Premier university in Bicol for sale

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University of Nueva Caceres
University of Nueva Caceres

NAGA CITY, 24-April-2013 (PNA) – The 65-year-old prestigious and well-established non-sectarian University of Nueva Caceres (UNC) here is now for sale. UNC is the oldest university in Southern Luzon.

A source from the industry said the owners, however, have already concluded a negotiation with a local buyer for an undisclosed amount.

The buyer is said to be a prominent figure in the local business and education sectors, the source said.

According to a report of the “Bicol Mail,” a regional weekly newspaper, the De La Salle University has also taken interest to buy into the university to be its branch in Bicol but failed after reportedly failing to meet certain conditions set by the seller.

The amount involved reportedly is pegged at P2 billion.

Freddie Bernal, Commission on Higher Education Bicol regional director based in Legazpi City, said the report about the UNC sellout is not yet official, saying all that they have are rumors.

Situated in a sprawling five-hectare site here, UNC was founded in 1948 and was initially known as the Nueva Caceres Colleges founded by Dr. Jaime Hernandez.

Among the few available listed original incorporators aside from Hernandez were then-Ambassador Jose Fuentebella, the late Senator Edmundo Cea, Lawyer Antonio M. Sison, Lawyer Juan F. Trivinio and Dr. Manuel Abella.

Acting UNC Dean Lourdes Anonas cannot be contacted for comment but a grandson of the university founder, one Eduardo ‘Bong’ Sison, who is said to be among the top officials of UNC, however, said UNC is not selling out and debunked reports it had closed a deal with a buyer.

Sison admitted UNC got many offers to buy from as far as China, New Zealand and Australia.

The Phinma group of companies (Del Rosario group) has reportedly also shown interest to buy the school.

“While some stockholders have signified interest to sell their shares, UNC is definitely not for sale. It’s an established institution and in good shape; it is in fact pursuing modernization that could probably be the reason for its attracting investors and buyers,” Sison added.

A well-placed source said that among the pre-conditions set to have the sale negotiation considered closed, aside from the undisclosed amount, is that the original name University of Nueva Caceres will be retained and the statue of university founder Dr. Jaime Hernandez will stay.

These reportedly got the nod of the local buyer, according to the source.

The Bicol Mail report said UNC is partly embarking on a web-based enrollment, distance learning, establishment and operationalization of e-library, and sports as part of its modernization program. (PNA)

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