Cebu News

Robredo, Aussie Embassy to build dorm at UP Cebu  

Jonnavie J. Villa - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Pushing to break barriers in attaining quality education, Angat Buhay Program, together with Australian Embassy in the Philippines, took a big leap for the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu to finally have its first ever Angat Buhay Dormitory for high school girls.

Former vice president Leni Robredo led the groundbreaking ceremony for the one-storey dormitory building for girls at UP Cebu in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City yesterday.

“In the area of education, we saw the need for dormitories where students could stay for free. So, what we did at first was look into which areas have the most dropout rates and the reason for the high dropout rates is that children have to walk very far just to go to the school,” Robredo said in her speech.

Robredo also thanked the government of Cebu for collaborating with the Angat Buhay Program.

“Our dream is that this dormitory will help indigent students. Kasi even if tuition fees are free, mahirap pa din if they don’t have anywhere else to live,” Robredo added.

Funded by the Australian Government through the Direct Aid Program of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines, this dorm will house 39 female students in the low-income bracket and students in far-flung areas.

“On behalf of the high school faculty, we are very happy for this opportunity, for this privilege that we’re given this dormitory,” said UP High School Principal Catherine Rodel, adding that UP High is offering basic education with democratized access to the masses, that only accepts students in the low-income bracket.

Counsellor Development of Australian Embassy in the Philippines Thanh Le, for his part, expressed that this dormitory for girls they are funding holds as a stepping stone in helping build a prosperous and stable Philippines.

“For every barrier that we can remove for the women and girls, that just means an extra step that they can take in achieving their dreams and moving forward,” Le said.

Cebu Vice Governor Hilario “Junjun” Davide III was also present in the groundbreaking in which he recommended UP Cebu to be the beneficiary of the dormitory.

UP Cebu Chancellor Leo Malagar said the dorm is more just than a building – emphasizing that it is a symbol of commitment to providing students with the best possible environment to “learn, grow, and thrive.”

Malagar also encouraged the students to seize this privilege that these non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Local Government Unit (LGUs) offer since this is a testament to the power of collaboration.

“Continue to strive with excellence and make the most of the resources that will be provided to you,” Malagar furthered.

Angat Buhay Program is an anti-poverty program which spearheads to respond on multiple predicaments and now is a conduit between communities needing help and organizations wanting to help.

Since the Angat Buhay program was launched under the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in 2016, they initiated in building several dormitories in public schools in far-flung areas, such as in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte; Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay; Sumilao, Bukidnon; and, Salcedo and Balangkayan in Eastern Samar; and La Libertad in Negros Oriental.

Over the years, as the program transformed into an NGO, they continued to sustain the project with an additional constructed dormitory in Infanta, Quezon; Camarines Norte; Bukidnon; Pontivedra, Capiz.

With its additional project here in UP Cebu, Angat Buhay and the Australian government is now looking forward to another dorm project in Sorsogon.

The UP Cebu High school dormitory for girls is expected to be finished in four to six months. and Kristin de Dios, CNU Interns/GAN (CEBU NEWS)

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