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San Pedro College was founded in 1956 by the Dominican Sisters of the Trinity from Quebec, Canada.  It began as a school of nursing of the San Pedro Hospital, the first Catholic hospital in Mindanao, which the religious sisters have been operating since their arrival in 1948.

Inspired by the Most Rev. Clovis Thibault, PME, then Bishop of Davao, the Dominican Sisters led by Sr. Pauline Guilmette, OP and Sr. Cecile Denise, OP, laid the foundation of the San Pedro Hospital School of Nursing.  Bishop Thibault facilitated the acquisition of the land on which the school was built.

The school accepted the first batch of students in SY 1956-57 with Mrs. Amanda Trinidad as School Principal.  This first batch of students eventually graduated in 1959.  However, the term of Mrs. Trinidad as Principal was short lived.  She was succeeded by Mrs. Amparo G. Noel who served from 1956 to 1964; followed by Mrs. Mercedes M. Flores, 1964-1969; Sr. Lydia V. Arcader, OP, an alumna of SPC, 1969-1970; and Miss Corazon B. de la Peña, another alumna, in 1970 to1972.

While the academic program, Graduate in Nursing (GN), was opened to the administration of the lay, the directorship of the school was held exclusively by the Dominican Sisters of the Trinity.  Sr. Rita Stang, OP, a nurse, served as the first Directress. She initiated the much-needed development programs of the school.

After a decade of running the school, the Canadian OP Sisters endorsed the directorship of the school to the Filipino Sisters. Sr. Filipina V. Paña, OP, became the first Filipino Sister to become Directress of the school.  She maintained the high standards set by her predecessor and did some innovative projects as well.  Through her efforts, the San Pedro Health Center, now San Pedro College Health Center (SPCHC) was set up in Agdao in 1967.  The establishment of the Center was borne out of the Dominican Sisters’ passion to serve the poor. Likewise, its establishment became necessary with the growing number of students needing affiliation in Public Health Nursing.  The SPCHC has since become a boon to the residents of the Agdao area.  After a close to five decades of existence, the Center has evolved into a health facility with laboratory, pharmacy, and a physical therapy rehabilitation center.

In SY 1972-1973, the school forged a consortium with the Holy Cross of Davao College as it began to offer the five-year curriculum in BS in Nursing, the first in Mindanao.  The consortium lasted for one year.  In 1973, the school was granted government approval to operate as a college.  Thus, the San Pedro Hospital School of Nursing began to assume the name San Pedro College (SPC). Consequently, Miss de la Peña’s designation was changed from School Principal to Dean of Nursing.  In this same year, the four-year programs in AB-Environmental Hygiene and Management, BS Biology, BS Guidance and Counseling and a two-year Pre-Dentistry course were offered.  Mr. Teodorico Palisada served as Academic Dean of the new programs.         

Sr. Bonifacia T. Tecson, OP, succeeded Sr. Filipina V. Paña, OP as School Directress in 1975.  During her term, a study was conducted to determine the bright prospects for development. One of the recommendations of the 1976 study was the establishment of a medical school as a logical consequence for the courses offered in the AB-BS programs of the college. Since SPC was not yet ready to put up a medical school in 1976, it entered into a consortium with San Pedro Hospital, Brokenshire Hospital, Ateneo de Davao College and People’s Development Foundation to give birth to the Davao Medical School Foundation, the first school of medicine in Mindanao.  Classes of the first would-be doctors were held in SPC classrooms.  Housing the medical school in the campus went on for about one school year. This episode of the school’s history spells out SPC’s modest contribution in the foundation of the Davao Medical School Foundation.

The first batch of students in the BSN Curriculum graduated in 1977.  Following the resignation of Mr. Palisada in 1982, Miss de la Peña was appointed Dean of College for all the academic programs of the school.  In the same year, the BS Medical Technology program was offered and the nursing program was granted the initial accreditation by the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools Colleges and Universities (PAASCU).  Dr. Manalo N. Ongchangco, a pathologist, was appointed Dean of the Medical Technology Department in 1983.

In 1985, the title of School Directress was changed to President. Sr. Lydia V. Arcader, OP, who succeeded Sr. Bonifacia T. Tecson, OP as Directress, became the first President of the College during her extended term.  Mrs. Pacita U. Veloso, another alumna-clinical instructor, was appointed Acting Dean of College in 1986 in the absence of Miss Corazon B. de la Peña who went on study leave.  Miss de la Peña returned to San Pedro College after graduating from her Doctoral degree in 1987.

