De Vera endorsed as full-term CHED chairman


By Rose de la Cruz


Reps. Frederick Siao and Ron Salo asked President Duterte to appoint Acting Commissioner Prospero “Popoy” de Vera as full-term head of the Commission on Higher Education, with the recent resignation of Dr. Patricia Licuanan.


“With just about six months left in the unexpired term of Dr. Patricia Licuanan, appointing a new CHED chairman at this time would have been impractical,” said Iligan City Rep. Frederick W. Siao who added that de Vera is “a team player and would be the right individual to steer the CHED through the transition and beyond.”


As CHED Commissioner, de Vera has a term until September 2020.


“To fill the vacancy that would be created when De Vera becomes CHED Chairman, I am endorsing, from the Iligan Institute of Technology of the Mindanao State University, Dr. Mark Anthony Torres, who is a biologist, specializing in evolutionary biology and genetics,” Siao said.


The Iligan City solon noted that Dr. Torres “is also a peace advocate and does research on the peace negotiations, the MILF, the MNLF and indigenous peoples of Mindanao” and the youngest to receive the Metrobank Outstanding Teacher award.


KABAYAN Party-List Rep. Ron Salo said Dr. De Vera “is the right man to lead the CHED at this time.”


For the vacancy that would be created if Dr. De Vera is promoted to chairman, Salo endorsed Br. Ellakim P. Sosmeña, SC, who is President of the Cor Jesu College in Digos City, Davao Del Sur and is Auditor of the Davao Association of Catholic Schools.


Br. Eli Sosmeña is a member of the religious congregation, Brothers of the Sacred Heart, who have a special charism on education. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart run the Cor Jesu College in Digos City in Davao del Sur, the high school alma mater of President Duterte.


Earlier this January, Assistant Majority Leader and Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy filed House Bill 6972 entitled “CHED Term Limit Act of 2018” in light of recent controversy that rocked the CHED.


Assistant Majority Leader and 1-PACMAN Party-list Rep. Michael “Mikee” L. Romero filed House Bill 6975 with the short title of “The CHED Chairman and Commissioners Age and Health Qualifications Upon Appointment Act.”


HB 6975 requires an age ceiling of sixty (60) years old and a fit for work certification from a licensed medical doctor for the posts of Chairman and Commissioners of the CHED.


Commissioner Prospero de Vera III is the most senior official in the Commission on Higher Education


Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea announced De Vera’s appointment in a memorandum issued on Thursday, January 25, 10 days after Patricia Licuanan resigned as CHED chairperson “Upon the instruction of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and to ensure the continuous and effective delivery of public service, please be informed that you are hereby designated as officer-in-charge of the Commission on Higher Education, effective immediately,” said Medialdea.



De Vera's appointment comes as no surprise, as he is the most senior commissioner in CHED after the resignation of Licuanan. He took his oath as CHED commissioner in September 2016.


De Vera had been joining Malacañang press conferences for CHED-related announcements, as Duterte had barred Licuanan from attending Cabinet meetings in December 2016.


Prior to his CHED appointment, De Vera was the vice president for public affairs of the University of the Philippines. He was also an adviser of Senator Grace Poe during the 2016 presidential polls.


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