Western Institute of Technology (W.I.T.) was organized in 1964 to establish an Engineering school to serve the growing manpower needs of Western Visayas. This dream became a reality with the sacrifices and determination of the organizers, their steadfast friends, and the first group of students who believed in the dream and looked forward to the challenge of putting the name of the new School on the map.
W.I.T. has produced some of the country’s foremost talents and thinkers who occupy meaningful posts and stations in both public and private sectors. She continues her noble commitment to train and teach well so that our nation will benefit from the educational excellence she offers. Her alumni present a strong profile as they enhance the development and growth not only of Region VI but also of the nation as a whole. They attest to the commitment of the School to provide well-trained, competent manpower and professional leadership with integrity.
Since 1964, years of productive endeavors resulted in a long list of alumni who have done well for the growth of Iloilo and the global community.
The success of Western Institute of Technology can be gauged by the performance of the graduates who stand out in competition among graduates of other schools along their lines of specialization. Having produced more than 200 topnotchers in the different licensure examinations given by the Professional Regulation Commission is a feat that placed W.I.T. among the top engineering schools of the country – formidable accomplishments, indeed.
Sometime in the early part of 1953, the faculty members under the leadership of Dean Retogo A. Aldeguer of the College of Engineering of the former Iloilo City Colleges (I.C.C.) – now University of Iloilo-PHINMA – signed an agreement with the Comptroller of said school to take over the management of the I.C.C. College of Engineering which was then offering Civil and Mechanical Engineering courses. The faculty members were represented by Engr. Retogo A. Aldeguer as the Dean and Engr. Ricardo T. Salas as the Assistant Dean.The agreement would be for five (5) years, subject to renewal for another five (5) years, at the option of both parties.After the first five (5) years had lapsed, the agreement was renewed for another five (5) years. When the second term was about to expire, the school administration of I.C.C. turned down the renewal, for the reason that the school was applying for university status.
For ten (10) years while the agreement was in force, the group developed so close a relationship and fellowship among themselves that the imminent parting of ways was unacceptable to them. And so, the plan to put up a school of their own was born.
The Birth of Western Institute of Technology
During the early stage of planning, their biggest problem was lack of finances. Engr. Ricardo T. Salas pooled together the resources of family and friends, and the group was able to raise P200,000.00. Under his leadership, they then formed a stock corporation. This was named Western Institute of Technology of the Philippines, Incorporated, with an authorized capitalization of P500,000.00 and a paid-up capital of P75,000.00. The Corporation was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1962 with the following incorporators and stockholders, now referred to as the “Organizers of W.I.T.”:
Ricardo T. Salas
Eugenio J. Dichupa
Jose V. Coruña
Fernando R. Imperial
Homero L. Villasis
Salvador T. Salas
Agustin S. Solleza, Sr.
Raymundo H. Mombay
Retogo A. Aldeguer
Tomas S. Tolentino
Agatha S. vda de Ingeniero
Benjamin J. Obed
The next step was to look for a school site. By a stroke of luck, at that time, Iloilo Rizal College, owned and operated by the Panay Educational Institutions, Inc. (P.E.I.), was planning to close. After several conferences with the officials of P.E.I. led by Pres. Artemio L. Tullo and Dean Alberto J. Kilayko, the agreement was finally signed in September 1963 giving control of P.E.I. to the W.I.T. Organizers. The new members of the Board of Directors who were elected after the resignation of the previous ones consisted of:
Ricardo T. Salas President/Member
Retogo A. Aldeguer Vice President/Member
Eugenio J. Dichupa Treasurer/Member
Homero L. Villasis Secretary/ Member
Raymundo H. Mombay Member
The Conversion and Preparation
Iloilo Rizal College was then offering Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Associate in Secretarial Science, and High School, all of which were given recognition by the Department of Education. The new leadership converted the school to a technological institution and offered engineering courses and chemistry. For this purpose, the following definite steps were taken:
Changed the name of the school from Iloilo Rizal College to Western Institute of Technology, and amended the name of the Corporation, from Panay Educational Institutions, Inc. to Western Institute of Technology, Inc. The change in name required the shortening of the corporate life of the previously formed Western Institute of Technology of the Philippines, Inc.
