Zambo City, DepEd's benchmark - Luistro PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:29

Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro yesterday said Zamboanga City’s massive school building program is being used as benchmark for buildings that the Department of Education (DEPED) has built in other regions of the country.

Sec. Luistro revealed this yesterday as he graced the inauguration of the P8.89M 2-storey 8 classroom building at the Lunzuran Elementary School and the P21M 2-storey 24 classroom building at the Catalina Vda. De Jalon Elementary School in Tumaga.

He cited three things that distinguish the City’s massive school building program from other local government units: transparency, good design and use of general fund to augment special education fund (SEF).

“I am very grateful because if you look at the report of Mayor Celso Lobregat, you will notice that there are two important features to the report that I do not see in other LGU reports, number one the price and the cost of the construction is included as well as the status and the date of turnover”, the secretary said referring to the City Government’s newsletter outlining the city’s education initiatives, that was being distributed to the crowd during the two turnover rites.

The practice, he said, is important for government auditing but it is more importantly significant for the people of the City for they can actually compute the cost per square meter of all the buildings as well as look at every classroom, its strength or type of materials used.

“In fact I have been using this as a benchmark for other buildings that the Department of Education has built as well as the DPWH in other regions of the country”, he declared. “Thank you to the City of Zamboanga for being very transparent and as you can very well see, the money used for the classrooms do not go to waste”.

Also, he said, among all the LGUs provinces and cities in the country, it is only  the City of Zamboanga that uses not only the SEF but also the City’s General fund to construct classrooms.

“I do not know if there is any other City that has spent on the same level—P1.3 Billion for classrooms as Zamboanga City did and for this the department is very very grateful to the whole team of Mayor Lobregat”, the secretary affirmed saying such moves require political will.

Lastly, Luistro thanked Zamboanga City for not merely building classrooms but for exerting efforts to plan before building. “These buildings built by the city are not only functional but I would even dare say that the design of the buildings in Zamboanga is one of the better designed classrooms that speak of what the culture and heritage of Zamboangueños have and the pride you take in education”.

Luistro’s visit to Zamboanga yesterday was the 5th and all of these were to grace turnover of school building projects of the City government. “Thank you for all the many things you have done for the City but most importantly for the DEPED. This is not my first visit, not my second visit, not my third visit, not my fourth visit, but this is my fifth visit and I am being criticized because I visit the City too many times. But it is true that every single visit has always included a turnover ceremony”.

The turnover ceremonies yesterday started with the P8.89M 2-storey 8 classroom building at the Lunzuran Elementary School as early as 8:30am  followed by the P21M 2-storey 24 classroom building at the Catalina Vda de Jalon Elementary School in Tumaga at 10am.

Also present during the twin ceremonies were Councilor Percival Ramos, Assistant City Schools Supt. Julieto Fernandez, Jomar Lobregat, former CSWDO chief Francisco Barredo, Zone III chairman Tito Espiritusanto, FEBARKAZA president Art Onrubia, Urban Poor Association President Violy Alejandro, former councilors Charlie Mariano and Roel Natividad, BG Guingona, Campo Islam chairman Nadz Sampang, school principals and supervisors, teachers, parents and students, barangay officials and representatives from different sectors. — Sheila Covarrubias