Just today (January 30, 2024), the Search Committee led by Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT-U) President Raul F. Muyong, EdD just announced the three official candidates who will vie to become the 7th President of the Visayas State University system.

Two of these candidates served key leadership positions in other reputable state universities within the country while the other one is a homegrown insider who served many administrative and research roles within VSU.

The University Integrated Media Center (UIMC) compiled comprehensive bionotes from each of these candidates to introduce their previous accomplishments and future plans for the university.

The role of the 7th President of VSU is crucial as he/she will take oath during our institution’s centenary year. Our festivities began on January 18, 2024, to mark the 100-day countdown until the grand culminating event happening on April 27, 2024.

#ProudViscans, we proudly introduce the official candidates for the 7th President of the Visayas State University system.

Prof. Jinky B. Bornales, PhD of MSU-IIT

Like a white noise often neglected yet creates many amplitudes with equal intensities, the works of this VSU Presidential aspirant might seem random but all lead to opportunities for inclusivity to co-create new realities.


Professor Jinky B. Bornales, PhD is a theoretical physicist who has made significant contributions to the physics of polymers making her the recipient of the 2020 National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) Achievement Award in Physics. 

A well-recognized expert in her field and holds a full professor rank, Dr. Bornales has been invited to speak at conferences and universities in Japan, Germany, Italy, and France to name a few. She is currently a faculty member of the Physics Department at the Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).

A month after earning her Bachelor of Science in Physics degree from the flagship campus of MSU in Marawi City, she started teaching at MSU-IIT in 1990. 

She was a scholar of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - Engineering Science and Education Program (ESEP) which led her to earn a Master of Science in Physics degree from the University of the Philippines-Diliman (UPD). 

Awarded a scholarship grant from the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology (PCASTRD) – DOST, she earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Physics also from UPD in 2005.

Dr. Bornales served as Chairperson of the Department of Physics, Assistant Dean, and later Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) of MSU-IIT. 

MSU-IIT’s Premier Research Institute of Science and Mathematics (PRISM) was conceptualized during her Deanship. 

She was President of the Samahang Pisika ng Visayas at Mindanao (SPVM) from 2007 to 2009 where she linked the organization to her vast national and international networks and secured DOST funding support. 

From May 2012- March 2022, she served as the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (VCRE) of MSU-IIT.

Believing that research and innovation are pathways for MSU-IIT to be in the global arena, Dr. Bornales proposed various incentive and award programs in research, extension, and innovation benefiting students, faculty members, and staff. 

As MSU-IIT VCRE, Jinky has crafted policies and implemented programs strengthening research, publication, extension, innovation, technology transfer and commercialization, and foreign visiting professorship.

She has been instrumental in the increase of MSU-IIT’s publication outputs by more than 500% from 2005 to 2020, as well as externally funded research projects, as faculty members are motivated by the value given to research, thanks to the incentives provided. 

To date, Dr. Bornales has authored 40 publications and is one of the founding scientific advisors of the Institute for Research, Innovation, and Scholarship (IRIS), the Philippines’ one-stop-shop for Research and Development talents and resources for optimized collaboration and integration. 

She is also a senior researcher and a member of the executive board of the Research Center for Theoretical Physics (RCTP), Central Visayan Institute Foundation (CVIF) in Jagna, Bohol.

Honing leadership and managerial skills, Dr. Bornales has been a fellow of the International Dean’s Course Southeast Asia by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and of the Philippine Higher Education Career System Executive Development Program (PHilHECS-EDP) by the Development Academy of the Philippines and Commission on Higher Education.

Her various engagements, here and abroad, led to different collaborations resulting in the establishment of the Knowledge Technology Transfer Office including the creation of an emerging hub called iDEYA: Center of Innovation & Technopreneurship. This is the first technology business incubator in Mindanao that has supported several incubatees from Region X and BARMM that won two national awards in 2021. 

She is also credited for the founding of the FABLAB Mindanao Center of Innovation and Invention, which is Mindanao’s first digital fabrication laboratory funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

As VCRE of MSU-IIT, Dr. Bornales also established the Mindanao Center for Resiliency (MCR) which serves as a knowledge-generation center for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) among others.