Re-accreditation of the nursing program was pursued and the Level III accreditation status was granted by PAASCU.  Upon the return of Sr. Tecson from studies in Rome in 1987, she once again served the college as President.  The college continued infrastructure development.  The library was moved to the third floor of the Pauline Guilmette (PG) Building and more science laboratories were also put up.  The old wooden buildings of the college were demolished to give way to the construction of the Bishop Clovis Thibault (CT) Building.  Following her appointment as Regional Prioress of the congregation in 1988, Sr. Tecson was succeeded by Sr. Patria C. Painaga, OP, as the third President of the college.

Sr. Painaga opened the non-formal education program to address the need of students who could hardly afford and cannot be accommodated in the degree programs.  Staff and faculty capabilities to implement extension work were likewise strengthened.

In 1991, Sr. Lydia V. Arcader was given another mandate to serve as the fourth President of SPC.  New degree programs were opened during her term and the physical plant development of the college was accelerated.  The BS Physical Therapy was opened and the Graduate School also offered MA in Nursing as its maiden program in 1992.  Dr. Corazon B. de la Peña was appointed Dean of Graduate School while concurrently serving as Dean of College.  On the other hand, Dr. Grace R. Cid served as the first Dean of Physical Therapy Program; she was succeeded by Dr. Manolette Renato C. Guerrero in 1995.

To spur more development of the college, the Research and Development Office (RDO) was created in 1992 with Mr. Sergio V. Opena as Director.  The Community Extension Services (CES) was likewise, opened in 1993 with Mrs. Nelly T. Decena, previously the Coordinator of Student Affairs, as Director.  The CES undertook the non-formal education programs of the Community School which offered among others, hands-on training in computer literacy, nursing aide, and livelihood skills.  In the later part of 1993, Sr. Tecson assumed the two administrative positions left by Dr. de la Peña upon the latter’s retirement from the college.  Mrs. Merilyn P. Moreno was also appointed as Department Head of Nursing and Mrs. Ma. Minda M. Lacuesta as Department Head of Arts and Sciences.

Under her term as Dean of College and also of the Graduate School, Sr. Tecson caused the establishment of the Nurse Development Program for South Cotabato, Sarangani and General Santos City (NDP-SOCSARGEN) in consortium with the Notre Dame of Dadiangas College (NDDC) in 1994.  Through this consortium, an extension class in MA in Nursing was offered at NDDC.

The college continued to experience increase in population as it is ushered to its fourth decade as an institution of higher learning.  In response to the need for more classrooms and facilities, the five-storey Philomene Labrecque (PL) Building was inaugurated in 1995.  In the same year, two more programs under Arts and Sciences began accepting students: AB Psychology and Bachelor of Secondary Education with majors in General Science, Chemistry, Physics and Biology.  The college also opened the programs in BS Pharmacy, with Mrs. Adelina C. Royo as its Dean, and BS Respiratory Therapy under Dr. Marilyn U. Lim.  Likewise, the Graduate School also added programs such as MA in Hospital Administration, MA Guidance and Counseling, and MA Industrial Counseling.  The Nursing Program was reaccredited to Level III and the programs in BS Biology and BS in Medical Technology underwent Self Survey in 1995.

When Sr. Arcader’s term as President ended in 1997, Sr. Painaga returned as the fifth president of the college.  Having the required Doctoral degree, Sr. Painaga also assumed the deanship of the graduate school from Sr. Tecson who got an assignment in Peru.  On the other hand, Sr. Grace A. Diestro, OP, began to serve her term as Dean of College.  Mrs. Moreno went on study leave but later opted for early retirement.  Mrs. Elsie A. Tee succeeded Mrs. Moreno; this time as Dean of Nursing since the position of Department Head had been converted to Department Dean.  Sr. Painaga , OP separated the programs in Education and Counseling from the Arts and Sciences Department.  Hence, the creation of the Education and Counseling Department under Dr. Leonore L. Quemada as Dean.

