RUSTY G. ABANTO, Ph.D joined CNSC as an instructor in 1997. He rose from ranks from being an Instructor to Professor 4. He held various administrative positions such as Planning Director (2005 -2007/2010-2011), Dean of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (2011-2013), VP for Academic Affairs and concurrent Dean of the Graduate School (2013-2017) until he was elected as the 5th CNSC President on February 15, 2017.

He earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Science in UPLB (2010), MS in Environmental Science in UNC (2002), and BS Forestry in UPLB (1995).  He was chosen to be part of the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) at the University of California (UC) in Berkeley, USA in 2011.

Currently ranked Professor 4 at age 46, he prefers to be called a homegrown President of Camarines Norte State College with unwavering commitment to bring about “the greatest good for the greatest number of people” in his administration.



Rusty G. Abanto, Ph.D.

“A vision without action is just like a dream;

An action without vision just passes time;

A vision coupled with action can change the world!” – Nelson Mandela

Banking on Humble Achievements

For more than two decades, the Camarines Norte State College (CNSC), being the only state-run higher education institution in Camarines Norte which was established by virtue of  Republic Act 7352 has been and continues to attend to the needs of the province by providing affordable and quality tertiary and graduate education to its clientele. In this short period, CNSC has ably performed the mandated functions of instruction, research, and extension expected  of public higher education institutions (PHEIs).

CNSC has been very successful in its quest for academic excellence as shown by the remarkable performance of its graduates in board exams in the field of engineering, accountancy and   education. Despite the      limitations in the facilities for learning but with supervision from faculty members who are equipped with the required expertise, it has already produced board examination topnotchers. Moreover, CNSC has also subjected its various  programs to  Accrediting Agency for Chartered Colleges and Universities of the Philippines (AACCUP) accreditation with some curricular programs already at Levels 2 and 3 accredited statuses, thus, making them more attuned to the minimum standards  set by  the  Commission on   Higher   Education (CHED). There   is also an on-going certification to ISO 9001:2008 in order to meet international standards in terms of transaction flow.

We saw also in the last two decades the transformation of CNSC from a mere teaching College to  a College  doing research. Notable achievements have been recorded on research,  particularly in  the areas  of engineering, information technology, education, fisheries,  agriculture and environment. Despite being a neophyte in this field, CNSC was able to carry out most of the researches on basic and baseline social science studies. There were faculty researchers also who had presented their research outputs in the local, regional, national and international fora. Publication in the international refereed journal was likewise realized. Moreover, external funding for researches had been tapped to augment limited internally allocated research budget. Similar achievements can  be observed in another equally important function of extension. Extension activities have been conducted to promote the socio-economic welfare of the target  clientele  benefiting  farmers,  fishermen in the depressed barangays, most especially the cultural minorities. (CNSC 2014 Annual Report).

Moreover, in order to cope with the limited government subsidy, CNSC has also established and strengthened its income generation function. At present, there are modest income generating projects contributing some significant  amounts  to the budget of CNSC. This modest income helped the institution to be more  effective  and efficient  in the  delivery of   the  services  to  the academic community (CNSC 5-Year Development Plan).

However, this doesn’t mean that CNSC will rest on its laurels. The more CNSC will have to work hard if it is to carve its own niche in the academic world; if CNSC is to secure its own identity as a premier PHEI providing excellent higher education – as in “tatak” CNSC.  This implies looking and examining the achievements of the  past  administrations and  to learn  from their  experiences including  their  mistakes.  It  further  implies  banking on  their  accomplishments and gains. This puts the next administration, in a way,  in  advantageous  position to  continue and  sustain  the  programs that work and to launch new programs toward realizing the vision and mission for CNSC.


 Sustaining the gained momentum will ensure that CNSC continues to provide excellent higher education to its clientele. Building on the initial successes it has attained  as far  the  quest for academic excellence is concerned, CNSC will transcend its achievements and  will  strive  to create   distinctive excellence  in the field of  engineering, education, business and public administration, arts and sciences, agriculture, fisheries and environment. CNSC shall transform from a mere teaching College to a research College where research outputs are   disseminated   and utilized by the end-users.  On top of these and amidst financial limitations and other challenges, CNSC shall emerge as a higher education institution that knows good housekeeping, where good governance is the standard operating procedure (SOP), frugal  in  its  utilization  of  scarce  government resources, generating more income, optimizes available human and material resources, promotes and guards the welfare of its faculty, staff and students and with the  support of  its alumni  and the surrounding communities and other benefactors being felt towards an improved physical infra-facilities equipped with modern state of the art facilities creating an easy name recall for the College as in “tatak” CNSC – our own identity. These are the enabling environment that will lead CNSC in becoming a premier public higher education institution not only in the province of Camarines Norte but in the Bicol Region in general.

