The aspirations, dreams, and hardwork of the two people sharing the same outlook in life – then Barrio Lieutenant Juanita Ybarle Vda. de Salmon and former Assemblyman Benjamin V. Bautista Sr. – paved way to the creation of SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES AGRI-BUSINESS AND MARINE AND AQUATIC SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY.
The journey began in 1966 when Municipal Ordinance No. 70 was passed, creating Malita Barangay High School, primarily to help the poor who could not afford to study in private schools.
The school started with only 80 students in one class with no school building and chairs to sit on. The class was held under a mango tree with the students sitting on the protruded roots of the tree.
Two years later, Municipal Ordinance No, 80 dated July 5, 1968 was passed converting the said Barangay High School to Malita Municipal High School with complete secondary curriculum. It was housed in a two-hectare lot in Poblacion, Malita – donated by Mrs. Juanita Ybarle Vda. De Salmon. This is where the 10-room Marcos type building was constructed with Ms. Rosario P. Dormitorio as the new High School Principal. But the dreamers did not stop dreaming. On February 8, 1982, Malita Municipal High School was converted into a state college and was named Malita Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology (MAMAST).
The dream came into a reality when the bill authored by Assemblyman Benjamin V. Bautista became into a law known as Batas Pambansa Blg. 148. The first president of MAMAST was ENGR. RAMON M. BARBON. The conversion from a mere high school to a state college was impressive. Most of
the state colleges evolved from an established tertiary school, but MAMAST was unique: a simple secondary school turned into a state college. It is a legacy which could never be erased because it has already been imprinted in our hearts the noble legacy of a DREAMER, a LEADER, and A FATHER.
The college was made operational in 1983. It initially offered three (3) courses – Agribusiness, Agriculture, and Fisheries. To widen the coverage of the institution, MAMAST was changed into SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES AGRI-BUSINESS AND MARINE AND AQUATIC SCHOOL OF TECHNOLOGY (SPAMAST) in 1984 by virtue of Batas Pambansa Blg. 651 through the efforts of the Father of SPAMAST-BENJAMIN V. BAUTISTA, SR.
Beginning 1989, SPAMAST, under the leadership of the second president Dr. Francisco G. Ladaga, Sr. acquired several properties through sales and donations. It
acquired an 8-hectare land in Barangay Buhangin, Malita, Davao Occidental which served as field laboratory for instructional purposes and income generating projects. The school has also acquired 5.4 hectares of land in Brgy, Matti, Digos City through a donation executed by the Provincial Government of Davao del Sur in September 1992. A 2.6
hectare land in Malita was purchased in May 1993, and another 1.5 hectare lot along the shoreline fronting the Malita Campus.
Within the span of six years, SPAMAST operated in three campuses – the Malita Campus, the Buhangin Campus, and the DIgos Campus. All the campuses have general education buildings constructed for instructional purposes, classrooms and laboratories. Other areas were intended for sports development and livelihood projects. Students’ dormitories and faculty houses were also constructed.
In 1995, with the intention of creating a significant niche in the agricultural development of the province the 28 hectare lot in Matanao was acquired. In 1997, the institution started offering the Graduate program in the two campuses, Malita and Digos Campus. Three years after, the College offered four (4) Master Degree
programs; seven (7) Bachelor degrees; two (2) Diploma courses; and a laboratory high school. It was also then that the rationalization of programs in the different campuses were initiated; thus, the Malita Campus was named: College of Agribusiness, Fisheries and Marine Sciences (CAFMS) with a satellite campus in Buhangin. Digos Campus was
named as College of Agricultural Sciences (CAS) with laboratory and production site in Matanao.
In 2001, the third president of SPAMAST, Dr. Alexander M. Campaner, was installed. His administration focused on strengthening the basic function of SPAMAST
which is Instruction. In September 2003, the Fisheries Program of the CAFMS attained the first level accreditation with the Accrediting Agency for Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP). In 2005, the Secondary Teacher Education, also from the CAFMS submitted to the same process.
To equally give due attention to the once “feeder” campus – Digos Campus, three programs e.g. Agribusiness, Agriculture, and the Secondary Teacher Education were also accredited on December 2006.
SPAMAST has extended its extension services to more barangays in the province, and even extended its services to the municipalities and areas surrounding Davao Gulf, joining collaborations with various government agencies, non-government institutions, people’s organizations, private firms and farms, cooperatives and individual entrepreneu rs.
A new president was installed in the person of Dr. Irvin C. Generalao for two-terms of which his second term ended last June 26, 2018. His term was characterized by
economic and political changes at the national scene, including major calamities that struck
the Davao and Visayas regions. These factors have also impacted changes on financing including the public higher education. Investment on higher education was quite favorable during these times. Budget on scholarships, capital outlay and operating expenses increased during this time. To complement, SPAMAST also pursued vigorous efforts to generate resources and secured partnerships with other government and non-government
agencies to propel the academic, research, extension and production mandates of the College.
The College saw a sizeable improvement during the early years of Dr. Generalao’s incumbency and significant accomplishments have been attained. There has been an increase in enrolment in Malita and Digos Campuses, new extension campuses were opened to cater the students in far flung areas. The significant improvement of curricula and motivating incentives caused the dramatic improvement in institutional passing rates in licensure examinations. SPAMAST recorded top notchers in licensure examinations: 2nd Place in Licensure Exam for Agricultural Engineers in 2012; 7 th Place in Licensure Exam for Agriculturists in 2015; and two (2) 8 th Placers in the Licensure Examination for Teachers both from Malita and Digos Campuses.
In 2017, SPAMAST tried to open the first review center in Malita and Digos Campus with remarkable record of passers in the Licensure Examination for Teachers. Graduate School Programs which were offered under consortium were approved by the Governing Board to be offered in SPAMAST.
On July 18, 2018, Dr. Raul C. Alvarez, Jr. CHED Region XI Regional Director, was designated as the Officer In-charge of the Office of the President of SPAMAST. He fervently requested the approval from the Board of Trustees (BOT) to offer new programs, Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Bachelor of Science in Social Work in SY 2019- 2020 to attract new entrants, thereby, increasing the enrolment.
Dr. Alvarez was insistent in the reopening of extension classes in Jose Abad Santos and Sarangani, Davao Occidental to cater students who are in far flung areas where physical accessibility to tertiary education can impede the pursuit of education. In the pursuit of quality teaching and learning, television and speakers were installed in every classroom to supplement limited number of DLPs intended for instructions. This move transpired teachers to become continuously innovative in their transfer of knowledge to students.
The installation of new Director for CHED Region XI, paved way for Dr. Maricar R. Casquejo, CESO III to be the OIC President of SPAMAST on March 2019.
The fourth and the first female president of SPAMAST – Dr. Ruth S. Lucero - was installed on May 14, 2019. She believed that the main asset of any organization lies in
people. She heavily invested in seminars and trainings of the faculty and staff to improve
productivity, capability, and competence adhering to 21 st century skills and education 4.0. She pioneered SPAMAST in its PRIME-HRM assessment, the first in Davao Occidental, to elevate the level of governance and delivery of efficient services to its clienteles.