VSU College of Med 2024

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. approved the creation of the Visayas State University College of Medicine by signing into law Republic Act (RA) 11974, which is one of the priority legislations of Leyte Fifth District Congressman Carl Nicolas C. Cari.

Officially signed on December 20 last year, this law will take effect today (January 4, 2024) which is 15 days after its publication in the Malacañang Palace’s Official Gazette.

Under this new law, the VSU College of Medicine will soon be authorized to offer a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree program including an Integrated Liberal Arts and Medicine program consisting of basic science and clinical courses that adopt a learner-centered, competency-based, and community-oriented approach to instruction.

The main goal of RA 11974 is to develop a set of professional physicians who will help strengthen the healthcare system of the country that will primarily respond to the human resource development needs of the Leyte province and the whole Eastern Visayas region.

The law also provides that funding for the establishment of the VSU College of Medicine shall be sourced from the annual General Appropriations Act (GAA) as approved by the national government.

Aside from VSU, three other state universities were also granted their own College of Medicine which included Benguet State University (BSU) in La Trinidad, Benguet via RA 11970, Southern Luzon State University (SLSU) in Lucban, Quezon via RA 11971, and University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) Catarman, Northern Samar via RA 11972.

The local government of the City of Baybay and the whole VSU community welcomed this development with a positive response, especially since this is the first of its kind in the whole province.

With the growing need for more medical education programs in the country because of the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic, there is also a pressing need to nourish and build up local communities’ capacity to produce home-grown medical doctors who can serve the immediate needs of people from the grassroots.

This priority legislation of Congressman Cari is consistent with the push of the city government to make Baybay the central hub for healthcare services in Western and Southern Leyte now that public medical facilities have been put in place within the city.

Under the current leadership of the young legislator’s father, Mayor Jose Carlos L. Cari established the Immaculate Concepcion Hospital (ICH), which is now a community tertiary hospital that is mainly run and operated by the city government. 

This same hospital has been equipped with modern medical facilities and equipment including MRI and CT-Scan machines with future deployment of more medical professionals to serve the growing needs for local healthcare in both Western and Southern Leyte areas.

Recently, the construction of the first-ever Baybay City Super Health Center was completed late last year with its formal blessing and inauguration held on December 8, 2023. This new facility will particularly cater to the needs of outpatient services including basic laboratory tests and additional machines for dialysis patients.

Former VSU President and now Vice President for Administration and Finance Dr. Edgardo E. Tulin, who was the pioneering force in this landmark legislation, expressed his delight with the approval of RA 11974.

“What a way to end 2023 and I praise the Lord for this great news for our #ProudViscan community. I’m forever grateful to Congressman Carl Cari and Baybay City Mayor Boying Cari for their overwhelming support that made our aspiration a reality. One of the proofs of our capability to handle this huge task is the strong and impressive passing percentage of our nursing program. And I’m sure that with the funding of the national government and our collective drive to hire competent clinical professors, we can turn this into one of the best-performing medical schools in the country in a few years,” Dr. Tulin shared.

The former VSU President is credited with being the father of nursing education at VSU and was previously designated as the Founding Dean of the VSU College of Nursing.

Initial benchmarking findings

While the enabling law was being crafted and deliberated in both houses of Congress and Senate, important groundwork had already been made by the previous administration that included doing benchmarking activities to the top medical schools in both the public and state-funded universities and colleges.


A team of VSU faculty and staff was created and tasked to develop a benchmarking report and feasibility study that will be the basis for the development blueprint of the VSU College of Medicine.

Among the established medical institutions visited for the benchmarking activity were the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila, the University of Santo Tomas (UST), West Visayas State University (WVSU) in Iloilo City, and the newly-created College of Medicine consortium jointly administered by the Cebu Normal University (CNU) and the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC).

In this series of benchmarking visits held in August last year, one of the most common findings in these established medical institutions is the importance of stringent and competency-based screening processes for students who will become the pioneering batch for the VSU College of Medicine.

In a dialogue with medical professors from UP Manila and the CNU-VSMMC, they both agreed that selecting the best and deserving pioneering students is the key to increasing chances for good performance in the physician’s licensure examination.


This is also aside from securing competent faculty members including a seasoned and well-experienced Dean of the VSU College of Medicine who should all be provided with competitive salary packages to convince them to relocate and work in Baybay City.

The full feasibility study is currently underway as part of complying with the necessary requirements for medical schools as prescribed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The plan for the establishment of their very own Medical Arts Building is also being finalized by the General Services Division (GSD) of the university to provide a permanent home to the VSU College of Medicine.

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