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Leonardia to inaugurate BCC facilities worth P350M

The P110-million Bacolod City College Activity Center, which can seat up to 1,000 people, is one of the requirements to be elevated to university status*

Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, city and Commission on Higher Education officials will lead the inauguration and ribbon-cutting ceremonies today of the new facilities of the Bacolod City College.

The BCC site development, which includes the construction of the new activity center, a 1,000-seater, fully airconditioned gym for student assemblies, meetings and conventions as well as sporting events, received a P350 million appropriation from the city government.

Joining the mayor during the ribbon-cutting rites are Bacolod’s First Lady Elsa Fuentes-Leonardia, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, CHED Regional Director Raul Alvarez, Jr., College Administrator Ma. Johanna Ann Rabago-Bayoneta, as well as school and city officials.

USO president Myla Magbanua is also set to receive the Batch 2021 Yearbook in a ceremonial turnover following the blessing of the edifices that will be officiated by Msgr. Felix Pasquin.

The new BCC facilities include the Information Systems Building, Business Education Building, Administration Building with library extension and the BCC Activity Center, Bayoneta said.

The Information Systems and Business Education Buildings have design provisions for additional two floors, Bayoneta added.

UNIVERSITY STATUS

Leonardia, who established the BCC in 1997, disclosed plans that his administration is currently preparing the groundwork to elevate the BCC to a university status.

Among the requirements, the mayor continued, is for BCC to have its own Activity Center to house its various academic and non-academic programs.

“That alone costs P110 million. Modesty aside, there is no other school in Bacolod, Negros or Western Visayas that has received an allocation of P350 million from its local government for the massive improvement of its facilities,” Leonardia explained.

Part of the school’s area site development is the construction of road networks, drainage and area drains, sidewalks, parking spaces, covered walkways, rotundas, gardens and perimeter fences.

‘NOMADIC’ NO MORE

The completion of the new facilities and blessing rites will serve as highlights of BCC’s silver anniversary celebration this year, Bayoneta shared.

The school anniversary is anchored on the theme, “Building Careers, Changing Lives”, she said.

Since its inception 25 years, the LGU-funded college today is a far cry from its previous state when it had to literally and figuratively borrow some classrooms of Rizal Elementary School and Bacolod City National High School, or hold classes under the trees.

It also opened extension campuses in Barangay Sum-ag and Fortune Town to serve more students.

With over 12,000 graduates and counting, she continued, the BCC already received institutional recognition as a Local Universities and Colleges (LUCs) from the national government through the CHED that will entitle it additional funding support under Republic Act 10931.

From a ‘nomadic’ college, the BCC today has a permanent home in Barangay Taculing, and takes pride of its modern facilities that will also usher the college to being a “school of the future” as envisioned by Leonardia, the school’s founding father.

“As originally envisioned by Mayor Bing, the BCC will become a tertiary educational institution that will provide quality education for less privileged families with children who want to finish college. It was actually an anti-poverty program. Mayor Bing had always believed that education is the greatest social equalizer. That is his legacy,” said Councilor Renecito Novero, chair of the SP Committee on Education and a staunch supporter of BCC’s continuing growth.

Bayoneta added the new buildings will contribute to the improvement of quality education as well as motivate and inspire students in their academic and non-academic activities through sports and other co-curricular activities.

THEN AND NOW

What started as a school with only 135 enrollees and no facilities in 1997, BCC has since produced over 12,000 graduates, including board topnotchers of Professional Licensure Examinations.

“BCC started with the vision and the dream of Mayor Bing Leonardia to put up a school for the less-privileged. That idea was realized when he received unanimous support from the city government during his first term as mayor,” Bayoneta said. 

“We never expected that the site development and facilities will become as big as this. The reason for this is because Mayor Bing took the opportunity to help us become a school of the future,” she further explained.

“These new facilities will make learning more conducive for students, especially now that they need to be inspired to study well to make a life of their own,” Bayoneta continued.*

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