TACLOBAN CITY – A PHP110 million Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Eastern Visayas regional office will rise at the Government Center in Palo, Leyte, an official announced Thursday.

CHED Regional Director Maximo Aljibe said in a press briefing procurement process will start soon after the issuance on Wednesday of the special allotment release order for the project.

“This is going to be the biggest CHED regional office building in the country. Each floor of the three-story building will have an area of 900 meters,” Aljibe added.

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Tingog Partylist pushed for the funding of the project, he said.

The official is eyeing to complete the construction of the new building within two years.

The CHED in Eastern Visayas is currently holding office inside the Eastern Visayas State University campus in this city.

Meanwhile, 11 public and private tertiary schools will join this year’s Eastern Visayas Collegiate Athletic Association (EVCAA) basketball tournament.

This is the second season of the EVCAA since 2019 since it was suspended in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions.

The event will open on September 6 and 7, while the rest of the games will be held during weekends until November 18.

Opening and championship rounds will take place at the Tacloban City Convention Center.

“The first season proves the success that there were plans to continue this sports event select the best players from college school. The pandemic forced every one of us is to reevaluate the necessity of sports in the wholistic development of our students, particularly its health benefits,” Aljibe said.

Participating teams are from Biliran Island Province State University, Eastern Samar State University, Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU), Leyte Normal University, Northwest Samar State University, Remedios T. Romualdez Medical Foundation (RTRMF), Samar State University, St. Paul School of Professional Studies (SPSPS), Southern Leyte State University (SLSU), University of Eastern Philippines, and Visayas State University.

Of the 11 schools, only RTRMF and SPSPS are privately owned, and the rest are state-run universities and colleges. All government tertiary schools joined the first season in 2019 except SLSU.

Each team will have 15 players. The champion will receive PHP100,000 cash prize, while the first and second runner-ups will get PHP70,000 and PHP50,000, respectively.

The team from EVSU was the overall champion during the first season of the basketball tournament in April 2019. (PNA)