New DepEd edifice, part of Celso’s thrust on education PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 January 2016 15:22

The new DepEd 2-storey building inaugurated on Wednesday morning formed part of Congressman Celso L. Lobregat’s thrust in education.

Lobregat, in his message during the Blessing and Turn-Over ceremony, recounted how the new Division Office building came to exist. It all started in 2012 when as City Mayor, the city government negotiated with the lot owner, the Baliwasan Central School, for the acquisition of the property for use by DepEd. In exchange, the city offered and subsequently constructed a 2-Storey 6-Classroom building worth P 6.2-million at the school site.

Lobregat said new DepEd building has a floor area of 548 sq. meters and was funded and bidded out at the original cost of P 8-million. The Notice to Proceed was issued on Sept. 25, 2012. One of the reasons for the delay in the completion of the project was the September 2013 Zamboanga Siege.

The newly-inaugurated building is part of 337 projects that were funded and construction already on-going when he ended his term as Mayor on June 30, 2013. All in all, these projects amounted to P 1.4-billion.

Lobregat said the new DepEd building is conveniently located beside the building housing the Division Office which sits on the former property owned by the Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College (ZCSPC).

Lobregat recalled that it was during the incumbency of ZCSPC President Dr. Lionel R. Villavieja that negotiations were made by the City Government for the use of its lot by the Division Office which at that time was housed at the Joaquin F. Enriquez Sports Complex.

At first, the ZCSPC wanted to lease out the property at P 10-thousand/month. However, then Mayor Lobregat told the ZCSPC president that at their lease price, the college would only earn P 120-thousand in one year or P 1.2-Million in 10 years or a total of P 9.6- million in 80 years.

In return, Lobregat said the city government already committed to build a 2-storey 8 classroom building worth P 8-million which would cater to the classroom needs of the ZCSPC. Lobregat said when Mr. Villavieja realized the “arithmetic of it all” he readily agreed that there was no need to charge the lease.

Incidentally, Lobregat is considered as the Father of the ZC State Polytechnic College because it was Congressman Lobregat who authored RA 9142, An Act Converting Zamboanga City Polytechnic College into a State College to be known as the Zamboanga City State College and for Other Purposes. RA 9142 was enacted into law on July 20, 2001. Lobregat was then on his second term as Congressman representing the Lone District of Zamboanga City before being elected as Mayor in 2004.

The Blessing and turn-over ceremony coincided with the 55th Birthday of Superintendent Pedro Melchor Natividad, OIC- Division of City Schools. While it is a tradition that coins are thrown during blessing ceremonies, Supt. Natividad and Congressman Lobregat livened-up the affair by releasing paper bills from the second floor of the newly-inaugurated building. — Lea LM