RE-ELECTED to a fresh term, General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera has vowed to support the construction of a UST satellite campus in the country’s “Tuna Capital.”

In a report by Manila Bulletin on Tuesday, Rivera said the local government would “fully support” the long-delayed development of the satellite campus in barangays Ligaya and Katangawan.

He won with 117,120 votes, defeating rivals Richard Atendido and Panfilo Alvarez, who got 66,160 votes and 1,751 votes, respectively.

The development is expected to move forward after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) issued a resolution last May 2 allowing the conversion of the 82-hectare land into “agri-institutional” from agricultural.

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 campus on hold.

The city council under Rivera approved the rezoning of the property to institutional from agricultural on Oct. 8, 2013 through City Ordinance No. 15 s. 2013.

The University bought the land for P96 million in 1997, but city officials opposed the project.

UST earlier planned to offer in the GenSan campus programs not available in the Manila 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.



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