Community college in Davao de Oro clarifies misinformation on stranded students

May. 18, 2020

The provincial government of Davao de Oro brought 35 stranded student-scholars of the Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao (CTCSM) in Maco, Davao de Oro to a patient care center in Nabunturan on May 16, 2020. (Photo from Province of Davao de Oro Facebook page)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A community college in Davao de Oro decries how the provincial government has handled the turnover of their stranded student-scholars who wanted to go home.

The Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao (CTCSM) in a statement pointed out that last May 16, during the turnover of the 35 students, three unidentified persons barged into their campus and snooped around their premises.

The school’s Integrated Basic Education Coordinator, Maria Cora Larobis, said that the men who claimed to be staff members of Governor Uy were spotted in the school dormitories including that of the school administrator and forced the staff of the PIATF to allow them to take photos of the list of student names. These men did not sign the school’s guest logbook nor presented proper identification.

“The untoward series of incidents with these unidentified men who claimed they were staff of Governor Uy gives us cause for alarm. What if they enter the premises of the quarantine facility, and exhibit the same disrespectful and scary behavior?” Larobis said.

The incident happened during the visit of the Provincial Inter-agency Task Force (PIATF) to the campus in Maco to facilitate the return of the stranded students to their hometown on May 13.

The CTCSM had earlier requested the province for assistance as scholars wanted to avail the ‘Balik Probinsya’ through their parent’s efforts.

The task force advised that they will bring the students to a quarantine facility for 14 days before given a certification of good health that they can return to their respective towns.

But the school administration decried accusations circulating online, which was also reflected on the Davao de Oro page, that the school was still holding classes and forcing students to farm in the course of the lockdown.

They sent a letter to Davao de Oro Governor Tyron Uy that after March 16, more than 150 students, teachers, and staff return to their hometown but there are students and staff of the boarding school who stayed on the campus as they can no longer travel due to the implemented lockdown.

“The school coordinated with the local government through the Barangay Council for quarantine passes and asks advice on how to send the scholars home. We were told that quarantine passes are only given to students living in the same province,” it said.

They also clarified that the school is a boarding farm school recognized by the Department of Agriculture Region 11 and is continuing their organic farm practice.

“For two months in lockdown, the scholars voluntarily engaged in organic farming and lived with organic vegetables contrary to the incapacity of the LGU to provide substantial food packs sufficient for all stranded scholars,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the PIATF said they are cooperating with the CTCSM in ensuring the students’ health and welfare. The students ae now sent to a quarantine facility in the Provincial Capitol of Nabunturan, Davao de Oro. (

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