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DWUT to reopen next year under new name

By: Miriam Garcia Desacada

TACLOBAN CITY, February 22, 2006 - Ten years after the Divine Word University of Tacloban shut down in 1995 because of the dispute between the employees union and the SVD management, the only Catholic university in the region will finally reopen next school year under a new school name "Liceo del Verbo Divino" but still under the SVD management.

A signing ceremony was held yesterday at the Sto. Nino Church after the Holy Mass held in celebration of the birthday of Most Reverend Palo Archbishop Pedro Dean.

The signing agreement between the Union and the Administration was also witnessed by the Papal Nuncio and other top government officials of the region.

As part of his homily on the occasion of his 76th birthday, Bishop Dean said that the signing agreement for the reopening of the defunct Divine Word University was date-set by Papal Nuncio since yesterday's signing agreement was his last visit to this region as Apostolic Nuncio, for he would be leaving already for a new assignment in Cyprus and Israel.

People in this region witnessed the efforts of Msgr. Dean towards the possible reopening of the university in response to everybody's dream that this biggest school in Eastern Visayas would also be given a chance as an avenue for education of our young generation.

"It is, therefore, an occasion of thanksgiving that problems were finally solved and differences settled, so that now we can hope to have a Catholic institution of learning back to the service not only of this city and the province but of the whole region" he said.

Describing the obsession of the people in Eastern Visayas, Bishop Dean emphasized that having a Catholic institution like the defunct DWU, is the best and effective vehicle for evangelization, yet a very special place in Catholic education which cannot be taken over by any other agency.

"Today we saw the signing of the agreement between the administration and the Union of former DWU now Liceo del Verbo Divino, thanks God that solution of the problems for years has finally been reached", he said in his homily.

Among of the prominent leaders in Leyte who were present during the signing of the agreement were Rep. Remedios Petilla of the first district of Leyte, Former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, Congressman Dodong Codilla of 4th congressional district of Leyte, Rep. Carmen Cari of the fifth district of Leyte and Tacloban City Mayor Alfredo Romualdez Sr.

The Apostolic Nuncio early last year made his commitment to settle the problem regardless of pending legal fight between the non-union group of DWU and the management. He called many meeting in Manila and in Palo.

The Papal Nuncio has dreamed that the reopening a Catholic institution that would be used in spreading the gospel of God.

Dean did not fail to acknowledge all efforts of the people behind the success that the two factions found a way towards the solution of the problems, in which he mentioned lawyers Sabino Padilla Jr. and Sabino Padilla IV who devoted their time helping to the realization of the university's reopening.

Close to 10,000 students of the defunct DWU were forced to seek education outside the region or any other schools in this city after the DWU management declared the closure of the university 10 years ago.

Earlier, Rep. Petilla said that with the reopening of DWU would also be a great help in improving the economic situation not only in the city of Tacloban which is the center of commerce but the entire region.

The plan to reopen the Divine Word University of Tacloban (DWUT) is underway. Here are some communications regarding the plan sent by Sammy Yap through this website's guestbook:

Date: January 22, 2006 14:59:06 (GMT Time)
Name: Samuel J. Yap
Where are you from: 118 Granada, San Antonio Heights, Sto. Tomas, Batangas
Comments: I really am out of touch with the latest developments on DWU. But what I heard is that it will reopen soon, and the person behind this is Fr. Eduardo "Jing-jong" Rocha, SVD, who is now Vice-Provincial of the SVD Southern Province. He was VP Finance after I left DWU in 1982. I ask everyone to get in touch with Fr. Rocha at the SVD Provincialate in Cebu City, 258-A D. Jakosalem St., 6000 Cebu City. Tel No. (+6332) 253-5205/254-0931, email: Ask him how you can help. And give him my regards.... Sammy Yap

Date: February 11, 2006 23:11:33 (GMT Time)
Name: Samuel J.Yap
Where are you from: 118 Granada, San Antonio Heights, Sto. Tomas, Batangas
Comments: Great news! It seems DWU will finally open again as Liceo del Verbo Divino, and this will be announced this Feb. 21, 2006, on the birthday of Mons. Pedro Dean, the Archbishop of Palo, Leyte. Details are not yet clear at the moment, but the DWU Jubilee Foundation Board will meet Feb. 13, 2006, to discuss and plan how DWU alumni, staff and friends can help DWU in its second lease of life. We will keep you posted thru this website, and I hope, that when the call to greatness comes - in the form of the grand effort to resurrect our beloved Alma Mater - everybody will pitch in and join, contributing according to his pocket and his conscience. We will see to it that there is transparerency and good stewardship in this matter....... Sammy Yap