The Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology has a humble beginning. What now stands as the only state college in Northern Negros and the only science and technology state college in the Province of Negros Occidental was once the Old Sagay Barangay High School (OSBHS) that started to operate in 1970. Its foundation was made possible by then Municipal Mayor, Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr., Brgy. Capt. Pedro G. Katalbas and Mr. Leopoldo Fernandez, who became its first Principal. Its pioneer graduates included ten students.
In 1978, OSBHS was converted into a Municipal High School with Mrs. Priscilla L. Amar as the head-designate. In that same year, Mayor Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. and Dr. Elpidio M. Icamina, President of the Iloilo State College of Fisheries (ISCOF), Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo signed the historical Memorandum of Agreement that transformed OSBHS into an extension campus of ISCOF. This major development in the school’s history was also made possible with the help of Congressman Narciso Monfort. This was also the year when the government of Osterholt, West Germany donated books, equipment and an eight-classroom building that added to the limited facilities of the school. In the succeeding years, the same government has continued granting aids to the school with an additional donation of a fishing boat and a five-hectare brackish-water fishpond located at Tabunan, Brgy. Taba-ao, Sagay , Negros Occidental.
Five years later, the passage of B.P. 359 on March, 3, 1983, which was authored and sponsored by then Assemblyman Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr. converted the Municipal High School into the Iloilo State College of Fisheries-Sagay Branch. Prof. Pepito B. Bedia became its first designated Officer-in-Charge. In 1985, the College offered a technical course in fisheries, the Diploma in Fishery Technology. There were ten pioneering students who took their classes in the evening. Four years later, under the officership of Mr. Artmeio A. Violeta, baccalaureate courses were offered, such as, B.S. in Secondary education major in Biology and General Science, and B.S. in Fisheries major in Aquaculture. A year after, additional major fields of specialization, such as Fish Processing Technology, Marine Fisheries and Coastal Resource Management, were added to the degree B.S. in Fisheries. This time, the College was under the leadership of Mrs. Wynne S. Silva who was appointed as Office-in-Charge in 1990.
To further boost the development of the College and make it more responsive to the academic demands of the area, a Graduate Program offering Master of Arts in Educational Management major in Vocational Productivity and Master in Public Administration was started in the Second Semester of School year 1994-1995. This was a consortium program between the ISCOF Graduate Studies and the Aklan State College of Agriculture (ASCA). Mr. Alberto A. Silva served as the coordinator of the ISCOF-ASCA Graduate Studies Consortium Program. However, the College offered its own graduate program for Master in Fisheries Technology major in Aquaculture. The same school year also gave birth to a new baccalaureate degree, the Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation, which was made possible through the effort of then Congressman Manuel H. Puey and College President Dr. Elpidio A. Locsin, Jr.
The ISCOF-ASCA Graduate Studies Consortium Program was however terminated in 1996, but continued by the College as one of its program. Two years later, a post-graduate program, Doctor in Rural Development with different fields of specialization was offered.
1998 made a special mark on the history of the College. On January 9, Republic Act 8448 became a law converting the Iloilo State College of Fisheries-Sagay Branch into the Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology. The historical law was authored and sponsored by Hon. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr., Representative of the Second Congressional District of the Province of Negros Occidental. This earned for the Congressman the distinction the “Father of NONESCOST”. Those who worked with him for the passage of the law where Hon. Joseph G. Marañon, City Mayor of Sagay, Dr. Elpidio A. Locsin, Jr., President of ISCOF, and the men and women who were already then a part of the College.
Now that it has become an independent state college, its management has since then been under its own Board of Trustees and College President. Dr. Ephraim R. Estacion, jr. became its first Officer-in-Charge who was designated on July 1998. Dr. Manuel R. Penachos, Jr. who was appointed as officer-in-Charge on June 1999 and eventually became its First President months later succeeded him. However, due to health reasons, he had to tender his resignation eleven months after. His resignation paved the way for the succession of Mac Arthur D. Beldia, Ph. D., who was Vice President for Administration of the Panay State Polytechnic College, Pontevedra, Capiz prior to his designation as Officer-in-Charge on October 25, 2000. On January, 2001, the Search Committee for the Presidency (SCP) was convened. There were a total of seven candidates who submitted themselves to the process. On January 25, 2001, the SCP submitted four (4) finalists to the Board of Trustees, which on that day was holding its 9th Regular Board Meeting. After deliberation, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted Dr. Beldia as the Second President of the College. His appointment took effect that day, January 25, 2002.
Dr. Beldia took oath as College President on April 17, 2001 before Chairman Esther Albano-Garcia of the Commission of Higher Education in her Office at DAP Building, San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. On July 18, 2001, in a simple ceremony, the Second President was installed in investiture rites in the college quadrangle. The ceremony was attended by the Members of the Board of Trustees of the College, Presidents of the various SUCs in the region, local government officials and heads of government agencies.