Submitted a petition to the Bureau of Private Schools to offer complete degree courses in Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering; and the first two (2) years of the BS Chemistry course;
Increased the authorized capitalization from P200,000.00 to P1,000,000.00 to finance the construction of buildings and laboratories and the purchase of the necessary engineering equipment, apparatuses, and library books;
Changed the name of the Board of Directors to Board of Trustees, and increased its membership from five (5) to ten (10);
Changed the titles President and Vice President to Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, to distinguish them from the President and Vice President of the School;
Paid in full the balance of the lot purchased from C.N. Hodges.
The construction of classrooms and laboratories, plans of which were prepared by Architect Luis J. Dichupa, proceeded under the supervision of Engr. Ricardo T. Salas with the able assistance of Mr. Tomas S. Tolentino in procuring the needed building materials. To save in the cost of cement and reinforcement steel bars, these materials which were bought for the renovation of River Queen Hotel, formerly the “Ledesma Hotel” were used for the School. This resulted to savings for the School since they were obtained earlier at a lesser cost.
The necessary laboratory equipment, apparatuses and library books were purchased. Equipment and laboratory apparatuses that were not available in the market were manufactured in our shop. To facilitate the work, the group readily accepted the offer of Mr. Leon Sollezato sell to the Corporation his machine shop tools and equipment which he brought to Iloilo from Mindanao. He invested the proceeds of the sale as shares of stock in the Corporation. Because of his proficiency in machine shop practice, Mr. Solleza was appointed Shop Superintendent.
To augment the library holdings, the officers and faculty members donated personal books to the School. The construction and installation of the different laboratories were handled by the following:
Mechanical Engineering: Engr. Raymundo H. Mombay
Assisted by: Engr. Jesus P. Peñaredondo
Electrical Engineering: Engr. Agustin S. Solleza, Sr.
Assisted by: Engr. Placido T. Cabado
Civil Engineering: Engr. Retogo A. Aldeguer
Assisted by: Engr. Fernando R. Imperial
Chemistry & Chemical Engineering: Mr. Homero L. Villasis
Library: Miss Mercedes Calanda
The Opening of School Year 1964-1965
Working overtime, the group made the School ready for the opening of classes in August 1964. The members of the Board of Trustees then, were the following:
Ricardo T. Salas: President/Trustee
Retogo A. Aldeguer: Vice President/Trustee
Eugenio J. Dichupa: Treasurer/Trustee
Tomas S. Tolentino: Secretary/Trustee
Raymundo H. Mombay: Trustee
Homero L. Villasis: Trustee
Fernando R. Imperial: Trustee
Luis J. Dichupa: Trustee
Agustin S. Solleza, Sr.: Trustee
Salvador T. Salas: Trustee
The course offerings and respective enrollments were as follows:
High School 803
1-Year Secretarial 38
4-Year Commerce 207
General Engineering 566
Civil Engineering 73
Mechanical Engineering 337
Chemical Engineering 5
Electrical Engineering 11
Additional Course Offerings
In 1966-67, the first two years of the degree course in Education was offered. An additional year was opened in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
Starting School Year 1967-68, complete courses in Education, Chemistry, and Chemical Engineering were added to the course offerings of the institution. In 1968-69, the first year of the Marine Engineering course was opened. In 1969-70, a complete four-year Liberal Arts and complete two-year Marine Engineering courses were likewise added.
The Graduate School program was opened in 1976 in response to the need for developing a managerial manpower pool for commerce and industry. At the same time, the W.I.T. Graduate School complemented the School’s faculty and employee professional development program.
The integration of computer subjects into the different curricular offerings started in 1985. An air-conditioned computer room was constructed to accommodate the 30 computers acquired by the administration for student use. The School was also granted government recognition to offer short computer courses for professionals and non- professionals.
Anticipating the importance of computers in the different aspects of globalized industry and interactive society, the BS Computer Engineering course was offered in 1994, followed by Computer Secretarial and BS major in Computer Education in 1996. This ultimately led to the opening of the BS Information Technology program in 2009. At present, the School operates four (4) computer rooms, each with 50 computer units. Of these computer rooms, two (2) are internet-capable. The School also operates a cyber café and two (2) e-libraries.
n response to the booming national and international tourism industry, the BS Hotel and Restaurant Management program was offered in 2006.
An increased vigilance of human rights, resulting in the popularity of the Law profession spurred the College of Arts and Sciences to offer Bachelor of Arts major in Political Science in 2010.