Zamboanga City uses local funds for school infrastructure
Education Secretary Armin Luistro has inaugurated some P8 million-worth of education infrastructure in Zamboanga City as the department continues to engage the local government units in financing the construction of public school buildings.
Luistro said the funding allotment provided by city government of Zamboanga drawn from the Special Education Fund went to construct a two-storey school building with six classrooms and the rehabilitation of another two-storey building also with six classrooms in Talisayan Elementary School. The city government also financed the fencing of the school and the improvement of the existing fence as an added security measure.
“As partners in education, the local government units (LGUs) and DepEd can always find ways to address the perennial problem of classroom shortage through various means that are both creative, doable and within the legal parameters set by the government,” added Luistro.
City Mayor Celso Lobregat led the Zamboanga officials at the turn-over ceremony of the completed infrastructure project. The construction of the school building is considered a wise investment of the LGU because of the long-term positive effect of an educated citizenry in a community.
The use of special education fund (SEF) and counterparting are two of the most common ways of classroom construction being implemented by DepEd and the LGUs. Counterparting is a scheme where funds allocated by the LGU for classroom construction is matched by the department. “The idea here is to build schools where they are critically needed through cost sharing,” explained Luistro.
Over a year ago, school teacher Lorna Pulalon, student Angel Dorine Orpiano, and Ruben Flores were killed when an assailant stormed Talisayan Elementary School in October 2010. Pulalon died of multiple injuries as she used her body to shield her students. Orpiano and Flores were fatally wounded before the townsfolk got to the killer.
At the inaugural ceremony, Luistro and Lobregat joined the school community in remembering the tragedy that befell the school more than a year ago and paid tribute to teacher Pulalon who was recently named a Dangal ng Bayan awardee by the Civil Service Commission.