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BISU SOM caters to Bohol need's for home-grown practitioners

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Aug. 2 (PIA) -- The first state university in Bohol added a feather to its cap as it opened this year the first public university-based School of Medicine (SOM).

Seen to support Bohol’s strategic development by providing a trained workforce that could sustainably run Bohol’s development directions, Bohol Island State University (BISU) expanded its course offerings from its initial specialization in arts and trades and agriculture, forestry and technology to medicine, which would start its pioneering batch in August 2023.

It was on May 26, 2023 that the Commission on Higher Education, in an enbanc resolution, allowed the provisional operation of the BISU SOM in the second state university in the Visayas.

This was when Boholano officials led by Cong. Edgar Chatto presented the idea in September 2020 of homegrown physicians that could provide doctors to underserved communities.

Under Republic Act 11509 of the Doctor Para sa Bayan, BISU SOM allows students in its medical scholarship program to complete the course and then render twice the number of years of scholarship.

“As they finish the course, they will be incorporated in the public health care system before they can transfer to whatever is their calling,” explained Department of Health Usec. Kenneth Ronquillo who was present during the launching ceremony of BISU SOM.

Under the Doktor Para sa Bayan scholarship, students can avail of tuition fee allowances, clothing, dormitory, book allowances, living allowances, transportation allowances, and other miscellaneous allowances.

BISU started out as Bilar Agricultural College and the Bohol School of Arts and Trades to Central Visayas State College for Agriculture, Forestry and Technology.

With Bohol envisioning itself to become a prime eco-cultural tourism destination with a strong agro-industry, local officials made sure that the school produces reliable and competent graduates.

With the health sector here led by health professionals from outside Bohol, this posed a challenge during the pandemic when medical specialists could not travel to Bohol.

“This raised the need to produce home-grown physicians who will provide services to the underserved,” shared Cong. Edgar Chatto.

The training from BISU SOM can also be critical in realizing the need for an apex referral facility from where issues beyond the competency of Rural Helath Units can fill.

Bohol Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado lauded BISU for venturing into a public medical school that could offer quality healthcare and proficient, trained medical practitioners.

“The SOM can help us become a stronger and more resilient province,” Aumentado as he vowed to fully support the SOM.

For his part, BISU President Dr. Anthony Penaso said this is part of the school’s commitment to advance medical education and the pursuit of knowledge, innovation, and service to the community. (RAHC/PIA-7 Bohol)

Bohol officials led by Cong. Edgar Chatto (center), Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado (in black shirt), Cong. Kristine Alexie Tutor (in orange blouse) and Tagbilaran City Mayor Jane Yap (in white pants) witness the opening of the Bohol Island State University School of Medicine. (RAHC/PIA-7 Bohol)

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Rey Anthony Chiu

Regional Editor

Region 7

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