May 5, 2016, 8:40p.m. – THE UNIVERSITY has secured government approval to develop its 79-hectare lot in General Santos City in Mindanao into a satellite campus.

In a resolution issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform on May 2, UST was given permission to convert the agricultural lot into an “agri-institutional” area. 

The conversion must start within one year upon the receipt of the conversion order,  and completed within a non-extendible period of five years. Otherwise a performance bond posted by UST will be forfeited. 

The General Santos campus site, four times the size of the Sampaloc campus, sits on agricultural land encompassing Barangays Ligaya and Katangawan.

UST has to secure a permit from the Philippine Coconut Authority before cutting all the coconut trees on the lot, the resolution said. 

Early opposition from local officials delayed campus development. DAR first approved the conversion of the land in 2003 and issued another order in 2008, extending the development period of the site until 2013. The order expired on July 22, 2013, putting the construction of the UST GenSan campus on hold. UST bought the land for P96 million in 1997.

In 2013, the General Santos City Council finally approved the change in the zoning classification of the property to institutional from agricultural through City Ordinance no. 15 s. 2013.

UST earlier planned to offer in the GenSan campus programs not available in the main campus, including marine sciences and agriculture courses. Other courses previously eyed were Bachelor in Secondary Education (major in English, Math, and Science), Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology, Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, Bachelor of Science in Entertainment and Multimedia Computing, and Bachelor of Science in Tourism. Alhex Adrea M. Peralta


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