Always on the lookout for innovation and use of technology to improve lives, she also led the Philippine team in assisting Iligan LGUs in decision-making on community quarantines when the pandemic broke in 2020, through an innovation dubbed MOdelling COrona Spread (MOCOS), in collaboration with Prof. W. Bock of the Kaiserslautern University in Germany and Prof. Tyll Krueger of the Wroclaw University of Science and Technology in Poland. 

Mindful that the pandemic should not hinder growth and development, she conceptualized and launched the program Innovation through Leveraging, Industry, Government, Academe Networks and inclusive Community Engagements (ILIGANiCE) funded by the DOST-Region X in collaboration with DTI-Region X, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation of Iligan, Inc. (CCIFII) and the USAID-STRIDE. 

Dr. Bornales is also the project leader of WHWise: iBLEnDNICE 4 WomEn (Women Helping Women innovating social enterprise: innovation thru Building and Leveraging Entrepreneurship Development, Networking and Inclusive Community Engagements), which is funded by DOST- PCIEERD, with Miriam College and UP Mindanao as co-implementers.

Alongside being a researcher and an administrator, Dr. Bornales is also a dedicated educator. As one of the handful of women Physicists in the country, she served as dissertation adviser to three PhD graduates and thesis adviser to 13 MS Physics graduates of MSU-IIT since 2008. 

To her students, she is fondly seen as an excellent mentor—brilliant yet humble—with a vast network to share, thereby opening opportunities and enhancing capabilities. 

To the faculty members and staff at MSU-IIT, particularly the young, Dr. Bornales is an ideator, collaborator, innovator, and model in the practice of the entrepreneurial mindset. She is described as determined yet subtle, honing the ability and attitude of people she works with; innovative in implementing policies according to their noble intent; trustworthy and kind; and projecting an outstanding image through things accomplished. 

The professional development of people through her mentorship and leadership has led to deep friendships and partnerships in moving MSU-IIT forward.

With all these achievements, Professor Bornales desires to give and serve more people in the Visayas region. And this time she will try to bring her unique brand of service and research leadership to the VSU community if given the opportunity to serve as its next University President.

Professor Dennis P. Peque, PhD of VSU

This homegrown administrator, prolific researcher, environmental scientist, and self-professed conservationist is the current Vice President for Research, Extension, and Innovation.


Prof. Dennis P. Peque, PhD served as the Dean of the College of Forestry and Environmental Science (CFES) for 7 years (2015, 2017-2023), Director of the Regional Climate Change Research Center (RCCRDC) for more than a year (October 2022 to December 2023), and as Head of the Department of Forest Science (DFS) for 5 years (2015, 2017-2021). 

RCCRDC is among the youngest research centers of VSU established following the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) mandated to conduct and coordinate research while monitoring and evaluating programs that will ensure climate change mainstreaming at the regional level for greater local resilience.

CFES, on the other hand, is one of the leading forestry schools in the country and has been a favorite partner agency for forest rehabilitation programs among international funding agencies in Australia and Europe.

Dr. Peque received his Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree from the then ViSCA in 1993. He then pursued his graduate education overseas by completing his Master of Science in Tropical and International Forestry in 2007 with a “Very Good” distinction along with his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Forestry in 2014 graduating Cum Laude from the University of Göttingen in Germany through the German Academic Exchange Service called DAAD.

He is a Registered Professional Forester who placed Top 8 in the 1995 Licensure Examination for this field and one of the only three licensed Environmental Planners in the VSU system. 

Dr. Peque has served VSU as a faculty for 24 years but prior to that, as a Science Research Assistant for two years. In addition, he was formerly affiliated with the University of the Philippines-Tacloban College, and Eastern Samar State University (ESSU) as College Instructor.

During his term as Dean of CFES, all four academic programs of the college which include the BS Forestry, BS Environmental Science, MS Forestry, and MS Tropical Ecology all received their Certificate of Program Compliance (COPC) from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). 

Likewise, these said programs have also been subjected to accreditation by the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP) with the BSF program being granted Level III re-accredited status, BSES as Level II re-accredited program while the graduate programs of the college being granted with Level III re-accredited status. 

Through his able leadership, the MS in Forestry and MS in Tropical Ecology were included in the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) ASTHRDP scholarship resulting in an increase in enrollment for both programs.

As Dean, Dr. Peque continually worked to ensure the strength of the college’s teaching force by encouraging them to attend training, seminars and conferences, and graduate studies that will later on cultivate their expertise in their fields of specialization and further strengthen the core manpower of CFES. 

