Daniel Matsunaga receives honorary doctorate degree, but CHED says the school had no permit

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 12) — Days after Japanese-Brazilian model and actor Daniel Matsunaga received an honorary doctorate degree, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said his school had no permit to operate or grant degrees.

The Brethren Evangelical School of Theology (BEST) in Gapan, Nueva Ecija awarded Matsunaga with a Doctorate Degree in Humanities, Major in Social Work (honoris causa), and the actor last week proudly posted pictures and a video of the awarding ceremony in social media. 

However, CHED issued a statement Tuesday saying BEST was not in any of their records and is therefore not allowed to operate or award degrees.

"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," its statement said. 


In his instagram post, Matsunaga expressed gratitude for the degree.

"Just got my Doctorate Degree in Humanity Major in Social Work.(Honoris Causa) To God be all the Glory always!!," his post said. 


Granting doctorate degrees or Honoris Causa by unregistered schools violates CHED Memorandum Order No. 19, which states that only institutions that have been operating for at least 25 years and possess a well-acknowledged reputation can award Honorary Doctorate Degrees. 

"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," CHED said.

Matsunaga has yet to respond to CHED's statement.