PINONG JAVIER

As soon as the EDSA Revolution was over and a new government was installed, the move of the Rizal High School to oust the Rizal Technological Colleges Pasig Campus from the Isidro Rodriguez Hall in the Rizal High School Campus began in earnest, and with a viciousness that was hard to believe.

The RTC, as it was known then, also had a new President, Dr. Josefina V. Estolas, after the courtesy resignation of Dr. Lydia M. Profeta was accepted on March 21, 1986.  I remember that day well.  It was the day I defended my Doctoral Dissertation at the office of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities of Dr. Amado Dizon was Executive Director.  Dr. Profeta was my Adviser, and one of the panel members was Dr. Estolas.  It was when we were having lunch after the defense when Dr. Profeta received a phone call from the Palacio Del Governador in Intramuros, the headquarters of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, informing her that her courtesy resignation was accepted and that Dr. Estolas was to be the OIC of the Colleges.

In just a few months, the campaign to rid the RHS of the RTC in its campus started.  We sought the help of politicians in Pasig City but could not find anyone who would help us.  The Mayor of Pasig then was almost openly hostile to our cause.  We survived the first year only when we turned over to the Rizal High School some rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the building we were occupying.  The RHS wanted the entire 3rd floor for themselves but we stood our ground.

At this point I would like to emphasize that I personally led the struggle and only the students were with me to fight.  The administration of the Colleges could not do much.  Dr. Estolas was just OIC and the rest of the officials assumed a defeatist attitude. “Wala tayong magagawa!” said one key official.

Upon the inception of the Estolas Administration I was removed from my post as dean of Student Affairs to give in to the demands of the student activists who gained too much power after the 3-week sit-in barricade which they conducted in the RTC from March 5 to 21 in 1986.

I studied in the RTC Pasig Campus.  I played a leading role in the conversion of the RTC into a State College. I did not share the hopeless attitude of my fellow officials.  I and the students continued with the fight.

In the following year, 1988, the struggle for survival became bitter as the RHS enlisted the support of the high ranking MECS officials from regional directors to division superintendents.  The Government of Pasig talked to the other officials of the RTC and offered a building in the University of Life which they would rent for one year.  After this the student of the Pasig campus would be transferred to the Mandaluyong campus.  Of course the RTC officials had to agree.  I still feel bad until this day.  We were fighting a battle for survival for the Pasig Campus.  But the officials of the RTC who had no stake in the struggle whether we won or lost were just about ready to give up.

In a meeting presided by MECs regional director Dr. Nilo Rosas who happened to be the Chairman of the Board of the RTC, and which was attended by top MECs officials, the entire leadership of the RTC was absent.

Only I and the student leaders were present to deal with the officials.  They were no match for us.  We had something to lose.  The future of the students was at stake.  Their very education was in peril.  We pleaded, we cajoled, we cried, we spoke vehemently that we were also students and citizens who wanted an education only the RTC could offer, we spoke passionately. In the end the officials could not do anything and we were saved for now.

I knew that our adversaries would not stop.  In the next meeting of the Board of Trustees I was asked to attend.  I suggested that for a lasting solution to the problem, a new campus should be established for the Pasig Campus.  I set the condition that it should be within the geographical limits of Pasig to guarantee access to the students.  I suggested we all seek the help of Congressman Rufino Javier.

A delegation of RTC officials visited Cong. Javier in his office in the Ortigas Center.

Within the same year, 1989, a lot was purchased for the proposed campus, and in 1990, the building was inaugurated, and construction commenced right away.

As so here we are, safely ensconced in the grounds of our own.  It would not have been possible if it were not for the timely and decisive support given to us by Congressman Rufino SB Javier.

It is fitting and proper that we honor him with the degree Doctor of Public Administration (Honoris Causa) not only for his contributions to the nation as Congressman and COMELEC Commissioner, but most importantly for us, that he saved the RTU Pasig Campus from oblivion.



Categories: President's Corner