The establishment of the Bacolod City College is part of the anti-poverty program of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and is considered as one of his best legacies to less-privileged Bacolodnons and the future generation.
This was disclosed by Emergency Operations Center Executive Director Em Legaspi-Ang, who represented Leonardia during the ribbon-cutting ceremonies of the BCC’s photo exhibit, highlighting the college’s 25th anniversary at SM City Mall.
“BCC is an anti-poverty program meant to break the cycle of poverty. It is the aspiration of poor but deserving students to finish higher education,” Ang, a former three-term councilor, told BCC students and school officials led by College Administrator Dr. Ma. Johanna Ann Bayoneta.
The silver anniversary, anchored on the theme “BCC@25: Building Careers, Changing Lives,” was preceded by a thanksgiving mass officiated by Fr. Felix Pasquin, one of the original members of the school’s Board of Trustees when it was established by Leonardia in 1997 by virtue of City Ordinance No. 175.
Simultaneous ribbon-cutting ceremonies for BCC photo exhibits were also held at the Ayala Malls Capitol Central and Robinson’s Place Bacolod that was keynoted by Councilor Renecito Novero, chair of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Education.
Emotions ran high as both Ang and Novero recounted the humble beginnings of the BCC, where students and their faculty used to hold their classes under mango trees.
Twenty-five years and counting, they said, the LGU-funded college has already produced over 12,000 graduates including board topnotchers of Professional Licensure Examinations.
Bayoneta continued that the BCC has gained Institutional Recognition by the Commission on Higher Education that qualifies it as a free higher education institution under Republic Act 10931.
When it first opened its doors, the BCC charged poor students only P30 per unit as against more than P300 to P400 plus per unit at local private schools, she said.
But today, qualified students and their families do not have to pay a single cent to earn a college degree.
In addition to free tuition, eligible students also avail of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) to support the other cost of tertiary education.
TES student beneficiaries receive P20, 000 per semester. The BCC photo exhibit will run until April 17 at the three malls.*