The Palompon Institute of Technology was established in June 18, 1961. The operation started in 1964 as the Palompon School of Arts and Trades (PSAT) through House Bill 1105, otherwise known as RA 3394, authored by then-Congressman Marcelino R. Veloso of the 3rd District of Leyte. As provided for in the said act, PSAT functioned as a secondary trade school under the Bureau of Vocational and offered only the 4-year secondary trade curriculum.
With an enrolment of 184 students in the first year high school, the school started operating on August 3, 196, initially holding classes at the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) building adjacent to the town hall as well as in rented private houses. Not much later, a 5.8-hectare school site was acquired through the efforts of Mr. Evaristo Salvoro, Vocational Department head of Leyte Institute of Technology, who was designated officer-in-charge of the school. But it was Mr. Conrado G. Mercado, upon his assumption to office as the school principal in 1965, who started the construction of the first two permanent buildings: the 2-storey Related Subjects building and the boy’s shop building. Mr. Mercado was succeeded in 1968 by the next principal, Mr. Salvador Arandia, who was instrumental in the construction of a temporary administration building and a girl’s shop building.
On July 17, 1967, the Palompon School of Arts and Trades was converted into a chartered state college by virtue of RA 5101 authored by Congressman Marcelino R. Veloso and was consequently renamed Palompon Institute of Technology.
However, PIT could not immediately function as a chartered state college due to many constraints, so for a time, it continued to operate as a non-chartered state institution directly under the Bureau of Vocational Education
With the passing away of Mr. Arandia on July 24, 1972, Mr. Antonio D. Sanica, then head of the school’s vocational department, became the school-in-charge pending the appointment of a new principal. During his short tint in office (1971-1972). Mr. Sanica made possible the leveling of the southern portion of the school site and the construction of a small permanent stage for programs, convocations, and socio-cultural presentations.
On May 8, 1972, Mr. Juanito S. Sison, fresh from his stint as secondary school head teacher of Hilongos, Leyte, took over as principal. But no sooner had he assumed office than Dr. Paulino I. Villagonzalo was assigned to administer the Institute, first as superintendent and school-in-charge and later as acting President.
Finally, on August 31, 1972, PIT was formally organized and operated as a chartered state college. Now, with an independent governing Board of Trustees, it ceased to be under the management and supervision of the Bureau of Vocational Education.
With Dr. Villagonzalo at the helm, the Institute began to more rapidly forward. Through this initiative, the first set of motor vehicles for instructional purposes was acquired without cost from the Leyte Institute of Technology. The expansion of the school site was undertaken and a long-range development plan was formulated. The plan provided for the construction of a number of buildings for academic classes, a science laboratory, library, shops, student dormitories, auditorium, gymnasium, and an athletic grandstand.
Furthermore, the Institute’s academic program was expanded t make it relevant and responsive to the needs of the times. With an initial enrollment of 28 students, the two-year collegiate technician curriculum was offered in SY 1973-1974, with the following areas of specialization: Automotive Technology, Wood Technology, Garments Technology and Foods Technology. In the years that followed, enrollment increased as several other degree courses were offered, so that by SY 1981-1982, PIT had various curricular offerings with the degree programs of Bachelors of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT), Home Technology Education (BSHTE), Industrial Technology (BSIT) and Industrial Education (BSIE), non-degree programs of Associates in Marine Engineering, Radio Communications Technology, Industrial Technology, and Home Technology, Secondary Education (Laboratory High School) and Extension Education Programs (6-month Basic Seaman Training Course and Short-term vocation courses for out-of-school youths and adults).
As part of the Institute’s curricular expansion efforts, graduate courses started to be offered in the summer of 1977 by virtue of Board Resolution No. 4, s. 1977. The courses were foundation or basic courses for a master’s degree for teachers, principals, supervisors, and other school officials. This laid the groundwork for the establishment of the PIT Graduate School in the next few years.
In addition to all the efforts to upgrade instruction and the Institute’s physical plant and facilities, research, extension, socio-cultural and sports activities were also intensified. Thus, despite its being a fledgling institution of higher learning, PIT easily became the hub of these activities in northwestern Leyte, its service area.
