By Ali G. Macabalang
The Mindanao State University (MSU) main campus in Marawi City has been allocated P2.5-billion for the establishment of systematized distance learning platform facilities and hosting for students amid the Coronavirus pandemic for which the government prescribed virtual interactions to ensure continuity of classroom education, according to documents obtained by the Philippine Muslim Today (PMT) online news on Saturday.
The fund is provided under the 2021 General Appropriations Act (GAA) and categorized into two – P500-million for “procurement of distance learning platform and hosting for MSU students;” and P2-billion for the “procurement for supply and delivery of Smart campus management and distance learning management systems.”
The MSU-Marawi City main campus’ special bids and awards committee (SBAC) headed by the Office of the Vice President for Planning and Development (OVPPD) set Feb. 11, 2021 as the deadline for submission of bids and other pertinent documents from bidders, which were required to post non-refundable 75,000-peso fee for each of the two projects, according to the e-documents supplied to the PMT.
The MSU system, now led by university President Habib Macaayong based in Marawi City, has 10 field campuses across Mindanao.
Dr. Sukarno Tanggol, chancellor of the MSU-Iligan unit, asked Dr. Macaayong in a letter dated Feb. 11 (bidding deadline) to divide the P2.5-billion fund into two, with the half to be shared among the university system’s 10 field campuses.
“As part of the MSU system, and in behalf of the other campuses, the MSU-IIT would like to request that half of the P2B Smart Campus Insertion for Capital Outlay be shared with the other campuses,” Tanggol said in his letter, an e-copy of which was also obtained from another concerned PMT informant.
The PMT informants said the conduct of the bidding process for both the P500-million and P2-billion funds should be publicized widely through the media to ensure that “every penny of both vital subsidies will be spent for the purposes intended” by the national government through the Senate.
In his letter, Chancellor Tanggol recalled that “P1B was given to the MSY system in 2012 and again in 2013 through the efforts of then Sen. Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero, and which was made to benefit the other campus, including the MSU-IIT.”
Tanggol said his campus’ share from the past capital outlays enabled the MSU-IIT to “put up its PRISM building and expand its engineering building.” The past Senate-allocated capital outlays for MSU came before Macaayong was appointed university president in 2016 under the Aquino administration.
In the two e-documents supplied to the PMT, said the MSU-Marawi main campus’ SBAC-OVPPD secretariat claimed that advertisements of the bidding processes starting on Jan. 20 up to Feb. 11 would be posted in the official website of PhilGEPS being the government’s central electronic portal for project procurements, and in the MSU system main website.
A verification with the PhilGEPS website showed the university’s SBAC had posted on Feb. 11 a bidding invitation announcement for the two procurement ventures. But a check with MSU system’s official website showed no post about the projects. AGM