CEBU, Philippines – Officials are now moving to preserve the remaining Gabaldon buildings in various schools, as they mark a period in the country's history.
The Cebu Provincial Government, the Department of Education (DepEd), local government units and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) plan to help each other in the preservation of these old school buildings.
The Gabaldon school buildings were named after the late congressman Isauro Gabaldon, who authored the Republic Act 1801, which appropriated P1 million for the construction of school buildings in every municipality in the country.
A lot of these American-period school buildings remain standing up to now.
There are 146 Gabaldon buildings in the entire Cebu province and 28 were already restored, according to data from the Provincial School Board.
Twelve of them are in the first district while the second district has 59. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth district has 21, 16, 31 and seven Gabaldon buildings each.
According Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, she was so impressed of RAFI's active participation in the restoration of these educational and heritage structures, since DepEd can afford to restore only one building.
"RAFI is active in restoring these buildings but we are not limiting to RAFI alone since there may be some NGOs who wish to adopt and for that, the Province of Cebu is willing to be a counterpart by providing the materials," she said.
She added that the local government unit concerned can provide the labor component needed for the restoration works.
The Province of Cebu is also willing to put up 50 percent of the total fund needed for the labor to restore the doors, windows and the building's foundations.
The DepEd declares Gabaldon school buildings as heritage structures. The governor, for her part, stresses that she does not wish to tamper with history.
"I won't wish to tamper its history because I may commit a crime against history," she said.
Meanwhile, the governor proudly declared that the province now has more than 280 scholars, from the previous number of 50 scholars. It has also constructed over 600 classrooms.
From 120 students per classroom, the number has been reduced to 40 students per class. The Province targets to build 200 classrooms a year.
DepEd is also conducting an assessment for teachers who have better performance, for them to be included in the list of nationally funded teachers. (FREEMAN)