The year 2001 has been very meaningful for the College. It was blest to receive from the City Government of Sagay a seven-hectare lot situated at Sitio Tan-ao, Barangay Poblacion 2, Sagay City. The Deed of Donation was finally signed by Hon. Fortunato S. Javelosa, City Mayor of Sagay, and Dr. Mac Arthur D. Beldia, President of the College, in a simple ceremony held last November 29, 2001 at the College Ground. The ceremony was witnessed by the Members of the Board of Trustees, City Officials, Members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, Members of the Faculty and Staff, and students. This donated lot will serve as an additional school site of the College. As envisioned by the College President, it shall be the site for the Agriculture and Information Technology Departments, and the Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) Center of the College.
On August 24, 2002, Dr. Victor E. Navarra from the Commission on Higher Education, Regional Office 6 was designated by the Board of Trustees as Officer-in-Charge, Office of the College President.
On January 1, 2004, Rogelio T. Artajo, took over as the third president of the college. His one year old administration has succeeded in opening the way for the accreditation of some of the college’s program, in forging a consortium with the Cebu State College of Science and Technology which affords the college faculty a convenient opportunity to pursue masteral and doctoral degrees, establishing the only school of nursing in Northern Negros and the only government school of nursing in Negros island, renovating the administration building and holding the first Tripartite forum which gave the students a chance to air their gripes against the faculty and the administration.
Right from the start of his administration, Dr. Rogelio T. Artajo’s battlecry for quality education and accreditation has come to its realization. Dr. Artajo’s presidency is distinctive for its vigorous effort to establish cooperative relation with government agencies and fellow state colleges and universities. This effort paved the way for the College to raise its SUC Level from Level 0 to Level II. He also realized his dream that the College would become the only ISO 9001:2008 certified state college in the province.
The year 2012 is the transformational point for NONESCOST because Dr. Romulo T. Sisno, the 4th President of the College, was elected and assumed his office on June 25, 2012. The major mission of his administration is to put light on the NONESCOST Road to 2016. This mission is anchored to the following tasks: rationalizing the academic programs and instructional methods, enhancing a good learning environment, employing strategies to increase enrollment of some courses, improving the percentage of passers in the licensure examinations, expanding research and extension programs, enhancing human resource management system, expanding student services, securing and expanding the landholdings of the College for future development, and generating more resources to further improve the services of the College to its clienteles.
Year 2012 also marks the culmination and consolidation of the gains of the previous and present years in the fulfillment of the four-fold functions of the College. The school’s administration faculty and staff could humbly proclaim with confidence that the mission has been accomplished with flying colors. The College can now claim the distinction as the only and first ISO 9001:2008 certified institution in Region 6. The College made a historic achievement in its 4th batch of Nursing of which the College produced three(3) topnotchers ( No. 4, 7 & 9) in the 2012 Nursing Licensure Examinations(NLEX) and garnered 91.38% passing percentage for its first-takers.
In 2013, the City of Escalante, through Hon. Mayor Melecio J. Yap Jr. donated the parcel of land of 4.2 hectares to the College as an additional school site for the NONESCOST-Escalante City Campus. Also constructed during this year was the 2-storey 6-classroom building at Laga-an Campus, Calatrava. This building was funded by the LGU-Calatrava, the Provincial Government and 1st Congressional District of Negros Occidental.
Year 2014 has placed increasing pressure on the part Administration to continually adjust to the changes brought by the challenges of globalization while maintaining its competitiveness and relevance. Thus in response to these challenges and to prove that NONESCOST is true to its mission, the LOVE Project (Learning Environment and Facilities Improvement, Outreach and Research Enhancement, Values Clarification and Formation Employees Growth and Development) was launched as vehicle to reposition itself into becoming more competitive and responsive to the needs of its stakeholders. Dr. Sisno strongly believed that with the College LOVE Project there is no doubt that NONESCOST will reach the peak of its dream of becoming a Leader in Education towards Academic Excellence and Development(LEAD) in the year 2020. Also, during this year, the College was granted ISO 9001:2008 Recertification by the Anglo Japanese American (AJA) Registrars with ISO Certificate Number AJA12-0653 for Quality Management of Educational System on January 23-24, 2014.
In 2015, the College continually improved the standard and quality of education it provides by maintaining and improving its good standing in Licensure Examinations, most of its first takers got higher passing rate compared to the national passing percentage and its first batch of Midwifery graduates got 100% passing rate. In terms of infrastructure development, NONESCOST completed the construction of the Science Laboratory Building with 4 lecture rooms and 3 laboratory rooms and the 2-storey Science and Technology Building.
Year 2016 has brought many blessings to NONESCOST. The momentum of the College’s success continued when Dr. Romulo T. Sisno was re-appointed for another term as College President from June 25, 2019 to June 24, 2020. He started the realization of Roadmap 2020 which is geared towards SUN Negros- State University of Northern Negros. The 7.2 hectares lot donation from the City of Sagay, through Hon. Mayor Alfredo D. Marañon III, expanded the landholdings of the College which is a requirement to become a university in the near future.
Young as it is, the College can still grow and become the state college as envisioned by the law and its founding father, Hon. Alfredo G. Marañon, Jr., Given the necessary support and equipped with the most competent and professionally trained manpower both in the academic and administrative fields, the College can become the best state college in the region and most probably of the country.
History is still being written by the men and women who continuously pass under the portals of the College. More is yet to come and the College can still prove its worth, realize its vision, fulfill its mandate and attain it objectives, only for the highest ideals of education.
Source: Interviews and School Records