FOR THE second time this year, a national broadsheet has attacked UST for its academic policies, this time for refusing to grant a degree to a college dropout who runs a private school.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer put on the front page last June 18 a complaint by so-called “sick books crusader” Antonio Calipjo Go against Faculty of Arts and Letters Dean Michael Anthony Vasco last year over the latter’s supposed slow response to Go’s inquiry on UST’s Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP).

Go, who claims to have dropped out of college due to “dire family circumstances,” hogged headlines in previous years for pointing out errors in public school textbooks. Last year, he inquired whether he could get a degree in journalism from UST.

What is ETEEAP, and is Go, academic supervisor of Marian School of Quezon City, qualified to get a college degree?

Through ETEEAP, eligible higher educational institutions are authorized to grant academic degrees to individuals whose relevant work experiences, professional achievements and stature, including high-level, non-formal, and informal training are deemed equivalent to academic degrees in accordance with rules set by the Commission on Higher Education (Ched).

Ched Executive Director Julito Vitriolo said ETEEAP is designed for those who have extensive experience in work but weren’t able to finish college.

“It grants qualified individuals the opportunity to plea for a degree or at least, certain number of units fitting for several semesters after years of absence in the academic arena,” he told the Varsitarian.

Usually, those seeking degrees through ETEEAP want to increase the chances of getting promoted in their jobs, Vitriolo said.

UST's Azcona, Ismail featured in UP recital

“Pag hinanapan na sila ng papel, wala, kaya hindi sila ma-promote,” he said. “But with ETEEAP, they get the chance to be promoted, as well as the opportunity to pursue masteral or doctoral degrees.”

ETEEAP applicants should be Filipino citizens at least 25 years old; have completed secondary education of the Philippine Education Placement Test taken during the first year of college; and have non-formal learning earned through firsthand work experience related to the degree being pursued for at least five years, Vitriolo added.

The request of Go, who wants a journalism degree despite not being a practitioner, was turned down.

Ched has deputized 102 institutions to implement the program which was adopted in 1996 by virtue of then President Fidel Ramos’ Executive No. 330. As of 2010, 7,240 individuals have received diplomas through ETEEAP, data from Ched showed.

UST, an autonomous institution, was given authority to implement ETEEAP through Ched Memorandum Order No. 41 in 2007.

This was affirmed when UST Graduate School conferred a doctorate degree in Literature to Natividad Crame-Rogers, a titan in the fields of theater arts and letters.

Vetoed request

Go was reportedly incensed upon reading a story in the Inquirer last Jan. 1 that UST allegedly “bent” its rules in granting ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona a doctorate in law.

“It shows how UST treats lesser mortals like me, opting instead to pander to the demigods of Philippine politics who already have everything a man could hope for in life,” he told the Inquirer.

Ched affirmed UST’s autonomy in the aftermath of the Corona controversy. Corona was asked to present a scholarly treatise in public in lieu of a dissertation, which is above board considering UST’s autonomous status and academic freedom.

Reciprocity of respect

Vitriolo said UST did nothing wrong in Go’s case.

“It’s actually the discretion of the deputized University if they will admit an applicant because they can exercise their academic freedom,” he said.

The Varsitarian sought the comment of Vasco, but he declined.


  1. Yan ang nangyayari kapag ang isang putang-inang artikulo mula sa rappler ay nai-publish sa isang broadsheet; nang dahil sa kagustuhan na maialis sa posisyon ang isang opisyal ng gobyerno ay dindamay sino man o ano mang institusyon ang minsang naugnay sa naturang public servant. Kamalasmalasan lang na pati UST nadamay. Ngayon eto nanaman, mga nagpadala sa pesteng rappler article at dahil bitter dahil di napagbigyan ang request niya hayun nagtatatalak ng kung ano-ano sa diyaryo. Hindi man lang iginalang ang isang pontifical at Catholic university ng Pilipinas. Heto ba ang pagtingin nila sa pamantasang nagdarasal para sa bayan? Minsan nga bago magsalita ON AIR ang mga news anchors o magpalathala ng papel ang nga journalist ay pag-isipan muna. Kaya di nagbabago ang behaviour ng iba nating kababayan dahil mismong mga inaasahan nating magbigay liwanag sa mga nangyayari ay sila pa ang bumubulag. Sana tumulad kayo sa ibang manunulat na iniisip muna kung tama ba ang kanilang mga nailathala.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.