Around this time, the economy of the country had shown remarkable growth.  SPC expanded its course offerings to respond to the needs not only of Davao City and Mindanao but also of the promising East Asia Growth Area (EAGA).  The college maintained its status as one of the best performing schools of nursing in the country.  For a number of years, SPC was consistently cited by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) as one of the Top Performing Schools of Nursing in the Philippines. Also in 1997, SPC was recognized as one of the eight Centers of Excellence in Nursing Education (COENE) in the country.  With this recognition from the government, SPC was granted financial assistance for faculty development and technology infrastructure.  As the only COENE institution in southern Mindanao, SPC shared its resources and spearheaded in the faculty development activities in the region.
Inspired by the success of its consortium with NDDC, the Graduate School also forged consortia with other COENE institutions.  MS in Nursing was offered with Silliman University (SU) in 1997 and MS in Medical Technology with the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in 1999.  Both graduate programs held classes in San Pedro College.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Ma. Minda M. Lacuesta, the Dean of Arts and Sciences assumed as Officer-in Charge of the Office of the College Dean, upon the transfer of Sr. Grace A. Diestro, OP to the Dominican Hospital in Digos City in 1998.  The consistently increasing population of students also required the employment of more personnel.  Hence, the Office of Human Resource Development was created in 1998, to take care of personnel’s professional growth and welfare. Mr. Desiderio N. Noveno, Jr. was appointed as the first Human Resource Director.   Academic program expansion continued with the addition of AB in Human Resource Management in 1998 and two more courses in 2000, namely:  BS Psychology and BS Computer Science.  The professional programs in Nursing, Pharmacy, Medical Technology, and Physical Therapy also maintained remarkable ratings in licensure examinations.  Apart from the recognitions in the Nursing Program, SPC was also cited in 1998 and 2000 as one of the Top Performing Schools of Pharmacy in the country based on the performance of its graduates in the licensure examinations.

The new millennium brought greater challenges to the college.  The demand for more globally competitive human resources seemed tough but SPC was undaunted.  The Saint Therese building, an imposing structure that houses a modern library and science laboratories was inaugurated in 2001.  More information technology (IT) equipment were installed.  The Instructional Media Center (IMC) was put up to assist the academic departments of the college become proficient in multimedia instructional approaches. In 2001, the college was also granted accreditation by the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) to accept and graduate foreign students.

The year 2002 was most remarkable in the history of the college as it yielded three presidents.  In April 2002, Sr. Painaga ended her term to start a new assignment in Peru.  However, Sr. Aida T. Frencillo, OP, the Regional Council’s choice to replace Sr. Painaga OP, opted to first finish her graduate studies before assuming into office.  Sr. Lydia V. Arcader OP, the Regional Prioress, temporarily served as president until October 2002 when Sr. Frencillo was finally installed as the seventh President of the college.  In the same year, Mrs. Ma. Minda M. Lacuesta was also appointed Dean of College.

Sr. Frencillo, OP directed the focus of assessment and development of the college on the three main areas of higher education, namely:  instruction, research, and community extension.  As a matter of policy, a memorandum was issued in 2003 requiring the faculty to comply with the MA degree requirement for college teaching.  To entice more faculty members to do research, the research compensation package was likewise, upgraded.  As a result, a number of outstanding researches have been defended and presented in research fora held locally and nationwide.  Also in 2002, the number of academic administrators was streamlined.  The programs in Guidance and Counseling, Education, Computer Science, the newly-opened BS in Commerce (Marketing and Management Accounting), and BS Information Technology were placed under the supervision of the Dean of Arts and Sciences which was concurrently designated to Dean Lacuesta, later to Mrs. Judith L. Lumactod, and recently to Mrs. Rosario M. Oconer.

The CES, which is now under the directorship of Mrs. Yolanda S. Cortezano, remained to be one of the most productive departments of the college.  The Community School, which is under the CES, had established the St. Therese Kiddie Center also in 2002 to serve the need of employees and the immediate environ of the college. The CES continued to strengthen its programs on sustainable development, environmental sanitation and basic literacy by linking with local and international agencies. In 2003, the CES was granted accreditation by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to become an Assessment Center for all graduates of the Care-Giving Course in the region.

The Arts and Sciences Department passed the initial accreditation of PAASCU in 2003.  However, the Deregulated Status Award by the Commission on Higher Education, which was effective until 2008, served as the highlight of the year’s events.

