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UPDATE: CHED-CEB approves BU to offer Doctor of Dental Medicine

August 2, 2023

After an extensive process, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) – Commission en Banc (CEB) has finally permitted and approved Bicol University’s (BU) proposal to offer a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) program as of August 1, 2023. 

BU has positioned itself as the first and only state university in Bicol offering DMD and the third public Higher Education Institution (HEI) in the country, after the University of the Philippines Manila and the West Visayas State University. 

The journey before the final approval began in May 2021 when CHED Chairperson J. Prospero ‘Popoy’ E. De Vera III visited BU College of Medicine for a campus inspection for face-to-face classes for clerkships during the pandemic. 

De Vera identified BU, along with Mariano Marcos State University and Western Visayas State University, as having the potential to offer the DMD program. Subsequently, a Technical Working Group was created to prepare the proposal and the feasibility study, led by Dr. Amelia A. Dorosan, then Vice President for Academic Affairs. 

In October, BU filed an application to offer the DMD program, which was unanimously approved through BOR Resolution No. 686, series of 2021. The following month, the DMD program offerings and their corresponding implementing plans and actions were also unanimously approved through BOR Resolution No. 702, series of 2021. This approval served as the initial step in the rigorous evaluation process. 

To assess program compliance, CHED later organized a Readiness Quality Assurance Team (RQAT) visit in February 2022. After two months, BU submitted a compliance report, hoping to welcome the first batch of DMD students in the first semester of S.Y. 2022-2023. However, the university had to overcome challenges and comply with necessary requirements before reaching its final approval. 

BU BOR played a crucial role in this endeavor, as they approved and provided a budget amounting to ₱45 million allocation for the construction of the first floor of a four-story building intended to house the equipment and classrooms. In addition, ₱10 million was also granted for the procurement of the said equipment. 

In May 2022, BU had a groundbreaking for the construction of the College of Dental Medicine building. As of this writing, BU had been given the green light to offer the DMD program effective August 1. 

In his Facebook post, Dr. Arnulfo M. Mascariñas, former BU President and now Professor Emeritus who oversaw the establishment of DMD during his administration, expressed his appreciation to the people behind this endeavor. 

“This milestone will not be possible without the support of the BOR chaired by Comm. Aldrin Darilag, the relentless and tireless effort of the TWG headed by Dr. Amelia Dorsan and Dean Sha Lucilo, and the inspiration provided by the late Dr. Gari Zamora (a practicing dentist and PSR of the BU Board of Regents) who floated the idea way back in 2016. May I take this opportunity to thank everyone, especially Pres. BB Benjamin Nebres for keeping the momentum, for all the efforts and inspiration. Congratulations for a job well done!” he wrote. 


DMD is free tuition

The DMD curriculum is a six-year program that consists of basic science, clinical science, and dental public health courses. This also consists of six levels (Dentistry I to VI) from General Education in the first year, Basic Medical and Dental Sciences, Pre-Clinical subjects in the next three years, and Clinical Training in the last two years.

Since it is an undergraduate degree, the tuition fee will be covered by UNIFast; hence, it is free, according to Admissions Dean Dr. Hennie P. Lomibao | by Arnold C. Noda, MPS 1 – BUCPRO with data from Dr. Arnulfo M. Mascariñas, Professor Emeritus)