HONORARY? Brethren Evangelical School of Theology confers an honorary Ph.D. in Humanities to actor Daniel Matsunaga. Screenshot from Daniel Matsunaga's Instagram account
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) on Wednesday, September 12, said Brethren Evangelical School of Theology (BEST) in Gapan, Nueva Ecija is not authorized to confer an honorary degree. The statement came after the institution apparently conferred an honorary Ph.D. in Humanities, major in Social Work to Daniel Matsunaga, a model and actor.
In the first place, CHED pointed out, BEST is not even recognized as a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in the Philippines. “Based on CHED records, the school has never applied for an authority to operate from the Commission and is not recognized as a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in the Philippines,” said CHED officer-in-charge and spokesperson Prospero de Vera.
CHED is a government agency, under the Office of the President, that oversees all HEIs in the country.
Over the weekend, Matsunaga posted a video of him receiving the honorary degree from BEST.
CHED said BEST violated policies and guidelines under CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 19, series of 2014 or the “Enhanced Policies and Guidelines on the Conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degrees by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).” Only institutions that have existed for 25 years and have a “well-acknowledged academic reputation, institutional values and mission, among others” may give out honorary doctorate degrees.
“The public is hereby advised that the awarding of an Honorary Doctorate Degree or Honoris Causa by Brethren Evangelical School of Theology to any person will not be recognized by the Commission on Higher Education,” De Vera said, adding that it would impose “necessary sanctions” against BEST. – Rappler.com