Towards a Greater Role: Planned University Status

 With a proposal seeking for university status already in progress, CNSC will prepare itself to become the first and only university in the province of Camarines Norte. Efforts have to be pooled now on  massive  faculty  and  staff  development  program,  physical  facilities  improvement, quality assurance and program accreditation and system redirection. A greater challenge therefore faces its leaders, faculty, staff, students and alumni in order to chart a new direction for the College to be relevant  and  responsive  to  the challenges locally, nationally, regionally and globally. CNSC like a caterpillar that hibernates and comes out in the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly will emerge as a premier institution of higher learning producing quality, employable and competitive graduates.

Given the chance to be of service as the next College President, I will serve CNSC with all honesty, integrity and commitment to bring along the institution towards the realization of its vision – ONward to Excellence CNSC: A  Premier  Public  Higher  Education Institution In Bicol Region. A path that will take us where we will be able to build on the  gains of the past administrations and at the same time where we can take advantage of available opportunities for breaking new grounds and laying the foundation for achieving higher goals. In the next four years, together we will carry out strategic actions that will pave the way to the realization of our common vision. With God’s guidance, my leadership will focus on providing an environment that will inspire,  unite  and empower CNSC students, faculty and staff as one community committed to the goals and mandates of our institution. I intend to do all these through the following Strategic  Directions  and  Initiatives  as  contained  in  our  CNSC  Strategic  Development Plan, 2014-2020, to wit:




Strategic Initiative 1: Attract and support outstanding and promising students

To pursue   this   initiative   requires   the   implementation  of effective recruitment strategies that will cover all secondary schools in Camarines Norte  and  those   in   adjacent        communities of  nearby provinces. Suitable information dissemination activities shall be done by attending career development meetings with senior  high    school   students     and    distributing

CNSC prospectus to inspire prospective students about CNSC’s learning-friendly campus environment, competitive merit-based scholarships and other forms of financial assistance, curricular offerings, faculty profile, school events and activities and the like. Performance indicators shall include:

  1. Increased number of entrance scholars

  2. Increased number of incoming freshmen

  3. Provision of academic scholarships and other financial assistance

  4. Increased passing percentage rates  in  all  curricular  offerings  requiring board examinations

Strategic Initiative 2. Sustain the scheme of providing the students a wholesome and experiential learning environment and effective, guide mentoring

Over the years, experience demonstrates  that  learning   and  success of students are expedited by consistent active  combination  of scholarly curricular and extra-curricular activities as well as harmonious collaboration between faculty members and students. To prepare the students face the challenges when they step out of CNSC as graduates and be responsible assets of the  society, CNSC shall provide  multiple  and diverse opportunities for students to immerse with  the  outside  world  through  the  OJT/Practicum scheme. Performance indicators along this initiative shall be:

  1. Enhance on-the-job/off-campus/fieldwork immersion scheme

  2. Strong linkages with other government agencies and  the private sector for the OJT/Off-campus/Immersion program

  3. Active participation of all students in at least one experiential learning program (internship, research, field experience)

  4. Established linkages with local and foreign universities

  5. Active involvement of students in campus activities

  6. Recognized outstanding achievements of students both in co- and extra-curricular activities

Strategic Initiative 3. Enrich existing curricular programs and  offer new ones to be more responsive to the current realities, new challenges and opportunities

Rapid technological advances, ever-increasing population and climate change are only a few of current realities which lead to the emergence of new industries and businesses, changing human habits, environment-related occurrences and a lot more to which CNSC has to adapt in pursuit of its mandate. Avoiding  a  mismatch  between  industry  needs and the preparation of its graduates necessitates adjustments in the existing curricular programs and  preparations made to offer new ones. Performance indicators shall include:

  1. Reviewed and assessed curricular programs, policies and memoranda on curriculum and instruction;

  2. Developed new curricular and graduate degree programs for fields of  specialization and ladderized courses;

  3. Number of TESDA accredited programs;

  4. Obtained accreditation of curricular programs (Levels 1-3)

  5. New graduate programs offered in other colleges

  6. ISA assessed

  7. Assessed as SUC Level IV

Strategic Initiative 4: Raise the level of professional competence and degree of commitment among the faculty

