PWC of Davao Employees “Mourn”

March 31, 2023

Wearing black today, majority of the employees of the Philippine Women’s College (PWC) of Davao stage a silent protest against usurpation of power in what is supposed to be a very peaceful institution.
As PWC celebrates its 70th founding anniversary this year, the once-quiet school has become the center of controversy when a renegade portion of its Board of Trustees (BOT) allegedly appointed a “President” that the employees and stakeholders do not recognize. At the center of this is the self-appointed president, Mr. Emmanuel Canivel, who is also a member of the BOT. He claims to be backed by two other members of the Board, mother and son tandem of Ruby and Tomas Julio Benitez in a signed memorandum addressed to the employees.
They said that they would have remained on the sideline had it not been to the recent actions of Canivel’s group. Among this include the withholding of the employees’ salary, putting up of a new set of armed security personnel, and harassment to let them feel the power. One employee who requested to remain anonymous said that Ms. Gina Bequiso, who unashamedly expressed that salaries are being withheld and even remarked that they can bring the matter to any office. Ms. Bequiso’s probationary status as Finance Head ended earlier but she was rehired supposedly by Mr. Canivel.
The PWC employees thought that such intra-corporate dispute would remain among the BOT members but they were overtaken by events that have dragged them down affecting the smooth operation of the school and scheduled classes. They said that the events have gravely affected their morale.
Meanwhile, BOT Chair Ms. Elizabeth San Pedro Lietz, earlier issued a statement to clarify to all stakeholders that the status quo has to be maintained. This means that the current organizational setup of the PWC of Davao should continue until issues have been resolved; thereby making Prof. Vicente Antonio V. Pijano III, the current Chancellor and COO, the legitimate officer of the school. This strengthens the non-recognition of the employees of a new president.

However, the issuance of the Chair was not acknowledged by Mr. Canivel despite the filing of General Information Sheet at the Securities and Exchange Commission with SEC registration number 20082 filed on 18 February and accepted on 21 February 2023. Apparently, however, the group of Mr. Canivel claims that the SEC regulatory filing is bogus. Cases have been recently been filed for the courts to intervene and questioning the actions of the renegade Board.
The PWC has recently reorganized its expanded BOT from five to ten and have elected new set of officers. Still in the BOT are Ms. Leitz (Chair), Mrs. Benitez, Mr. Benitez, and Mr. Canivel. New members include Mary Jude B. Icasiano, Madeline D. Marfori, Dimple T. Dumandagan, Emil L. Englis (Treasurer), Maria Nancel S. Lanticse, Norjames S. Goad. The other officers of the Corporation are Atty. Robert A. Hernandez (Corporate Secretary), Vicente Antonio V. Pijano III, Deogracia B. Corpuz, Alma Rose B. Bersamo, and Maria Alma G. Facto.
The late Francisca, Conrado, and Helena Benitez have been recognized as the founders of PWC together with some families of Davao City 70 years ago. The institution is actually a private, non-stock, non-profit entity that is not owned by any of the founders but by the stakeholders such as employees, alumni, parents, and Davao community among others.
Current Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, Prof. Vicente Antonio V. Pijano, has thanked the PWC employees for being steadfast and encouraged them to remain calm to maintain peace and order. He also extended his apologies to everyone as they are caught in the middle of the intra-corporate dispute.
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