Brief History of the Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College

The Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College (ISPSC) was created by virtue of RA 8547 authored by the then Congressman of the 2nd District of Ilocos Sur, Hon. Eric D. Singson converting the then Ilocos Sur Polytechnic College (ISPC) into a state college. The charter was signed into law by President Fidel V. Ramos on February 24, 1998. The then Ilocos Sur Polytechnic College was created by virtue of RA 7960 also authored by then Congressman Eric D. Singson and signed into law on March 29, 1995. The law converted the then Ilocos Sur Agricultural College (ISAC) into a polytechnic college integrating into it seven vocational-technical and general academic secondary schools in the second district of Ilocos Sur namely: Narvacan School of Fisheries NASOF), Southern Ilocos Sur School of Fisheries (SISSOF), Ilocos Sur Experimental Station and Pilot School of Cottage Industries (ISESPSCI), Tagudin General Comprehensive High School (TGCHS), Cervantes National Agro-Industrial School (CNAIS), Suyo National High School and Salcedo National High School. After its conversion into a state college, two of the campuses, Suyo Campus and Salcedo Campus, were reverted back to the Department of Education.

ISPSC is a comprehensive six-campus institution of higher learning mandated to give professional and technical training both in the undergraduate and graduate levels in the fields of economics, agriculture, fishery, trade, home industry, engineering, education, forest research and conservation, management, finance, accounting and business administration, public administration and other fields as may be relevant, besides providing for the promotion of scientific and technological researches which the College deems necessary in carrying out its objectives. The main campus is situated in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur and the five other campuses are strategically located in Candon City and the municipalities of  Narvacan, Santiago, Tagudin, and Cervantes, in the second district of Ilocos Sur.

Today, ISPSC offers accredited graduate programs in the fields of Education and Agriculture. The college also offers the following accredited undergraduate programs: Elementary and Secondary Teacher Education, Agriculture, Home Technology Education, Information Technology, Industrial Technology and Hotel and Restaurant Management. 

The first College Administrator was Mr. Apolonio P. Labuanan, who served as Officer-in-Charge from February 24, 1998 to July 15, 1999. He served as Technical-Vocational Schools Superintendent  of the then ISAC. He laid down the groundwork of the integration of the Ilocos Sur Polytechnic College.

The first President of ISPSC, Dr. Alejandro V. Directo, pursued the “SMILE” principle which stands for the values sincerity, morality, integrity, loyalty, efficiency and effectiveness. He began his term as President on July 16, 1999 and was extended for a second term in 2003. Dr. Directo instituted the campus identity through the designation of a flagship program for each campus. He initiated the accreditation of degree programs offered by ISPSC as a means of achieving quality and excellence.

The second President, Dr. Rafael B. Querubin, re-engineered the college to become more relevant and responsive. His term in January 1, 2008 and championed the “CHARMED”  paradigm, a 7-point development agenda which calls for: Community Capability Building and Responsive Networking; Human Resources Development and Character Building; Aggressive Academic Achievement; Resource Generation and Wise Allocation of Resources; Maximized Use of Resources ad Effective Maintenance Program; E-Governance and Management; and, Developing Physical Facilities and Building Structures. He worked out for the development of a Medium Term Development Plan of the College (2011-2015), and instituted a new set-up for the college. The new college set-up produced two campus clusters: the North Cluster – consisting of Santa Maria, Santiago and Narvacan,  and the South Cluster – consisting of Tagudin, Candon City and Cervantes. He emphasized on the cultivation of a research and development culture with the creation of the Office of Vice President for Planning, Research, Extension and Training. He also aggressively pushed for physical plant development.

The main campus of ISPSC is the Santa Maria Campus which has been identified as the Provincial Institute of Agriculture. Santa Maria campus had its early beginnings as a farm school in 1913, then evolved into the Santa Maria Agricultural High School. In 1963, SMAHS was converted into the Ilocos Sur Agricultural College by virtue of RA 3529 authored by Congressman Pablo C. Sanidad. Then in 1995, it was converted into the Ilocos Sur Polytechnic College which was the precursor of the present ISPSC.