The SY 2004-2005 was also a year of more linkages and networks.  Two more consortia in MA in Nursing program were established with the Notre Dame of Marbel University (NDMU) in Koronadal City and with Notre Dame University (NDU) of Cotabato City.  The consortia provided SPC the opportunity to assist the other higher education institutions in building their faculty qualification, especially in nursing education and at the same time, boost the enrolment. The Graduate School, now under Dr. Desiderio N. Noveno, Jr. as Dean, had also converted the mode of enrolment from the two-semester system to trimester. Likewise, a curriculum audit was made to keep the graduate programs relevant to the current needs of client industries and institutions. 

The basic literacy program for indigenous people of the CES also caught the attention of the government in 2004.  This project was jointly recognized and accepted into the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) Project supervised by the Department of Education (DepEd) and funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Aid Program (AusAid).

The St. Dominic Building, a five-storey edifice was inaugurated in June 2005.  It was built to provide more classrooms, and to house more facilities for the ever-growing population of students.  The new building also houses the Finance Department, Office of the Graduate School, its lecture-conference rooms and a Mini Library, the Office of Student Affairs, and the extension of the Faculty Rooms.

In SY 2005-2006, the Graduate School began offering Master in Nursing major in Nursing Education, a non-thesis program aimed at improving the teaching skills and competencies of clinical instructors.  A consortium with St. Mary’s College of Tagum City for programs in Master of Arts in Nursing and Master in Nursing was also commenced.

Dr. Ongchangco retired as Dean of Medical Technology in 2005.  He was succeeded by Ms. Julie J. Tiu who served as the dean of the department for only one school year. She was succeeded by Dr. Josephine M. Bandalan, a medical doctor-academician, in June 2006.

San Pedro College celebrated its golden jubilee in 2006.  It was attended by hundreds of alumni coming from abroad and from various places in the Philippines.  As expected, the big event provided an opportunity for the school community to renew its ties with the alumni and other stakeholders.  The alumni manifested their strong support, by their material and financial donations, to their alma mater’s various programs and projects especially those that cater to the underserved communities. On the same year, Mrs. Jeannie H. Bibera served as Acting Dean of the Department of Nursing when Mrs. Tee went on study leave.  She assumed the deanship of the department when Mrs. Tee decided to go on early retirement in 2007.

As the academic programs continue to attract enrolment, the need for campus expansion had become imperative.  Apart from this, the idea of putting up the Basic Education Department, a dream project of the college and the Dominican Sisters of the Trinity was also part of the consideration.  In response to such need, Sr. Frencillo sought the approval of the congregation for the acquisition of land intended for campus expansion.  In April 2006, a lot located in Ulas, in the southern part of the city, was acquired by the college.

The journey into the second fifty years was marked by lofty dreams to expand and grow as a school, an inspiration which led to restructuring of the organization.   The creation of the offices of the two Vice Presidents, namely: Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Administration and Planning took place in November 2007.  Dean Ma. Minda M. Lacuesta was appointed the first Vice President for Academic Affairs and Sergio V. Opeña, Ph.D. was appointed as the first Vice President for Administration and Planning. 

At the start of the second corporate life of San Pedro College, Sr. Nanita M. Handugan, OP succeeded Sr. Frencillo, OP as President of the college.  She was installed on June 18, 2008 as the seventh President of the institution. Under her administration, a new program in Bachelor of Arts (AB) major in English was offered which also led to the inclusion of English as a new major in Bachelor in Secondary Education.  Sr. Handugan pushed for the immediate development of the Ulas property.  An engineer and an architech were commissioned in December 2008 to evaluate the topography of the area and to design the campus plan, respectively.

In  May 2009, Mrs. Ma. Minda Lacuesta, retired as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dr. Desiderio N. Noveno, Jr. who was HR Director and Dean of the Graduate School succeeded her as VPAA.  Meanwhile, vertical articulation of academic programs was given initial attention with the offering of two post-graduate programs in the Graduate School: PhD in Guidance and Counseling in SY 2008-2009 and PhD in Nursing the following year.  Likewise, accreditation of the graduate programs was also given priority.  The Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities-Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) conducted the consultancy visit to five programs: MA in Nursing, MA in Guidance and Counseling, MA in Industrial Counseling, MA in Hospital Administration, and Master in Nursing in October 2009.

Dr. Marleonie M. Bauyot, the Director of Research and Publications, was appointed to a concurrent position as Dean of the Graduate School in November 2009..  In 2010, the position of the Vice President for Finance was created.  Sr. Indalyn D. Kuizon, OP who was  Regional Bursar of the Dominican Sisters of the Trinity, was appointed to the post.