During his term, two faculty members were able to pursue PhD studies and one for her Master of Science program. Another faculty has just started in October 2023 his PhD under the joint program of Nagoya University in Japan and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). 

During his incumbency, the CFES Alumni Association was organized and was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2017. 

In his capacity as Department Head and Dean, he initiated repairs and renovation of classrooms and comfort rooms including installation of floor tiles, rewiring, and development of the Office of the Dean despite a very limited budget. 

With his short stint as the Director of the Regional Climate Change Research and Development Center, Dr. Peque was able to improve the office by concreting the office entrance, replacing broken floor tiles, and installing window grills for security purposes. 

In research and development, Dr. Peque and other CFES faculty had established collaborations with organizations for potential projects. Among the research projects in which he was personally involved include “Redevelopment of Timber Industry After Extensive Land Clearing” and “Forest Landscape Restoration Project” which were funded by the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

He also took the lead in the production of a Coffee Table Book Project for three Protected Areas in Leyte which was funded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region VIII. Dr. Peque was also a key researcher on an impact assessment of a national government-led project on Community-Based Forest Management (CBFM) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) implemented in Eastern Visayas.

He is also part of other multidisciplinary research projects that include: the Coastal and Mangrove Rehabilitation Project funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD); the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Compensation Project in partnership with Nature-Life International in Germany; and Project Tarsier in partnership with University of Sunshine Coast in Australia that attempts to restore deforested and degraded landscapes in the Philippines through carbon credits that will fund activities and provide sustainable livelihoods for local communities.

Other locally-funded projects to which Dr. Peque was a significant contributor include the Biodiversity Conservation and Management Program of Mount Pangasugan (BIOCAMP); the Development of a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Model for Eastern Visayas; Exploring Nature-Based Solutions and Circularities in Household Practices and Consumption to Achieve Net Zero Carbon Emissions in Eastern Visayas; and Leadership for Resilient Local Government Unit in partnership with the National Resilience Council and the city government of Ormoc City.

Dr. Peque’s expertise in climate change, resiliency, and land use planning, through intensive training with CHED, the UP School of Urban Planning, the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, the Climate Change Commission, and National Resilience Council were all critical to his role as Director of RCCRDC. 

As Director of RCCRDC, he was involved in research and extension projects on LGU’s Climate Change Adaptive Capacity in Climate-Prone and Vulnerable Areas in Eastern Visayas; Community Resiliency (CORE) Training of Trainers for Womangrove Project funded by CORA Philippines; the establishment of Climate-Smart Upland Agriculture; and in the conduct of trainings and seminars on the preparation of Enhance Local Climate Change Action Plan and Climate Change Expenditure Tagging, and climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives of different municipalities and cities in the Visayas region.

Because of his numerous research involvement, he was awarded the John Dillon Fellowship through ACIAR to attend the Research Management Training Course in Australia in 2020. 

His group, the VSU FoRestaL (Forest Restoration and Livelihood) Advocates was awarded the prestigious Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award (Group Category) by the Civil Service Commission in 2018 by no less than Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

As a researcher, he published numerous articles on forestry and its inextricable link to community development. In addition, he served as a peer-reviewer of articles in the Science and Humanities Journal, Annals of Tropical Research, and the Journal of Science in Engineering and Technology, among others.

As a Professor, Dr. Peque handles important undergraduate and graduate forestry courses such as Forest Statistics and Measurements, Geo-spatial Methods in Forestry, Biodiversity and Conservation, and Urban Forestry and Landscaping. 

He also teaches Urban and Regional Planning for the Master of Science in Land Administration where he is an affiliate faculty, in his capacity as a Registered Environmental Planner.

With his desire to share his expertise, Dr. Peque provided technical assistance to students from ESSU, Eastern Visayas State University, and VSU Alangalang in their thesis, especially in identifying unknown specimens of tree species, as well as to students in the Bachelor of Science in Geodetic Engineering in VSU.

Dr. Peque is an active member in various professional and civic organizations which include the Society of Filipino Foresters Incorporated, the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planner, the Philippine Forestry Education Network (PFEN), Philippine Agroforestry Education Research Network (PAFERN) where he served as Board of Director from 2017 until the present, and the Gamma Pi Epsilon Fraternity/Sorority.

Armed with his rich experiences in academic and research leadership, Professor Peque brings his unique environmental expertise to his candidacy, hoping to build and elevate his alma mater’s reputation as the first National Green University of the Philippines.

