Education and Home

Zambo City DepEd’s No. 1 LGU fund supporter

J.A. Rimando - The Philippine Star

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines  â€” For allocating over P1 billion for the promotion and improvement of basic education in barely six years, the local government unit (LGU) of Zamboanga City through the initiative of Mayor Celso Lobregat has been lately proclaimed by Education Secretary Armin Luistro as the country’s most generous financial supporter of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Luistro issued the statement during a series of turn-over ceremonies he recently administered in two successive days on at least six city newly constructed elementary and secondary schools buildings consisting of a total of 58 classrooms with an aggregate cost of P59,627,121.98.

On several occasions last year, Luistro, or his undersecretaries, was also invited by Lobregat to inaugurate several new school learning centers put up by the local government in other areas of Chabacano-speaking Zamboanga which, incidentally, has been newly renamed by the Sangguniang Panglungsod as the “Latin City of Asia.”

Lobregat, whom the DepEd chief described as the nation’s champion learning center builder, listed the six latest LGU-constructed edifices as the three-storey 18-classroom Mampang Elementary School (ES) worth P17,443,131.07; three-storey 12-classroom San Jose Gusu ES costing P12,868,082.35; two-storey 8-classroom Recodo National High School (HS) valued at P9,754,694.30; two-storey 10-classroom Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial National HS worth P10,727,591.06; two-storey six-classroom Culianan Learning C enter at a cost of P5,594,094.07, and two-storey four-classroom Mercedes National HS worth P3,239,579.13.

Luistro emphasized that Zamboanga government’s financial contribution to elementary and secondary school buildings and other education-related programs and activities before the end of 2013, has surpassed the P1-billion mark since early 2006. “It is, to me, so far the biggest amount of an LGU education aid in the whole country,” he noted.

“I cannot recall during my term of any other highly urbanized city or LGU which has appropriated so much for basic education compared with what Zamboanga public education sector has received from a local government,” the DepEd chief said, hoping that other local executives could follow Mayor Lobregat’s commendable example.

Luistro said he likes coming to Zamboanga to accept city education-related infrastructure projects saying that the DepEd major problem is that it could not catch up with its school building and classroom needs during his close to three years in office even as he expressed satisfaction over the planning and design that the City of Flowers put into the classrooms and edifices.

It is only in Zamboanga where DepEd observed that there is virtual planning in local school infrastructure construction, he said, noting that without the help of concerned LGUs, “the DepEd will have difficulty resolving the country’s classroom shortage.

Luistro noted that prior to the present administration of President Aquino, public schools were built by donors, parent-teacher associations, politicians and the DepEd depending on who is the leader at the time. “We choose the color, the design and scramble for space not caring how the whole campus looks like at the end of the day.”

On the other hand, Luistro stressed that with the enormous buildings and classrooms the Zamboanga City government has put up in the locality, “there is no reason for local schools to fall below the average in the National Achievement Test.” He encouraged the city mayor and members of the city council to serve as task masters to local teachers “to ensure that they perform well their classroom job and concentrate on the teaching-learning process with all the assistance provided by the LGU.                        










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