The foundation of the school is ascribed to the following educators and former officials of then Divine Word University of Tacloban (DWUT); Dr. Erwin Vincent G. Alcala (former Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs), Dean Conrita T. Tudtud (former Dean of the College of Commerce), Prof. Carmelita A. Sustento (former High School Principal and Faculty Development Officer), Dr. Victoria C. De la Cruz (former Management and Finance Chairperson), Atty. Absalon G. Apostol and Dr. Catalina P. Abeto (former Senior University Accountancy Faculty Members) and Prof. Eunice Tudtud-Pagatpat (former Banker).
It happened upon the formal announcement of the closure of DWUT by the SVD Priests effective end of School Year 1993-1994, prompting the above-named educators to meet and agree to establish a school out of their commitment to help the displaced students from the College of Commerce of the said University, allowing these students to graduate without being adversely affected by a change in curriculum.
Arrangements were made with the family of Alfredo Romualdez for the lease of the former Island Development Bank and the Taboan han Bungto properties in Marasbaras, Tacloban City as target site of the school in exchange for two (2) seats in the Corporation.
On April 25, 1994, an application for the permit to operate St. Paul’s Business School of Tacloban (SPBST), the agreed name of the school, was filed and passed to then Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) Regional Office No. VIII and to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for evaluation and approval. The school got its legal personality as a non-stock, non-profit institution when SEC approved the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of SPBST on April 27, 1994 under SEC Registration No. CN094-000168.
Subsequently, DECS Permit Nos. 18, 19 and 20 dated May 2, 1994 were signed by DECS Officials marking the formal start of operations of SPBST. Classes officially started on June 6, 1994 with 241 enrolled students (167 new students and 74 students coming from Divine Word University of Tacloban).
Finally, on February 21, 1995, the Commission on Higher Education thru its Chairman Dr. Angel C. Alcala, granted Government Recognition Nos. 1 and 2, series of 1995 for SPBST’s Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and Bachelor of Science in Commerce Programs.
SPBST was able to graduate its first batch of senior students on October, 1994 from whom the school’s first Certified Public Accountant was produced.
On the school’s second semester of operations, the Romualdezes decided to withdraw their two (2) seats from the school leaving the seven (7) incorporators/trustees running the institution.
The First Official Organizational Structure (Governance)
Right after the first school year of operations, SPBST formally approved the first Organizational Structure with the following as trustees and officers:
A Phenomenal Growth
On its third school year of operations, with the public seeing seriousness in the group’s commitment to provide high quality tertiary education, SPBST’s enrolment soared from 241 students to 1,936 students and likewise began to increase its passers in the CPA Licensure Examinations.
A New and Permanent Home
Realizing the school’s need for a bigger campus with the increased enrolment, the Board of Trustees approved in 1996 a P25 million loan with SSS thru the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) for the purchase of a one-hectare lot and the construction of a school building near the Government Center and now within the IT Park of Eastern Visayas in Palo, Leyte at the southern part of Tacloban City, where the current campus is situated.
SPBST’s Competitive Strategy (Business Development Plan)
With the need for contemporary knowledge, skills and technology to enhance and maintain a high quality education at SPBST, its Executive Vice-President, Dr. Erwin Vincent G. Alcala, volunteered to explore Metro Manila and be further trained on the best practices of school administration in the prime business universities of the country to help upgrade the educational standards of SPBST. EVP Alcala joined De La Salle University – Manila (DLSU) as faculty member who later became the University’s Chairperson for the Department of Accountancy and its CPA Review School Director. While at DLSU, EVP Alcala continued to pour in best practices from De La Salle University, with the approval of the College of Business and Economics Council and concurred by the University President, the late Bro. Andrew Gonzalez, thus enhancing SPBST’s instructional strategies. After 6 years in De La Salle, EVP Alcala moved to International Accounting and Auditing Practice by joining KPMG International as Manager and later became the Firm’s Director for Professional Practice and Learning in its offices in London, New York and the Philippines. All his accumulated experiences in Metro Manila and abroad were used in SPBST to complement the expertise of the school management that clearly contributed to the exemplary performance of the school not only in the Philippine CPA Licensure Examinations but likewise in the Philippine Bar Examination, Philippine Real Estate Brokers and Appraisers Licensure Examination, as well as in Global Certification/Licensure Examinations such as the Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Information Systems Auditor, Certified Management Accountant, Certified Accounting Technician, among others.
In 2008, after more than a decade of exposure in the National and International arena, Dr. Alcala assumed a fulltime assignment with the institution as the Vice-President of the Board of Trustees.
In 2009, in response to the community’s clamor for another high quality law school in the region, SPBST opened its own School of Law and as a requirement of the Commission on Higher Education, the school changed its name to Saint Paul School of Business and Law or SPSBL. The school produced it first batch of law graduates in March, 2013 who took the Bar Examinations few days after Super Typhoon Yolanda destroyed the region particularly Tacloban and Palo. But despite its youth and the calamity, the school produced its first batch of lawyers on April of 2014.
On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda destroyed the school leaving a shell of its buildings to the new School President, Dr. Erwin Vincent G. Alcala, who assumed the office a day before the Super Typhoon, November 7, 2013.
With the school put to ground zero, and with some buildings, facilities, equipment, and classrooms ravaged by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), what was left was the strong resolve reflected in the leadership of Dr. Erwin Vincent Alcala, who resourcefully pieced together remnants of rubble and debris, and restored the school to what it is now with the help of Dr. Jaime C. Laya, the family of Edwin Co Chua (owner of Excelroof Chuayuco Steel Manufacturing Corporation), and several other individual benefactors both from the Philippines and abroad.
