues, in addition to its P 93 million annual allocation from the national government.

RMTU currently has seven campuses in Zambales, and has established satellite campuses subsidized by the municipal governments of Masinloc, Castillejos, and Sta. Cruz through a strong partnership with local officials and the Department of Education.

“A century of visionary zeal, hard work, dedication and commitment of its founders, pioneering and contemporary administrators, benefactors and other stakeholders has paid off and we are reaping its fruits,” Rosete concluded.

Rosete, RMTU’s centennial president, believes that his greatest achievement is ensuring its competitive sustainability for the next generation of students to come. And just like the late great president Ramon Magsaysay, he is confident he is leaving a lasting legacy of education to those who have less in life.For more information on RMTU and its centennial celebration, call 047-8111683, e-mail rmtupresident@yahoo.com or log on to rmtu.edu.ph. By BERNARD SUPETRAN, CORNELIO GARCIA - mb.com.ph

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