P70-M international center to produce competitive service industry workers

ILOILO CITY, Nov. 12 (PNA) — The University of San Agustin (USA) on Thursday broke the ground for the construction of the Dr. Henry O. Chusuey International Center that is envisioned to produce competitive graduates who are joining the service industry.

The project is estimated to cost around P70 million, according to Architect Nilo Moralidad. The five-storey building will serve as a University Hotel that will cater to international students, visiting professors and researchers, school guests and alumni.

It houses top-of-the-line learning laboratory of the university’s Tourism, Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM) and Culinary Arts students.

“I want my fellow Ilonggos to have a place to be trained, especially in the hotel industry. This is the only industry that we could compete with other countries. In the manufacturing we could not compete anymore. I think everyone else thinks of China as the factory of the world. But tourism industry as long as we do it properly; good service, infrastructure are properly in place we can compete,” Chusuey explained.

“Through our center we look forward to unleashing the full potentials of the service industry by boosting the country’s most important asset-our human capital,” the philanthropist added.

He added that the students enrolled in the University will be prioritized as on-the-job trainees at the Hennan Realty and Hennan Group of Resorts that he chairs.

“After graduation they are also our priority because we will be expanding. Next year we will have around 1,700 rooms all throughout the Philippines-that is in Boracay and Bohol. We need so much workers,” he said.

The university currently has 422 HRM students, 279 tourism management and 59 culinary arts enrollees.

Jigger Latoza, presidential chief-of-staff and director of the Center for Research, Innovation and Development (CRID) said that foreign students now have option to stay at the University Hotel as he cited the growing number of Korean and Nigerian students already enrolled in various programs of the university.

Latoza said that they also decided to dedicate the building as an international center “in lieu of the ASEAN Community-internalization of education.”

The ground floor of the building will serve as commercial center while the second story will house the kitchen, restaurant and a conference room. The third level will host conference rooms; fourth floor will be an air-conditioned dormitory and the fifth floor is the hotel. (PNA)