Prof. Prose Ivy G. Yepes, EdD of SLSU

Persistent in her professional career goals, Prof. Prose Ivy L. Guasa-Yepes, EdD earned her Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture major in Plant Protection with a specialization in Entomology from the then Visayas State College of Agriculture (ViSCA), now VSU, graduating as Cum Laude in 1990.


She went on to complete her Master’s and Doctorate in Science Education at Cebu Normal University (CNU), Cebu City with her Dissertation being awarded as Best Dissertation in 2009 by both the Cebu Normal University and the Philippine Association of Graduate Education (PAGE) in Region 7.

Rising from the ranks as an academic leader, her varied experiences and lessons learned while serving as a Department Head, College Dean, Campus Administrator, and Vice President for Research, Development and Extension, equipped her with the essentials of leadership when she humbly embraced the opportunity to serve as the 3rd President of Southern Leyte State University (SLSU) for two terms from December 19, 2014, until December 18, 2022. 

During her stint as Campus Administrator (2006-2013), she completed an Integrated Course on Higher Education Institution Management delivered by the Ateneo School of Government (ASG) funded by the Commission on Higher Education in 2006. This training included modules on executive leadership, strategic management, entrepreneurial development, financial management, and human resource development. 

Another short-term training she completed when she was SLSU’s Vice President for Research, Development, and Extension (2013-2014) was a Flagship Course on the Management of Research in State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) delivered by the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) likewise funded by CHED in 2013.

While she was the VP for RDE, she spearheaded the accomplishment of six major milestones, namely: the production of two CHED-accredited (category B) peer-reviewed research journals such as the Journal in Education and Human Resource Development (JEHRD), and the Journal of Science, Engineering and Technology (JSET); conduct of the 2014 International Research Congress and Business Forum on Rubber and Freshwater Prawn with a research grant from CHED in the amount of PhP 8M on marine biodiversity management in Sogod Bay; the grant of DOST-PCIEERD’s Balik Scientist Program on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Basic Skills Training for faculty researchers; and conduct of the First TVU and SLSU Joint Multidisciplinary Research Forum and Workshop hosted by Tra Vinh University in Vietnam.

Overwhelmed with challenges and demands to step up and be on par with the rest of the higher education institutions in Region VIII and beyond, Dr. Yepes has been a tireless advocate for student success and access to quality education. Under her selfless leadership, the university has experienced substantial advancements in academic programs, student development, faculty and administrative staff development, research publications and citations, and innovation and community engagements.

During her first term as SLSU President (2014-2018), she championed the upgrading of the university’s SUC Level status from Level 2 to Level 3, getting CHED’s recognition of its BSED and BEED programs as Center of Development, recognition of JEHRD and JSET as ASEAN Citation Indexed journals, the establishment of Research and Extension Centers such as Geographic Information Systems Technology Center; Center for Organic and Natural Food Research; Center for Access to Rural Education; Bio-resource Production Technology Center; Smallholder Horticulture and Agroforestry Research and Extension; and Center for Research in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development.

With the improved trust and confidence from its partner agencies, all the Research and Extension Centers were recipients of research and/or extension grants from DOST-PCIEERD, DTI RO8, DOST RO8, CHED, DA, DOST-PCAARD through ViCARP, DOST-NAST and from international partners, one of which is from Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS) in collaboration with the Laboratory of Aquaculture and Artemia Reference Center (ARC), Ghent University, Belgium. 

Furthermore, the City LGU of Maasin granted the request of SLSU-Maasin City Campus through the facilitation and representation by Dr. Yepes to donate a 7-hectare lot where the Maasin City Campus will be established after its integration into SLSU in 2018.

Service with passion is one of her mantras which constantly reminds her that providing access to quality education to the consistently increasing student population is the university’s priority thus, she persisted and persevered together with her team in upgrading the university’s infrastructure, lecture, and laboratory facilities and equipment, modernizing library facilities and amenities, improving the ICT infrastructure and standardizing the university’s systems, structures and policies, and upskilling and reskilling of the university’s talents. 

A total of PhP 786,203,177.29 worth of Capital Outlay projects, both infrastructure and acquisition of ICT and other laboratory equipment for instruction and research functions were implemented and completed in the six campuses both funded through the General Appropriations Act (GAA) and the university trust fund.

