The Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, a merger of three public education institutions in the province of Zambales, was established by virtue of Republic Act 8498, enacted on February 12, 1998 through the initiative of Congressman Antonio M. Diaz. The University Charter integrated the former Ramon Magsaysay Polytechnic College (RMPC) in Iba, the former Western Luzon Agricultural College (WLAC) in San Marcelino, and the former Candelaria School of Fisheries (CSF) in Candelaria. The strengths of its parent-institutions, which had existed since the early 1900s, served as RMTU’s springboard for its accelerated growth and development.
The RMPC in 1998, which is now RMTU’s Main Campus, was founded as a farm school in 1910. It was converted into a provincial trade school in 1919. Through the years, it metamorphosed into Zambales Trade School in 1933, Western Luzon School of Arts and Trades in 1953, Zambales School of Arts and Trades in 1957, and Ramon Magsaysay Memorial School of Arts and Trades in 1961. It became a DECS-supervised College (RMPC) in 1993 and a chartered state college in 1995.
WLAC, now the San Marcelino Campus, started as a farm school in 1927. It became the Zambales Rural High School in 1933, the Zambales National Agricultural School in 1960, the Western Luzon Junior Agricultural College in 1977, and eventually evolved into a full-fledged state college in 1985. WLAC’s integration into the university system also included its satellite campus in Botolan (1993) as well as its extension classes in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ) Compound (1996–2001) and Subic (1999–2003). The phase-out of SBFZ and Subic campuses gave rise to RMTU-Castillejos Campus starting June 2003.
The CSF-Post Secondary Department, with its component faculty and physical facilities, is known today as the RMTU-Candelaria Campus. Established in 1965, CSF started as a secondary vocational high school and eventually offered post-secondary, non-degree courses under the supervision of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Philippines) (TESDA).
Dr. Feliciano S. Rosete assumed office as the first duly elected and appointed President of the University effective February 12, 2001, the start of the full operation of the institution as a multi-campus university system. With a viable organizational structure, the institution transformed dramatically as it accelerated the full integration of its component campuses. Through strong partnership with the Provincial Government, DepEd and municipal governments, RMTU had established LGU-subsidized satellite campuses in Masinloc, Castillejos, and Sta. Cruz in the year 2002, 2003 and 2004, respectively. Faculty development and infrastructure build-up were intensified. Degree programs increased from 12 to 65 in the last nine (9) years. Enrolment expanded from 2,000 to 8,000 per semester over the same period. Massive scholarships from various stakeholders attracted more and more students. Graduates registered commendable performance in licensure examinations especially in electrical, mechanical and civil engineering and other flagship programs. In addition to its Php 93.0M annual budget from the National Government, income from revenue-generating projects and self-liquidating academic programs reached as high as Php 80.0M per year. Major curricular programs attained various accreditation levels and RMTU achieved an unprecedented Level III-A status under the Commission on Higher Education-Department of Budget and Management-Philippine Association of State Colleges and Universities (CHED-DBM-PASUC) Leveling Scheme. The CHED also listed RMTU as one of the top 30 higher education institutions (HEIs) recognized by the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and other countries.
In terms of research, RMTU contributed to the stock of new scientific knowledge when it won the Regional Best Research Paper Award in Agriculture among 26 CLARRDEC-member agencies in 2008, and eventually emerged as Second Placer among hundreds of PCARRD-member agencies nationwide in the same year. And in 2009, RMTU also won the Regional Best Research Paper Award in energy/industry research among 19 CLIERRDEC-member agencies.
To date, RMTU stands proud with its high-performing seven (7) campuses, 65 degree programs, 8,000 students, 600-strong faculty and staff, and viable international linkages and consortium agreements. A century of visionary zeal, hardwork, dedication and commitment of its founders, pioneering and contemporary administrators, benefactors and other stakeholders has indeed paid off.
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