Actor-model receives honorary Ph.D., Commission on Higher Education says it’s not legit

Photo: Screenshot from Daniel Matsunaga Instagram account

Earning a doctorate degree is always considered a huge achievement, but what if it turns out to be fake?

Over the weekend, actor-model Daniel Matsunaga shared on Instagram how a certain school called Brethren Evangelical School of Theology (BEST) based in Gapan, Nueva Ecija has granted him an honorary Ph.D. in Humanities, major in Social Work.

Photo: Screenshot from Daniel Matsunaga Instagram account
Photo: Screenshot from Daniel Matsunaga Instagram account

However, the Philippines’ Commission on Higher Education (CHED) had to break it to Matsunaga on Tuesday that the school is actually an unrecognized higher education institution (HEI).

That means it can’t actually grant Matsunaga the degree. Ouch. That’s gotta sting a bit.

CHED Officer-in-Charge and spokesperson J. Prospero de Vera III said in a statement: “Based on CHED records, the school has never applied for an authority to operate from the Commission and is not recognized as a Higher Education Institution (HEI) in the Philippines.”

CHED is the government agency which oversees HEIs in the Philippines.

To make matters worse, CHED said that BEST violated policies and guidelines under CHED Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 19, series of 2014 or the “Enhanced Policies and Guidelines on the Conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degrees by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).”

It states that only institutions which have existed for 25 years and “possess a well-acknowledged academic reputation, institutional values and mission, among others, can confer honorary doctorate degrees.”

De Vera’s statement adds: “The public is hereby advised that the awarding of an Honorary Doctorate Degree or Honoris Causa by Brethren Evangelical School of Theology to any person will not be recognized by the Commission on Higher Education.”

Hmm. Makes you wonder how many people got their doctorate degrees from that school.

De Vera said that CHED will also impose necessary sanctions against BEST “in relation to the offering of degree programs upon compliance with the due process of law.”

Though embarrassing, good thing Matsunaga doesn’t need an advanced degree to do well in his career.

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