The construction of the first three buildings of the Ulas Campus begun in May 2010.  Subsequently, the Department of Education granted the government permit to operate the Basic Education Programs in February 2012.  The historic blessing and inauguration of the new campus was done on March 26, 2012 in a Eucharistic Celebration presided by the out-going Archbishop of Davao, His Excellency Fernando R. Capalla, DD with some concelebrating priests.  The celebration was also attended by Sr. Raymonde Dussault, OP, Mother General of the Dominican Sisters of the Trinity, and her companion Sr. Janine Nadau, OP from Canada.

The Basic Education Department officially opened its doors in SY 2012-2013 with Sr. Bambina P. Lapara, OP as Principal and Mrs. Paulina J. Deiparine as Assistant Principal.  A total of 590 learners from Pre-elementary: Nursery, Kinder I and Kinder II (132);  Elementary: Grades I-IV (241); and High School: Grade VII (first year) and Second Year, (217) composed the first batch of enrollees.  The opening of the Basic Education Department in Ulas led to the closure of the St. Therese Kiddie Center at the main campus. The following year, Sr. Lapara was transferred to St. James Academy in Malabon to serve as School Directress and Sr. Zoselie T. Escolano, OP succeeded her as Principal of the Ulas Campus.

The Graduate School opened four new programs in SY 2012-2013, namely: Master of Science in Medical Technology (MSMT), non-thesis programs in Master in Industrial Counseling (MIC) and Master in Guidance and Counseling (MGC), and a Diploma Program in Guidance and Counseling.  Incidentally, the graduate programs: MA in Nursing, MA in Industrial Counseling, MA in Guidance and Counseling, and MA in Hospital Administration were awarded Level I accreditation by PACUCOA in April 2012.

Sr. Annabella A. Roña, OP was installed  as the ninth President of the college in June 2013. Other developments during the year were the appointment of Mr. Reynaldo V. Garote as new HR Director and the creation of a new office for Planning and Quality Assurance with Dr. Emily Joy M. Delgra as its Director. Dr. Opeña went on early retirement in May 2014.  Consequently, he was succeeded by Dr. Bauyot as Vice President for Administration with concurrent designation as Director of Research and Publications.  Dr. Noveno, the VPAA, was also designated as Dean of Graduate School in a concurrent capacity.

The latest school years (2014-2015 to 2015-2016) turned out to be very significant years for SPC in terms of graduates’ performance in licensure examinations. This period yielded twenty-six (26) topnotchers and four programs were consistently cited as Top Performing programs, namely: Nursing, Medical Technology, Respiratory Therapy, and Pharmacy.  The Physical Therapy and Teacher Education programs also made excellent results in the licensure examinations.  To date, SPC has already produced a total of 188 topnotchers, a manifestation of the school’s strong commitment to quality and excellence in education.

In response to the challenges of ASEAN Integration and of global education, SPC underwent self-assessment for the outcomes-based typology and quality assurance with CHED.  Mrs. Oconer, former dean of Arts and Sciences, was appointed as Senior High School Officer to take care of the preparation of a K-12 aligned curriculum and instruction and the eventual opening of the Senior High School / Pre-College program in 2016.

Dr. Bauyot resigned in April 2016 and Dr. Samuel F. Migallos was appointed Officer-in-Charge of the Research and Publications Office.  As the academe faces the challenges of the transition years brought about by the K-12 Program implementation, streamlining of operations was instituted. Rationalization of human resources was done and the organizational structure was reviewed. The offices of the Vice President for Administration and Vice President for Academic Affairs were fused by the creation of the Office of the Executive Vice President.

In June 2016, Sr. Rona went on leave for spiritual renewal.  In her absence, the Board of Trustees has appointed Dr. Noveno  as Ad-Interim President.  Albeit temporary, this is the first time that a lay administrator is made to head the administration of the college.

All these years, SPC continues to evolve as a higher education institution with high credibility and esteemed reputation affirmed not only by the exemplary performance of its graduates in licensure examinations, awards and recognitions from the government and other reputable organizations and agencies but also through accreditation of programs by peers in the academe and the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines. 

In the hands of the current administrators of the college are the tasks of sustaining the growth and development of SPC as a highly credible higher education institution and the challenge of leading it to greater heights.
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