Enhancing the professional and career development of the faculty members redounds to better trained, better educated and better prepared graduates. Sustaining the existing Faculty Development Program, faculty members are  encouraged  to pursue postgraduate degree programs and also participate in seminars, trainings and the like, both local and international. Improving the Faculty Merit, Selection and Promotion System encourages the faculty to perform their task more diligently and professionally. Performance indicators include:

  1. Increased percentage of faculty with master and doctorate degrees;

  2. Increased discipline-appropriate scholarly or creative performance (peer reviewed publications/presentations, performance, honors, awards);

  3. Increased participation in relevant training/conferences/seminars/workshops/fora;

  4. Enhanced Faculty Merit, Selection and Promotion System

Strategic Initiative 5: Make available appropriate and adequate instructional and laboratory equipment, materials and other facilities

CNSC shall strive to make  available  to students appropriate  and  adequate  library resources, instructional  and  laboratory  equipment, materials  and  other  facilities to prepare them face the challenges of the highly-competitive world. Coping up with rapid technological advances requires consistent updating of equipment and other facilities. Performance indicators include:

  1. Approved Laboratory Manuals and Modules;

  2. New and state-of-the-art  laboratory and library  equipment and  facilities, and  tools for maintenance;

  3. Modern library services and resources (e-library, wifi ready, library electronic recording   system)

  4. Increased library holdings




Strategic Initiative 1: Generate research outputs on identified commodities and on studies that will serve as bases/inputs for policy making,  curriculum  development, extension    services, production projects and administrative system and services enhancement.

The research capability of CNSC faculty and staff shall be strengthened on a wide array of areas of concern not only on identified commodities. Establishing strong external linkages shall, likewise, be vigorously pursued in search of funds to support research studies.

Providing quality higher education requires that measurable learning outcomes should be specified, student progress towards these outcomes rigidly assessed, and curricular programs and teaching methods modified on the basis of results of assessment and institutional research.

The College shall update its thrusts and priorities for research and development and encourage its faculty researchers to direct their research efforts on the identified priorities. Performance indicators are:

  1. Enhanced CNSC Research and Development Policy Guidelines;

  2. Increased number of faculty researchers involved in research;

  3. Published research outputs in local, national and international refereed journals;

  4. Increased number of  researches  presented  in  local,  national,  regional,  national  and international fora/conferences;

  5. Increased number of externally-sources funding agencies, government and private, and amounts granted for research projects;

  6. Patented and copyrighted products of research and development;

  7. Increased externally source-out research and development funding;

  8. Timely liquidation of externally source-out funds

Strategic Initiative 2: Vitalize the CNSC extension services as its arm to reach out to communities

Apart from disseminating to the communities the outputs of researches conducted by the CNSC faculty and staff, collaboration with other government agencies, LGUs and private sector  shall  be  sustained  in  introducing  interventions that will help improve the communities’ living standards.

CNSC shall develop and implement research-based extension programs, projects and activities. Performance indicators include:

  1. Increased number of persons trained (agricultural, technical/vocational   and  continuing education);

  2. Increased number of adopters of research-based technology;

  3. Increased number and names of LGUs, government agencies and private groups collaborating with CNSC on implementing extension projects;

  4. Increased number of viable techno-demo projects with positive ROI & IRR;

  5. Increased number of LGUs assisted in development planning




Strategic Initiative 1: Promote professional ethics, integrity and a culture of accountability among the CNSC personnel

Quality assurance as the outcome of executing CNSC’s mandated functions is accompanied by parallel attention to effective and efficient administrative services. Discussions on the provisions of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees

shall be regularly conducted to guide CNSC personnel in the performance of their duties. Likewise, good governance policy guidelines shall be enhanced. Performance indicators will include:

  1. Reviewed/assessed office policies  and standards for improvement purposes  aimed  at  enhancing policies on good governance;

  2. Conducted annual reorientation & year-end report;

Strategic Initiative 2. Enhance the career development of non-academic personnel

The Human Resources Development Program shall be enhanced and sustained. Non-academic personnel shall be encouraged either to pursue postgraduate  studies or to participate in seminars, trainings, conferences and the like. An Executive Training Program shall be developed for the top and middle management officers. Performance indicators shall be:

  1. Established CNSC Non-Academic Personnel Development Program;

  2. Increased number of non-academic personnel sent to related seminars, trainings and conferences;

  3. Increased number of non-academic personnel rewarded   and   recognized for exemplary service

Strategic Imitative 3. Enhance and Improve Decentralization Policy Guidelines for Selected Functions

On account of having five (5) satellite campuses, some problems are met in the CNSC’s operation particularly in fiscal management. Depending   on the level of authority, decentralization of selected functions shall be enhanced and instituted for greater efficiency and effectiveness. Performance indicator  will be:

