Commission on Higher Education (CHED) 12 Regional Director Maximo Aljibe primarily attributed the success of the Makilala Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) as a higher education
institution throughout the years of its existence to Mayor Rudy Caoagdan, whom he called the Man of Passion, Dedication and Determination.
In his speech during the Investiture of Dr. Gerardo A. Rigonan as the new President of MIST last Friday morning, July 28, 2017 in Makilala, Aljibe narrated his first encounter with Mayor Caoagdan sometime in May, 2014 when the latter, together with other officials of the LGU Makilala, visited his office to inform him of the LGU intention to establish and manage a local tertiary school in the municipality and requested for necessary permits to operate.
At first, Director Aljibe was skeptical to grant the request, since there were no existence of the basic requirements to operate a tertiary school such as classrooms, library and laboratory to warrant its approval. Upon sensing the passion and seriousness of Mayor Caoagdan and the rest of the LGU officials, the CHED Regional Director eventually granted MIST the temporary permits to operate with a condition to comply the necessary requirements within six months to legitimize the granting of its permits.
And the rest were history, as MIST opens up a new chapter of its existence as the first newly recognized LGU run higher education institution in the entire region 12 and the first LUC institution in the country that offers absolute free education.
The free education program to all Makilalenos has been the banner program of Mayor Caoagdan since the start of his second term as the local Chief Executive of the Municipality of Makilala.
He implemented first the free basic education from kindergarten to high school level before he expanded the program to tertiary level, after MIST was established in 2014.
Director Aljibe expressed admiration to Mayor Caoagdan for dedicating his priority to education and the future of the young generation in Makilala. The local Chief Executive pursued the establishment of MIST despite mounted criticisms and ridicule from people who belittled his banner program as a punch to the moon ambition.
Director Aljibe believed that Mayor Caoagdan’s determination to send all children and youth of Makilala from all walks of life to school for free was unprecedented and could hardly be replicated by other local Chief Executives perhaps in the entire country.