DOMINICAN Prior Provincial Fr. Edmund Nantes, O.P. believes former UST Rector and resigned Commission on Higher Education chair Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P. can contribute more to tertiary education as an educator and a researcher than rendering government service where he lacks support.

“I said I want him back because he is dealing with a lot of difficulties working with the government,” Fr. Nantes told the Varsitarian.

Fr. De la Rosa, who quit his post last April 4, due to his “priestly and religious duties,” lambasted the government for “excessive politicking.”

The resigned Ched chair added that even with the President’s support, he still had difficulty pursuing his programs because of “excessive political intervention” in the decision-making process in Ched.

“I don’t have any misgivings about the President because she called often and told me she would support me 100 per cent in our attempts to improve higher education,” De la Rosa told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “What lacked was support from our lawmakers.”

De la Rosa added that the President herself has ideas on reforms for higher education, but “people under her are undermining her best intentions.”

“The sad thing is I was never given any chance by the President to tell her how politics play a crucial role in Ched,” De la Rosa said.

Fr. De la Rosa regulated substandard and errant schools, particularly nursing schools sprouting across the country, during his stint as Ched chair. He said the proliferation of substandard nursing schools is destroying the reputation of Filipino nurses worldwide.

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Meanwhile, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Dr. Armando de Jesus said Fr. De la Rosa’s resignation will not affect UST.

“The resignation will not affect UST’s academic policies because they are not dependent on personalities,” De Jesus said. “The policies are dependent very much on the institutional policies. It will not affect UST in any way.”

De la Rosa was UST rector from 1990 to 1998. He was appointed Ched chairman last Oct. 18.

A renowned academician, De la Rosa received his doctorate degrees in Higher Religious Studies and in Sacred Theology from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium in 1988, graduating magna cum laude. He received his master’s degree in Higher Religious Studies, graduating summa cum laude in 1984, and his bachelor’s (1980) and licentiate (1984) degrees in Sacred Theology from UST.

Malacañang appointed Dr. Carlito Puno, a Ched commissioner since 2001, as acting Ched chair on May 9.

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