The aspirations, dreams, and hard work 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
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
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 entrepreneurs.
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
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: 7 th
Place in Licensure Exam for Fisheries Technologist in 2009; 8 th Place in Licensure Exam
for Fisheries Technologist for 2010; 2 nd 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
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 fifth and the first female president of SPAMAST – Dr. Ruth S. Lucero - was
installed on May 14, 2019. She heavily invested in seminars and trainings of the faculty
and staff to improve productivity, capability, and competence adhering to 21st century skills
and education 4.0. She had her investiture on August 9, 2019 at Royal Mandaya Hotel,
Davao City which was attended by the CHED Commissioner Lilian Delas Llagas.
Last September 2019, after challenging and thrilling months of training and
preparation, SPAMAST submitted itself to the Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and
Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM) accreditation. After a year of
waiting, SPAMAST was granted the CSC’s PRIME-HRM Bronze Award and received a
crystal plaque which was awarded virtually during the engagement of the PCHRMP of
Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental on September 24, 2020.
Dr. Lucero’s presidency is indeed a challenging one. Her lead was tested by
countless challenges such as major succeeding earthquakes which happened on October
to December 2019, African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak, and the CoVid-19 which is still
present up to this time. In spite of these mishaps, Dr. Lucero’s plans and aspirations for
SPAMAST are still shining and gearing towards excellence.
In the field of research and extension, numerous research proposals and extension
projects were approved. The said RDE projects through the supervision of Dr. Lucero
paves the way in addressing the needs of the locality, community and the society as one.
In the production area, new buildings were built in SPAMAST Malita Campus and
SPAMAST Buhangin Annex to support Funding projects. On the other hand, some of the
buildings are still on the process of completion and are expected to function this year.
In the area of instruction, despite the emergence of CoVid-19, classes are still
offered through flexible learning to ensure quality and sustainable education. The COVID
19 pandemic has brought drastic transformation in the educational landscape. SPAMAST
for one is unprepared of this unanticipated health crisis that tested the leadership of the
neophyte president. The continuity of learning while ensuring the safety of everyone was of
prime concern at the time. So as not to disrupt classes, an introduction of other alternative
modality of learning other than the usual face to face was ensued.
A keen understanding of the situation and an agile mind was the administration’s
weapon to cope CoVid-19.
This year 2020 is indeed a big break for SPAMAST and Dr. Lucero. One of the
biggest milestone is the official separation of SPAMAST Digos Campus from SPAMAST
Malita Campus that challenges the college to create effective and strategic transitional plan
and decisions to continuously manage the operation and smoothly implement the
separation ensuring the welfare and quality of both colleges. The increase of the number of
enrollees from undergraduate and graduate studies in the institutions was even noticeable
despite the said separation.
Indeed, once driven with determination and aspirations, nothing is impossible.
Thus, nothing is impossible to Southern Philippines Agri-business and Marine and Aquatic
School of Technology. We might be tested with countless calamities, problems, be it
natural or man-made, traditional or the new normal, we stand firm to sustain excellence
and quality service because we are one, and we are SPAMAST.