Even with Dr. Villagonzalo’s retirement in 1982, PIT continued to grow and develop under the direction of progressive-minded and forward-looking leaders who administered the Institute in various capacities. Dr. Samuel S. Go of VISCA, who served as officer-in-charge from 1982 to 1984, was responsible for the construction of the multi-purpose gymnasium, the ladies dormitory, and a new machine shop. He improved the academic set-up with the creation of instructional departments, each of which was headed by a department chair, and was the driving force that led to the formulation of the Faculty Development Program which, since its inception, has helped in the professional advancement of many faculty members.
Dr. Go was succeeded in 1984 by Dr. Gil R. Dagami, who first served as Acting President and later as President until his retirement from government service in 1992. During his years in office, Dr. Dagami worked for the further expansion and enrichment of the Institute’s academic programs through the Vocational Education (MATVE) degree in consortium with the Leyte State College, with the said schools as the accrediting institutions. In the areas of specialization in BSIE program, and the four-year BS Marine Engineering course was opened. The construction of the new college library and the science building was also undertaken by Dr. Dagami’s administration.
While the Institute awaited the appointment of a new President, Dr. Antonio E. Reposar, then Director of Instruction, took the reins as officer-in-charge from 1992 to 1993. Through his efforts, a research study was conducted to determine the feasibility of PIT’s establishing its own graduate programs.
The next President, Dr. Jose Sal Tan, assumed office in 1993 and served until 1999. His six-year stint was marked by many accomplishments, among which was the repair and renovation of the three-storey building which presently are the administrative offices and the Marine Transportation classrooms. His greatest legacy, however, is the PIT Graduate School, now the College of Advanced Education, which was established, through his initiative, by BOT Res. No. 37, s. 1993. The said resolution authorized PIT to offer graduate programs in both the doctoral and master’s levels, namely: Ph. D. in Development Education, Master of Arts in Development Education (MADE), Master in Management (non-thesis), and Master in Management (non-thesis) and Master in Management (with thesis).
The undergraduate curricula were also enhanced with the offering of such programs as BS in Information Technology, BS in Shipping Management, and the two-year Associate in Engineering Technology. A breakthrough in the Institute’s Laboratory High School program was achieved with the offering of a science-based secondary education curriculum in place of the vocationally oriented curriculum of the previous years.
Dr. Tan was succeeded by Dr. Juanito S. Sison, who was elected to the presidency by the Board of Trustees on October 29, 1999. Among Dr. Sison’s outstanding contributions to the Institute’s growth and development was his being largely instrumental in making the PIT maritime education program the recipient of a comprehensive assistance package from the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNR) and the Shipping and Transport College (STC) of Rotterdam. During his term of office, PIT’s teacher education, industrial technology, and graduate education programs attained AACCUP Level II-Reaccredited Status. Its maritime education programs passed IMO STCW standards, the CHED requirements of the Det Norske Veritas (DNV) of Norway. He was also responsible for a highly improved campus landscape, road network, water drainage, electrical and local area network service lines, an internet café, and other facilities and services, not to mention highly intensified research, extension and production activities.
Upon Dr. Sison’s retirement and subsequent demise in December 2005, about two years short of his second term, Dr. Delia T. Combista, then Vice-President for Academic Affairs, was appointed Officer-in-Charge of the Institute. She was later elected as President by the Board of Trustees to serve the unexpired portion of Dr. Sison’s second term.
PIT reinvented itself and moved to become a modern Institution with improved facilities, refurbished buildings, adopted the Institute’s automation system, and was instrumental for the passing of Level III accreditation by AACCUP of four curricular programs and the newly accredited Level 1 for BS In Information Technology and BS in Industrial Engineering. Additional courses were offered such as Bachelor Arts in Communication, Bachelor of Science in Hotel & Restaurant Management specializing in Cruise Ship Management, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering & Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, and more. Under Dr. Combista’s guidance and direction, PIT continued to forge ahead to meet the challenges like supertyphoon Haiyan and prospects of the future.
The bill to convert PIT into a university was approved last June 4, 2013 by President Aquino III. It was sponsored by Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez. However, there were still CHED’s requirements to be satisfied, and complied before January 2016 to become a full-fledged university to be known as PALOMPON POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIVERSITY (PPSU).