  1. Enhanced and Improved Administrative Decentralization System

Strategic Initiative 4. Provide adequate staff complement

 The quality, efficiency and timeliness of the wide ranging  work  in the college can be secured when there is adequate staff complement with availability of  the appropriate supplies and equipment. CNSC shall improve its system of procurement and personnel hiring by introducing management innovations, incorporating regular  monitoring and  evaluation of the resources both material and human. Performance indicators are the following:

  1. Increased number of filled plantilla positions;

  2. Attained ideal faculty-staff ratio based on CHED standard;

  3. Improved faculty & staff profile

Strategic Initiative 5. Promote health and wellness of CNSC personnel

As a matter of policy in order to maintain a contented and cheerful workforce, the health and wellness of CNSC personnel shall be promoted. Healthy personnel are encouraged to exercise diligence in the performance of their tasks. The probability of absence is also reduced. Performance indicators will include:

  1. Acquired health and wellness equipment for all campuses;

  2. Improved health and wellness program;

  3. Increased number of personnel participating in the health and wellness program;

Strategic Initiative 6. Uphold international standards through a Quality Management System

Raising the level of standards in the area of instruction, research, extension and production as well as administration opens the CNSC for greater heights and horizon. This will pave the way for attaining international recognition. Moreover, the   culture of operational    efficiency and effective delivery of services will be imbibed by the CNSC family. Performance indicator includes:

  1. ISO 9001:2008 Certification

Strategic Initiative 7. Support the move for the unification of the nine (9) SUCs in the Region V into the Bicol University System

Dwindling subsidy from the National Government necessitates the rationalization of Philippine Higher Education. This will optimize the utilization of scarce resources, enhance cooperation and minimize competition among SUCs, and eliminate/reduce duplicity of functions and redundancy of programs. Performance indicators are the following:

  1. Attendance to/participation in  regional conferences on  amalgamation  including  active involvement in meetings of the Technical Working Group for Academic Excellence.

Strategic Initiative 8. Improve the operation of income-generating projects from existing land and fishery resources and other entrepreneurial endeavors

 Revenues from income-generating projects augment the declining subsidy from the National Government. To increase revenues from IGPs and promote profitability and productivity, existing operations of these projects shall be improved to reduce production costs and produce greater yield. Projects posting negative Return on Investment shall be discontinued and more viable IGPs pursued. Performance indicators shall be:

  1. Improved ROIs of the existing IGP activities on crops, animal and fishery based productions;

  2. Implemented new IGP;

  3. Increased income from production

Strategic Initiative 9. Provide state-of-the-art and climate smart physical facilities that will make the College in compliance to global standard

 Provision of suitable classrooms, laboratory rooms, comfort rooms and offices for faculty and staff as well as sufficient perimeter fence make campus life more convenient. As such, campus atmosphere becomes conducive in undertaking scholarly activities. As the global standards for education continues to soar high and climate changes pose risks to the infrastructures of the Colleges, CNSC shall make sure that its physical  facilities  projects  are well-planned with the integration of  global  architectural standards as well as climate risk sensitivity. Performance indicators will be:

  1. Enhanced architectural plans of future physical facilities projects;

  2. Minimized infrastructure damages from natural disasters like typhoons and flooding;

  3. Improved level of comfort and convenience among students, faculty and   staff   in the    performance of their daily activities;

  4. Improved accessibility of different buildings in all campuses especially for persons with disabilities (PWDs)

  5. Reliable access to the world wide web;

  6. Installed trunkline telephone system in all campuses;

  7. Increased number of computers and other equipment provided to offices, and

  8. Maintained an inventory of office supplies and other materials

  9. Updated Site Development Plans of campuses;

  10. New buildings constructed (, laboratory buildings, dormitory for male and female students etc.);

  11. Renovated/repaired old structures;

  12. Completed unfinished road network in several campuses;

  13. Completed construction of perimeter fence in all campuses;

  14. Perfected land titles of CNSC’s real properties;

  15. Installed Water Filtration System in some campuses with no potable water



Inevitable Change

 In the coming years, CNSC will further undergo inevitable change. We just need to be reminded of what M. Ghandi has said, and I quote: “You must be the change you want to see in this world.” Indeed, if CNSC has to embrace a greater role as a premier higher education institution; change becomes imperative for  each  and every  one. This  reminds  us  of  our  individual  and              collective commitment and willingness to work together to attain our common vision that is “Onward to Excellence CNSC: A Premier Public Higher Education Institution in Bicol Region”.