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As she bids adieu when the new president of Western Philippines University (WPU) is elected today, outgoing President, Dr. Elsa Manarpaac, declared that her greatest legacy during her tenure is the university’s stance for the protection of the environment.
“I consider na great legacy ko sa aking presidency ay ‘yung aking environmental advocacy. Nakilala kami, nirespeto kami because of our stand in terms of environmental protection kasi, gusto nga naming maging forefront kami for sustainable development,” Manarpaac said through a phone interview.
During Manarpaac’s convocation or State of the University Address way back in 2012, she said that her greatest legacy when she retires from the service is to not allow the coal-fired plant project to be constructed in the Municipality of Aborlan, most specifically near the WPU main campus.
Citing the negative effects of coal to the environment and to the health of the students, the administration opposed the project despite the promise of economic progress and assurance of the company that they will use a high-tech process called Circulating Fluidized-Bed (CFB) technology.
The University and non-government organizations’ refusal irked the Provincial Government that resulted to the revocation of scholarship grants for nearly a thousand students of WPU under the Programang Pang-edukasyon para sa mga Palawenyo (PPP). Still, the WPU’s stand was never shaken—they instead provided those affected students another scholarship programs under their school.
And as of this writing, the Board of Regents of WPU is on the process of electing the new president for the University as Dr. Manarpaac’s term will end on Feb. 22 this year.
“Ang aking message lang sa whoever will be the next president of ay mahalin [niya] ang WPU….Very challenging ang trabaho but I hope na she/he sustains or bring WPU to a higher heights,” Manarapac’s message for the next president.
The outgoing president also extends her gratitude to WPU community—to the faculty, staff, alumni members among others, for their warm and full support during her nearly a decade leadership.
Meanwhile, the three applicants vying for presidency that had been declared qualified by the Special Search Committee last Feb. 3 are all from Western Philippines University. They are Dr. Romeo Lerom, Dr. Lota Creencia, and Dr. Julie Hope Timoteo P. Evina.
Last Feb. 10, the public forum was conducted in the morning and the Committee interviewed them in the afternoon. The next day, the result was consolidated by the Committee.
And on Feb. 15, the Search Committee now chaired by Maoyon Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Ricardo Sta. Cruz, reported the result to the Board of Regents. In the afternoon, the Board interviewed the applicants.
A source told PDN News team that the result of election will be disclosed also tonight.