The J. H. Cerilles State College is located in a 16.9- hectare campus at Mati, San Miguel, Zamboanga Del Sur.
Sometime in the year 1983, the San Miguel Municipal Council and the barangay folks of Mati, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur, together with the DECS officials strongly supported the move of the former Assemblyman, Hon. Vicente Madarang Cerilles, for the creation of the Josefina H. Cerilles Memorial Barangay High School in Mati, San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur.
The school was named in honor of the late beloved wife of Hon. Vicente M. Cerilles, Josefina, a former DECS supervisor. This was approved by the Sangguniang Bayan through Resolution No. 23 dated April, 1983 and Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 295-A, Series 1984, pursuant to DECS Order No. 6 Series, 1983. Mr. Crispin Mag-usara took the leadership of the newly created school. Not long after, Mr. Fortunato Gumintad succeeded him as Teacher-In-Charge. He then laboriously made improvements to the school which was originally constructed out of light materials, with the cooperation of the teachers and the community.
In 1987, all barangay high schools were fully nationalized and therefore, the school’s name was changed to Josefina H. Cerilles National High School. In the succeeding year, it was one of the lucky recipients of the Secondary Education Development Program (SEDP) Building Package worth Php 3.5 million and subsequently thereafter, the U.S AID Academic Building Package worth Php 697,000.00 was added.
On February 25, 1995, Congressman Antonio H. Cerilles of the 2nd Congressional District of Zamboanga del Sur, passed a law (R.A 7895) converting the Josefina H. Cerilles National High School into Josefina H. Cerilles Polytechnic College. JHCPC’s mandate focuses its services to tertiary education, thus, making the high school, a laboratory school of the Teacher Education program of the College.
Its full operation as a tertiary school was categorized as CHED-Supervised Institution (CSI) in 1996 where Mr. Francisco Caylan of the DECS was installed as Officer-in-Charge. The first year of operation was the most difficult year the college had experienced because it started from zero base. With the support and selfless effort of the first eight faculty members of the college, namely; Mrs. Filomena G. Montealto, Mrs. Winifreda L. Rico, Mrs. Daylinda P. Sulong, Mrs. Mila A. Samin, Engr. Jerry B. Superales, Mr. Lumabao B. Sanlao, Ms. Nelia B. Aragon, and Mr. Jesus B. Purisima, the institution started to take shape. The teachers formulated the vision, mission, philosophy, and goals of the college. They created the school seal and the slogan which can be considered as product of their love and commitment.
In 1997, Mrs. Filomena G. Montealto was appointed Vocational School Superintendent and since then, she took the lead in all the educational ventures while at the same time upholding CHED’s vision in attaining its mission and goals through quality and excellence, relevance and responsiveness, access and equity, and efficiency and effectiveness. After six years of operation as a CHED-Supervised Institution, JHCPC was converted into a State College through Republic Act 9159, which was approved on August 11, 2001, through the effort of the Congresswoman Aurora Enerio Cerilles. Dr. Filomena G. Montealto was appointed as its first president. The J.H. Cerilles State College continues to attract qualified and deserving high school graduates and transferees. Enrollment in the college requires that each student shall meet the requirements for admission and abide by the rules, regulations, and policies of the College.