Lobregat lauds Rotary Club for ‘Libreng Aklat’ Program PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 January 2011 16:11

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday commended the Rotary Club of Zamboanga City for bringing to this part of the country the “Libreng Aklat para sa Lahat” program in partnership with the Asia Foundation, Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation and the Dynamic Teen Company founded by CNN 2009 Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida.

“This program complements our city’s own education program. No doubt this project will help increase the aptitude of students in all educational fields,” Mayor Lobregat said during the book distribution ceremony yesterday morning at the Western Mindanao State University gymnasium.

He said books as a media form have been proven unsurpassable as they dominate all other ways in sharing ideas and are thus called “vessels for ideas.”

About a year ago, the mayor recalled, Zamboanga was a beneficiary of the book fair program of the American government through the Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQUALLS2) Project.

It was also at that time when the city government was also a recipient of some 120 boxes or roughly 20,000 assorted books from the Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines (JSOTFP) under the “Books for the Barrios” program. “Those books were distributed to different public elementary and secondary schools in the city with the intention of increasing children’s access to quality education and enhancing capability of teachers,” he added.

Like the Rotary Club of Zamboanga, the Asia Foundation and the Books for Asia and like all other education stakeholders, Lobregat said the city government of Zamboanga takes the education of our children very seriously.  “We are aware of the problems that beleaguer our country’s public education system and we take a proactive stance in addressing them. Our investment in education is constantly increasing paving the way for the massive implementation of the school building program,” he stressed.

He said that since he assumed mayor of the city in 2004, the local government’s total investment in education has reached over P600 million and “we are not stopping because this program will continue until I end my term in 2013.

“We are serious in our pursuit on education initiatives so that pupils and students develop a sense of pride and become better persons and respectable citizens of our country and our beloved city of Zamboanga,” the chief executive pointed out.

Present during the program were KY Johnson, deputy country representative of Asia Foundation, Peñaflorida, Rotary Club of Zamboanga City Edwin Macasiar, WMSU President Dr. Grace Rebollos, Rotarians, academicians and many other guests. -- Vic Larato