In 2015, the Commission on Higher Education implemented a new Typology for Colleges and Universities requiring all tertiary institutions to identify itself either as a University, College or Professional Institution. With the programs offered by the school geared towards a professional career of its graduates, the school administration decided to identify itself as a Professional Institution, and applied for a change of name from Saint Paul School of Business and Law to Saint Paul School of Professional Studies. Under the new name, it was granted by the Department of Education a permit to offer Senior High School Program with Accountancy, Business and Management as its specialization.
Currently, the school is known as Saint Paul School of Professional Studies offering high quality programs and has since became a favorite destination of various colleges and universities for benchmarking purposes. Among the universities that recently visited the school for benchmarking of its programs, standards and facilities is the Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Manila.
Proof of Excellence
Proof of SPSPS excellent performance in the Philippine and Global Licensure/Certification Examinations are the following graduates who topped in these examinations:
- Marwin Baldevia 1st Place (May, 2011 CPA Exams)
- Jayson Chan 1st Place (May, 2018 CPA Exams)
- Chris Paete Global Top 1 (2008 CISA Exams)
- Joseph Cruz 2nd Place (May, 2006 CPA Exams)
- Jomari Jess Abellar 2nd Place (May, 2018 CPA Exams)
- Loudie Jay Falguera 5th Place (October, 2008 CPA Exams)
- Chris Paete Global Top 5 (2006 CIA Exams)
- Joseph Cruz Global Top 5 (2007 CIA Exams)
- With several placers among the 6th to 20th Places in the different Licensure and Certification Examinations
As of October, 2018, SPSPS has produced almost 3,000 Certified Public Accountants, Lawyers, Real Estate Brokers and Appraisers, Certified Internal Auditors, Certified Information Systems Auditors, Certified Management Accountants, Certified Accounting Technicians, among others and has continually improved its passing percentage in these Licensure and Certification Examinations. Since 2013, SPSPS consistently made it as one of the Top 10 Big Producers of CPAs in the Philippines.
The SPSPS Faculty and Staff have been elected/invited to assume local and national positions in Professional Organizations and Government Policy Making/Consultative Bodies.
- Atty. Raymund S. Gallardo, Dean of Faculty of Law and a Harvard Law School Graduate is the 2018-2019 National President, Tax Management Association of the Philippines
- Dr. Erwin Vincent G. Alcala, SPSPS President, a University of Bristol – UK Graduate and the 2004 Most Outstanding CPA of the Philippines Awardee, is the 2018 National Director and 2019 National Vice-President, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Dr. Erwin Vincent G. Alcala, SPSPS President, Technical Panel for Accountancy and Quality Assurance Consultant, Commission on Higher Education, Central Office
- Dr. Edmund F. Gariando, SAVP for Research and External Affairs, Chair, Private Sector Representative, Co-Chair, Social Development Committee, and Member, Advisory and Executive Committee, Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council
- Atty. Leo S. Giron, Faculty of Law Professor, President, Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Leyte Chapter
- Atty. Kenneth B. Fabila, Faculty of Law Professor, President, Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants – Tacloban Chapter
- Engr. Bernard Poticano, Real Estate Management Professor, President, Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers – Metro Tacloban
- Atty. Adryan Mauro, Faculty of law Professor, President, Tacloban Host Lions Club
- Atty. Rafael Iriarte, Dean, Faculty of Real Estate Management, Vice-President, Philippine Association of Real Estate Brokers – Metro Tacloban
- Roy James A. Abeto, Director, Center for Student Activities and Discipline, Director, Junior Chamber International Candahug Liberation Jaycees Inc. and 2020 Jaycees National Convention Director·
SPSPS has likewise been invited to sit in various local and national councils:
- Philippine Statistics Committee of Philippine Statistics Authority as Academe and Private Sector Representative
- Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council as Academe and Private Sector Representative
- Regional Research and Development Innovation Committee of Department of Science and Technology
- Regional Cooperative Development Council
- Social Welfare and Development Learning Network
- Department of Education Regional Training Center for Accountancy, Business and Management
- Environmental and Climate Change Institute Training Partner with De La Salle University – Manila
All these eventually resulted in the following Awards and Recognitions for SPSPS:
- Top 6 Biggest Producer of CPAs in the Philippines for 2018
- 3rd Best Real Estate Management School in the Philippines for 2018
- Top Employer for 2018 in Eastern Visayas from Home Development Mutual Fund
- 5S Model Institution in Eastern Visayas Region from the Department of Labor and Employment
- Cleanest School Campus in Eastern Visayas Region from the Department of Labor and Employment
- ·Model DepEd Recognized Senior High School in Eastern Visayas
- Top Performing Business School in Eastern Visayas by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- No. 1 Labor Law Compliant Private School in Eastern Visayas
While SPSPS savors the recognition as among the country’s Top 10 big producers of CPAs having produced around 3,000 CPAs and other professionals, these are statistics that disguise the other side of quality education present in the province and at the same time demonstrate the true state of a school-community-industry collaboration, one that shows the relevance of each one along with the desire of the school to provide quality education.
Two historical events seem to have shaped new streams of values in critical ways that have defined the role of Saint Paul School of Professional Studies in education – the school’s entrepreneurial passion to serve, and its responsibility to society – since 1994 to 2019.