THE education unit of Phinma Corp. has acquired Union College of Laguna (UCL) for P88.17 million, making it the company’s second school in Laguna and its ninth in the Philippines.

“Despite the challenges we faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, our mission to provide quality, accessible education to underserved students has not changed,” Phinma Education Holdings, Inc. Country Head Dr. Raymundo P. Reyes said.

UCL has undergraduate programs in education, accountancy, computer science, computer engineering, information technology, criminology, hotel and restaurant management, and psychology.

The school is evaluating and adjusting courses “based on the needs of industries.”

“We may add more courses that are better suited for the employability of our graduates, especially after the pandemic,” Dr. Reyes said.

UCL also offers kindergarten, elementary, junior high school, and the academic track and the technical vocational track in senior high school.

Last year, it acquired the Phinma Rizal College of Laguna for P448.76 million. Rizal College offers junior high school, senior high school, and undergraduate courses in education, business administration, office administration, and industrial technology.

The other schools in its portfolio are Phinma Cagayan de Oro College, Southwestern University Phinma in Cebu City, Phinma University of Iloilo, Phinma Saint Jude College in Manila, Phinma Araullo University in Nueva Ecija, Phinma University of Pangasinan, and Phinma Republican College in Quezon City.

Phinma Education also manages one school in Karawang, West Java, Indonesia and a training center in Yangon, Myanmar. It aims to further grow its network in Southeast Asia.

“As part of our network, UCL will benefit from the strategies that we have been able to hone over the past 17 years,” Dr. Reyes said.

Phinma’s schools are using two flexibility learning models called Flex Learning and Remote and Distance Learning, both uses printed modules and remote teaching through the internet.

The company said it partnered with Globe Telecom, Inc. and PLDT, Inc. to provide monthly mobile data of 10 gigabytes to its 72,000-student population. It also continued to provide scholarships to qualified students.

Phinma Corp. is a listed conglomerate with businesses in education, property development, hospitality, and construction materials.

On Tuesday, shares of Phinma Corp. at the stock exchange went up by 0.65% or eight centavos to close at P12.30 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte