In the academe, milestones often serve as powerful indicators of progress. The approval of the VSU College of Medicine by House Bill 7412 on September 25, 2023, heralds a transformative moment for Visayas State University (VSU). Gratitude is rightfully extended to Hon. Carl Nicolas C. Cari and Senator Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero for their instrumental roles in transforming this visionary endeavor into a tangible reality.


Visayas State University boasts its 8-year streak for the 100% passing rate of the College of Nursing. For its Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, it retains its standing as the best in Visayas. Both programs which revolve around medicine have shown great progress throughout the years in terms of statistics, but alongside this improvement, there is a huge deficiency in its facilities and systems.


Thus, it is imperative to question whether the euphoria surrounding the College of Medicine is justified. 


The Approval and Regional Implications of the College of Medicine


In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the local government of Baybay City recognized the need to invest in the healthcare sector. While substantial investments have been directed toward constructing a state-of-the-art public hospital and additional health facilities to meet the growing medical demands of Baybayanons and the residents of the 5th district of Leyte, local government officials acknowledged that infrastructure development alone is insufficient to enhance health services.


Mayor Jose Carlos L. Cari of Baybay City identified the pressing challenge of medical manpower, emphasizing that the effectiveness of health infrastructure hinges on the availability of qualified medical professionals. With the realization that Baybay City's health services extend beyond its immediate constituency, encompassing eight neighboring municipalities, Mayor Cari sees the establishment of a local medical school as a strategic, long-term solution to address current limitations in medical manpower. (Read here:


Having a medical school at VSU is perceived as a significant step in meeting this specific need, positioning Baybay City as a regional healthcare powerhouse in delivering quality and affordable healthcare services to the public.


The institution faces the pressure of not only maintaining academic standards but also establishing the necessary physical and human infrastructure to ensure the success of the College of Medicine. Can VSU rise to this challenge and fulfill the expectations that come with being a pioneer in Eastern Visayas' medical education landscape? Questions loom regarding the provision of a new building and whether there will be adequate faculty to meet the demands of this groundbreaking initiative.


Implications for the College of Nursing and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine


The spotlight on the College of Medicine inadvertently casts shadows on its counterparts, the College of Nursing and the College of Veterinary Medicine. As VSU basks in the glow of this academic achievement, the aforementioned programs unfold a narrative that demands attention.


VSU-CVM: On higher grounds of veterinary ethics; jurisprudence


In essence, some clung to the outcry of losing a pet in practitioners and more viable to veterinary students. A critical aspect that cannot be overlooked pertains to the lack of medical-related equipment and underscoring the dilemma of dysfunctional facilities that toppled the avenue to the students' quality of performance in handling and bearing "ethics" and "jurisprudence" upfront. Note that this is not merely an infrastructural concern but a matter of paramount importance for ensuring the responsible management of medical-related materials, facilities' overall maintenance and mitigating environmental risks on campus.


In the broader context, the recent accreditation reviews from the CHED-PRC unveil the standing of the VSU Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program. It is important to acknowledge that the program's adherence to the learner-centered paradigm is not merely a badge of honor but a fulfillment of the standards outlined in the CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 1 Series of 2018. This memorandum, intricately woven with the fabric of Republic Act (RA) No. 7722, commonly known as the Higher Education Act of 1994, sets the stage for academic excellence and mandates a commitment to quality education. (Read here:


Program's adherence to national standards are recognized but these graze challenges are short handedly addressed. The progressive approach will fortify VSU's commitment to holistic education whilst also elevating the standing of the College of Veterinary Medicine to a well-deserved pedestal within the academic landscape. After all, the scrutiny of the CVM perceived by the institution should never be deemed to be a call for competition—should it prevail to understand that this is a clarion call for parity in acknowledgement.


VSU-CON: Facilities and Disposal


The College of Nursing’s “Small Room” where over 50 students or more listen for a lecture has insufficient light and ventilation, with veins from trees outside of the room reeking in the windows. The tiles crack as you step, and the comfort room is an irony to the nursing discipline as it might be the dirtiest restroom in the whole university. The “Skills Laboratory” besides the small room is also deteriorating and it is incredibly humid inside. The promised new departmental building, though anticipated, remains shrouded in uncertainty, leaving the current inadequacies unresolved. 


The waste disposal practices at VSU present significant challenges, including the absence of wet labs and inadequacies in disposing of syringes, residual medical tools, and hazardous waste. These deficiencies pose a potential threat, as past issues have indicated a slow response to proper garbage disposal around the campus. Urgent attention is required to establish comprehensive waste disposal systems, ensuring the safe and responsible management of medical-related materials and reducing environmental risks on campus.


Just recently, the Office of the President (OP) released an advisory about the university’s water supply. According to the advisory, the USHER reported that the water samples collected from the VSU's main water sources and its four connecting lines in both the upper and lower campuses failed its bacteriological tests after being submitted to the Eastern Visayas Medical Center, prompting the administration to advise consumers of its unsafe conditions and health repercussions if consumed with essential precautions such as boiling the water for 30 minutes ti eliminate harmful microbes and pathogens in the water. As we all know, water is a necessity when it comes to maintaining the cleanliness of medical facilities and also ensuring patient and health worker safety. With this in mind, VSU cannot fully guarantee the operational efficiency of proper sanitation and wash infrastructures that medical students may use in the future if contaminated water becomes one of its persisting problems. Cross-contamination and waterborne diseases may linger if the water source does not appeal to the absolute potableness and quality that medical schools in many parts of the world live up to. 


The Future of Medicine in VSU


Amidst the excitement surrounding the imminent establishment of the College of Medicine, it is imperative to adopt a holistic and critical perspective. The need for doctors in the city is undeniable, but a deeper examination of the current state of affairs within VSU is essential as well. 


In navigating this transformative journey, VSU finds itself at a crossroads. The establishment of the College of Medicine symbolizes progress, but the shadows cast by the challenges faced by the College of Nursing and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine necessitate not just attention but urgent and assertive action. The success of the new venture is intertwined with the university's ability not only to expand but also to fortify its existing academic programs.


The journey is fraught with challenges, but it is in addressing these challenges that the true mettle of an institution is revealed, and its legacy secured for generations to come. The seeds planted today must not merely blossom; they must flourish into a garden of success that stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of a university that dared to dream big and act boldly.


Timeline and Updates on the Establishment of the College of Medicine:


Article from VSU website; Post from Cong. Carl Cari, Representative of 5th District of Leyte


Post from VSU Pres. Edgardo E. Tulin, benchmarking visit in WVSU


Post from VSU Pres. Edgardo E. Tulin, benchmarking visit in CNU and VSMMC


Post from UPM, benchmarking in UPM College of Medicine


Article from VSU website, Senate approves VSU College of Medicine


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