DepEd’s Rivera: Zambo lucky to have Lobregat as mayor PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 September 2012 14:41

Education Undersecretary Rizalino Rivera over the weekend showed no qualms in saying that Zamboanga City is one of the favored cities of the DEPED for 3 reasons, foremost of which is because of Mayor Celso Lobregat who has proven to be a dynamic and genuine leader and truly supportive of education not just in words but in action.

“And it’s not just through words, but action and not just action it is also by putting money, where his value lies”, Rivera said before the thousands of teachers, principals, supervisors and other DEPED officials and staff from the City Division of Schools participating in the Teachers’ Summit at the City Coliseum.

He said every time concerns about classrooms, teachers and all other resources are needed for education, Zamboanga City, unlike other cities, is not a problem because of the unremitting assistance and support of the Zamboanga local government to education. “We think of other areas in the country where they are not lucky to have a mayor like Celso Lobregat as the chief executive”.

It is unfortunate though, the DepEd official lamented, that Mayor Lobregat is concluding his third term as mayor in 2013. Rivera believed that through continuity of what Mayor Lobregat has started, young Zamboanguenos are assured of better lives and better future.

“I do echo his wish, I do echo his prayers that the one who succeeds him is one who will continue support to education, who will also value the rights of everyone especially the women and children”, Rivera pleaded, as he quickly stressed: “I am not voting here in Zamboanga City, so this is not….this comes from the heart”.

The DepEd official also cited two other reasons why Zamboanga City is one of the most favorite cities of the department.

“We love Zamboanga City because it is here in Zamboanga where we have NGO partners like Anton Lim of Tzu Chi Foundation, who has been helping us a lot especially through the Layag-layag community and the yellow boat project,”Rivera averred.

He said through the NGO’s support and assistance, far flung areas are able to avail of the formal education system.

And finally, he said Zamboanga is special, as it is here where the DepEd officialdom has witnessed the dedication, commitment and heroism, literal heroism of the teachers. He recounted the Talisayan Elementary School incident two years ago where an ex-convict ran berserk and stabbed teachers and students. The incident killed a teacher, Lorna Pulalon and two students as well as the attacker. Two other teachers were hurt in the incident.

The late Lorna Pulalon who made the sacrifice so that her students would not be harmed by the attacker, has become a symbol of heroism for all teachers in the country, he stressed. “That was also the time when we had, I think for the first time in the history of the Philippines that we had a secretary of education-shedding tears on television”.

It was also in that incident in Talisayan, according to Rivera where the DepEd the genuine concern for the youth of Mayor Lobregat and District I Congresswoman Beng Climaco. “In that incident we also saw Mayor Lobregat and also Cong. Beng climaco in action, trying to take care of the needs of our teachers and many of our students who were victims of that unfortunate incident”.

He continued: “We love Zamboanga city because it is here that we see that every single people of the community, the LGU, our teachers, principals, Schools Division Superintendent, DepEd personnel as well as our NGO partners, it is here that we see you working hand in hand, together”.

Rivera together with Assistant Secretary Elena Ruiz was in the city Saturday to grace the Teachers’ Summit, a gathering initiated by Division of City Schools OIC Superintendent Pedro Natividad in celebration of Teachers’ month.

From the summit, the two officials joined Mayor Lobregat and other city officials in the inauguration of four city government-funded projects constructed at the Talon-talon Elementary School and the Zamboanga West Central School. — Sheila Covarrubias