The Narvacan Campus is formerly the Narvacan School of Fisheries which was established in 1964 by virtue of RA 3476 authored by Cong. Pablo C. Sanidad which was signed into law in June 16, 1962. When it was integrated into ISPSC, the Narvacan Campus became the College of Fisheries and Marine Science. Today, it is identified as the Provincial Institute of Fisheries.

The Santiago Campus was formerly known as the Ilocos Sur Experimental Station and Pilot School of Cottage Industries (ISESPSCI) which was established by virtue of RA 4430 signed into law on June 19, 1965. It is situated on a 3.5 hectare area along the national highway in the municipality of Santiago, Ilocos Sur. When it was integrated into ISPSC, it became the College of Engineering and Technology. At present, Santiago Campus houses the College of Technology.


Tagudin Campus is the seat of governance in the South Cluster. It was known formerly as the Tagudin General Comprehensive High School established which started as the Tagudin High School and became a national high school by virtue of RA 4447 which was signed into law in June 19, 1965. After its integration into ISPSC, it became the College of Arts and Sciences. Today it houses the College of Teacher Education, the College of Business and Hospitality Management, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Information Technology.

Candon City Campus was formerly the Southern Ilocos Sur School of Fisheries (SISSOF) which evolved from a fishery demonstration farm (Ilocos Sur Marine Demonstration Farm). It is located in the coastal barangay of Darapidap, Candon City. With its integration into the ISPSC, it became the College of Commercial and Social Services. At present Candon City Campus houses the College of Business and Hospitality Management.

Cervantes Campus was formerly the Cervantes National Agro-Industrial School (CNAIS) which evolved from the Cervantes National School of Arts and Trades established by virtue of RA 4424 signed into law in June 19, 1965. It is located in a scenic upland municipality which is also a gateway to the Cordillera provinces. When it was integrated into ISPSC, it became the College of Agro-Industrial Technology. Presently, Cervantes Campus offers teacher education, information technology and hotel and restaurant management courses.

Since the chartering of ISPSC in 1998, much had been accomplished in terms of academic and technical pursuits, facilities and plant development, research and extension services, community involvement, administration and governance, linkaging and networking, faculty and staff development, and student development. Guided by its vision as “an institution for total human development,” it continues to be a beacon of hope to the people in the service area and together thread the path towards greater heights.

President Lopez

In January 2016, the new SUC President Dr. Francisco D. Lopez, continued the excellence in the delivery of service and in achieving greater heights of success for the College. The ISPSC had change remarkably in most of its area of service and achievement of such were being guided by his Strategic Development Goals for the College with an acronym “BRAVE D’ STORM” which stands for: Bridging networks and building communities; Resource Generation and Employees empowerment; Accreditation and Development of Academic programs; Virtual technology systems and website development; Empowering student services and enhancing Pedagogical system; Development of Quality, relevant and accessible Undergraduate and Graduate School system; Scholarship and Financial Assistance; Training of Employees for Global competitiveness; Organizational immersion and Revolutionary extension activities; Revolutionized Research and Gender Development programs; Maintenance, modernization and mitigation measures.

New buildings and relevant infrastructures were constructed during the administration of Dr. Francisco D. Lopez which includes, the New Agriculture Building, Engineering Building, Graduate School Building, Graduate School Building Annex, Training Center, Refurbishment of the College Gymnasium, College Clinic, Women’s Dormitory, New Hostel Building, beautification of the perimeter fences, The New Academic Building, widening of Access Roads and the College Grandstand and the procurement of school buses. 

Aside from its infrastructure projects the college has strengthen existing international, national and regional linkages, promote student inter-country mobility, increased percentage of accredited programs by the AACCUP of which CTE Programs of Sta. Maria and Tagudin Campus acquired Level III Phase II accreditation. In terms of scholarship and financial assistance, in the school year 2016 and 2017, the college was able to process the application of 8,817 qualified scholars and in terms of extension activities, the college has intensified Community Engagement through Technical Advisory and Training Programs. Research outputs has also been intensified as  manifested on the increased number of conducted researcher and utility models which had been approved by the patent office of the country.

Guided also by his vision as “A vibrant and nurturing Polytechnic Service College”, it continues to be the beacon of hope to the people in the different service areas together thread the path towards greater heights.