She likewise facilitated the approval of several institutional development projects and research grants with funding from external sources approximately amounting to PhP 185M. Among the projects that were proposed, funded, and implemented during her presidency which is part of the university’s resiliency response include the PhP 25-M Enterprise Campus Area Network that supports inter-campus connectivity for resource-sharing under the Smart Campus Program of CHED, the CHED-Funded PhP 15M Upgrading of SLSU’s Learning Management System: Open Learning hub with intelligent digital library and Multimedia Studio, a Locally Funded (CI) PhP 11.2M Establishment of Smart Classroom and Smart Office, Upgrading of University Library System and Upgrading of the Open Learning Hub.

She also championed the development of process automation for the university’s digital transformation including the Learning Management System, Human Resource Management Information System, Procurement Management Information System, Research, Innovation and Extension Services MIS, upgraded Enrolment System, Online Admission System, among others.

Moreover, she championed the formulation, revision, and implementation of significant Manuals of Operations, Policies, and Systems necessary for the smooth university operation and to best serve the university’s academic community.

As the steward of SLSU and working closely with the university’s internal and external stakeholders under the guidance and support of its governing board members, she advocated for the continued faculty and administrative staff development through scholarships, attendance at local and international conferences, and other robust strategies and opportunities which resulted to the increasing number of faculty items, number of faculty with Master’s degrees, number of faculty with Doctorate degrees and number of faculty with full-fledged Professorial ranks by 52%, 50%, 117% and 525% from 2014 to 2022, respectively. 

She initiated the submission of 160 and approval of 133 administrative positions/items under the Revised Organization and Staffing Standards for SUCs.

Excellence and good governance as her advocacies, she took the helm in improving the performance and productivity of the university amidst limited resources, unlocked new and greater opportunities, reduced risks caused by disasters including the COVID-19 pandemic, improved the institution’s visibility and reputation, and fostered trust from among its stakeholders.

Among the several recognitions and great accomplishments the university has received and achieved under her stewardship were the following: CSC PRIME-HRM Bronze Awardee (Maturity Level 2); ISO 9001:2015 certification covering all 6 campuses; FOI compliance and awards; Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) eligibility for FYs 2015, 2016, 2017, 2020 and 2021; IPOPHIL Platinum awardee; DILG CapDev Accelerator Awardee; 100% AACCUP Program accreditation awardee; DBM Region VIII Budget Utilization Rate awardee; produced AD Scientific Indexed scientists, recognized with QS 3 stars rating, Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 1000+, and WURI ranked, among others.

In recognition of her selfless and exceptional leadership and dedication to education, she received a number of accolades and awards throughout her career as an educator, researcher, and administrator which include Administrator’s Honorific Awardee (2022), Gandilan Awardee (2022), Most Inspiring Teachers (2022), CSC PAGASA Awardee, Regional Level (2021), Outstanding Southern Leyteno Awardee (2017), and Garbo sa CNU Awardee (2017). 

She continues to engage herself offering insights into effective university governance, scenario-based strategic planning, futures thinking initiatives, and promoting an inclusive educational environment while serving as SLSU’s Vice President for Academic Affairs under the university’s new administration.

Valor is one of Dr. Yepes’ strengths as she selflessly led SLSU for eight productive and transformative years together with the university’s talents with God’s grace, guidance, and protection.

Yearning to continue her passion for serving particularly her alma mater, ViSCA (now VSU), and applying the competencies and skills she earned from the Global Academic Leadership Program she completed in 2022 with the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), she is up to providing an academic leadership that facilitates in developing future-proof talents and experts and in generating high-impact STI-based solutions according to the needs of the time adhering to the culture of flexibility, operational excellence, competitiveness, continual improvement, resilience, and sustainability.

What’s Next?

On February 16, 2024, the Search Committee will host a public forum where the three candidates will present their plans to the VSU community. Faculty, staff, and other stakeholders are enjoined to be part of the forum.

Afterward, the committee will interview the three candidates as part of the search process.

ISAT-U President and Search Committee Chair Dr. Muyong and his members will submit their report and recommendations to the VSU Board of Regents. 

Afterward, in a closed-door session, the BOR—each regent with one vote—will elect the 7th President of the Visayas State University.

Professor Guiraldo Fernandez, Jr., PhD, Secretary of the University and the Board of Regents, will announce the results publicly immediately after. UIMC will make the official announcement only through the VSU website and its official social media pages.

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