Manolo B. Loreto

A new beginning is about to unfold for VSU’s long-time and veteran Dean of Students, but before leaving the portals of his home university, Professor Manolo B. Loreto, Jr. looked back to his 18 years of dedicated service and the legacies he imparted to make VSU a conducive place that will enable continued growth and development of all students.

Prof. Loreto is an agricultural engineer by profession. He is one of the senior faculty members of the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (DABE) with the rank of Associate Professor V, who provided the university with some expertise in agricultural machinery, land use management, land and water resources management, and environmental science.

But contrary to his professional training, he served as an effective leader in handling the University Student Services Office (USSO) for more than 18 years and served three VSU Presidents from Dr. Paciencia P. Milan, Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo, and Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin. He might have been the longest-serving Dean of Students in a state university in the entire Eastern Visayas region.

Now, let’s take a deeper look at his numerous accomplishments and pay tribute to the man who offered his professional career to build better student services for all #ProudViscans.

The father of NSTP at VSU

Before becoming the Dean of Students, Prof. Loreto was appointed first as the Head of the National Service Training Program (NSTP) in the year 2000. Back then, there was no definite curriculum guide on how to run the course at the time the NSTP Law was implemented, in exchange for the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

Through his efforts in setting up the NSTP at VSU, it became a model program here in the country during those years.

“Nobody knows how to run the NSTP, not even the [Commission on Higher Education] Chair back in those days. They don't know how to run this one because it was a pioneering program. So, they looked at us as a model during that time,” the Dean of Students recalled.

The position of the Dean of Students was first offered to him in 2003, but he declined the assignment and focused on establishing the new program.

“Actually, in the first place, I was not ready yet and I also wanted to set up the NSTP,” Prof. Loreto explained.

During his period at the NSTP office, the VSU ROTC became the undefeated program in the country for nine years, from 2001 until 2009, respectively.

It was in 2005 that he accepted the role as the Dean of Students and his challenge was to strengthen the relationship between the students and his office, which is a center for student welfare and services.

Truth be told, at that time, there was ongoing chaos between the VSU student council and the administration. When Prof. Loreto finally took over the vacant position in February 2005, it was one of his legacies to stop the dispute between the students and the management. He recalled that student protests and rallies were a thing of the past.

And for three to four years after his appointment, he worked out to solve the matter. He served as the bridge between the communist-leaning groups and the military intelligence group, which was evident during his term. 

“It died out because I had tried to connect to them [students]. Because before they will do it, I have to talk with them. I have to be with them,” he shared.

It was his pioneering work to bring down the services of the USSO directly to the students.

“So, we were the first to do an activity at the [VSU] Eco Park. We started the USSO Days in 2007. Every year we conducted the USSO Days. We are the trailblazers. After us, now, it is the student organizations' initiative to conduct student activities,” Prof. Loreto revealed.

Aside from being the Dean of Students, Engr. Loreto was also an active leader in several national organizations. He served as the national vice president of the Philippine Association of Practitioners of Student Affairs and Services (PAPSAS) for two years and is a regional president of PAPSAS for five years, respectively.

His other enduring legacies at VSU

Despite his demanding role as the Dean of Students, he was also the dormitory manager assigned to manage the housing unit of the students and faculty at the university. In his management, he managed to refurbish student dormitories and cottages to house the growing number of Viscans.


One of his accomplishments was the renovation of the Cattleya dormitory which added the capacity of the student housing unit. Some cottages of the former employees were also converted into dormitories, such as Camia, Chrysanthemum, and Gumamela.

His recent addition is the new dormitory for graduate students that have been included in the blessing ceremonies of infrastructure projects during the #VSUAnniv. This dorm is situated in front of the Institute of Human Kinetics (IHK) building, which he initially designed. 

On top of that, he was also responsible for the budget-friendly dormitory fees that the students have enjoyed for quite some time. Throughout his term, the fees of the housing unit only increased by a 100-pesos once.

As CHED-UniFAST Focal Person since 2018

Moreso, one of his biggest accomplishments is working side-by-side with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) through the implementation of the Unified Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act (UniFAST) providing free tuition and subsidies to students.

Despite the additional paperwork, Prof. Loreto has managed to do the separate billings of the free tuition and Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES).

“I handle the billings, the free tuition, and the other school fees. In other schools, they have different focal persons for this, one focal person for billing, and another one for the TES. And then, it’s not only a bill on our campus, it’s on the system, university-wide,” the Dean of Students said.

Aside from the UniFAST, he was also able to solicit funds from politicians and some agencies for scholarships. Student-leaders of the organizations were also provided with the opportunity and financial assistance to travel outside the campus for training and workshops, all thanks to his support.

And since he has survived three different administrations, the Dean of Students revealed that he thrice sent a resignation letter courtesy of every new university president to pave the way for the selection of a new dean.

But he was retained in his current position and has continued his legacies for 18 years.

“I don't know how. But perhaps because I have been a student leader as well. In fact, we were the ones who drafted the constitution and bylaws (CBL) for this student and supreme council way, way before during martial law time when we were still students, together with Dr. Ferraren, we drafted so that we will be given a go signal that we can reorganize the student council or the then student body. I have been the president of our engineering department. Then after that when I finished my degree program and worked here, I'm an organization adviser for engineering students. That honed me on how to deal with students,” he recalled.

Prof. Loreto also initiated the renovation of the USSO building with the help of his son, who is an architect, and her daughter, an interior designer. Despite living in the new facility for just two years, he is happy to have made the dilapidated USSO office into a brand new student-friendly building.

His advice to the next successor of the role

USSO has served as a hub for student welfare and support services, the outgoing Dean of Students only has one piece of advice for the person who will replace his position soon.

“Actually, the challenge is changing. The challenge is changing. From my time, it was more of connecting [with the students], but now, with the new generation, it’s different. Before there were no suicide attempts [from the students]. But students now are battling with mental health problems. So, that’s the only thing he must know how to grasp,” he shared.

At present, VSU has two registered guidance counselors (RGCs) stationed at the USSO. According to Prof. Loreto, they have interviewed two potential RGCs recently.

“But we need more [RGCs] with this kind of problem we have this time,” he highlighted.


Prof. Manolo has extended his gratitude to the three university presidents who appointed him to the position of Dean of Students

“Not only appointed, but who really have the trust in me and confidence that I can do the work that they have assigned to me,” he concluded.

He also extended his thanks to his staff who worked harmoniously with him in achieving his goals as Dean of Students. He revealed that he didn't have any problem with his staff throughout his leadership and management at the office. 

From all of us #ProudViscan, thank you very much Prof. Loreto and we are praying for your continued success and the fulfillment of your many aspirations in life. Mabuhay po kayo, Sir Litlit!


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