Free school bags and school supplies were distributed to more than 600 Grades 1 to 4 pupils of Vista Alegre-Granada Relocation Elementary School in Vista Alegre by Bacolod City officials led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson yesterday.
Each school bag contained ten notebooks, a pencil, ballpen, ruler and eraser.
The first batch of school bags and school supplies totaling 8,600 were delivered Wednesday by the supplier to the General Services Office of Bacolod City.
The funds for the school bags and school supplies for 42,000 public elementary school children came from the budget of the Special Education Fund of P11.8 million.
VAGRES principal Riggi Lachica said the school has 746 Grades 1 to 4 students and 321 students from Grades 5 to 6 as of July 31, 2012. He said the number increases because more families are being moved to the relocation site.
He thanked the mayor and other city officials for the school bags and schools supplies given to their students during a short program yesterday.
Bacolod City Schools Division Superintendent Gemma Ledesma said they are happy that the project was realized this year.
“All is well that ends well,” Leonardia said. The distribution of the school bags and school supplies is not yet too delayed and even before school opened, the parents had been reminded not to buy notebooks because the city will provide them, he said.
Homer Bais, chairman of the Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on Education, said they will prioritize public elementary schools in upland barangays of Bacolod like Vista Alegre, Handumanan, Felisa, in the distribution of school bags and school supplies, while the distribution of T-shirts to Grades 5 to 6 pupils will follow.
Asked about the delay in the distribution of the supplies, .Ledesma said the procurement takes a long time because they have to comply with prescribed processes.
They are trying their best to distribute the school supplies early so the children will be able to use them during the school year, she said.
However, the problem is that the parents do not enroll their children early, Ledesma also said.
She said she hopes they will register their children early in January so they will have the data for the specific number of school bags and school supplies for certain grades, since they have to decide which grade will be given, as well as the funding requirement.
Also present yesterday were Councilors El Cid Familiaran, Caesar Distrito, Archie Baribar, Dindo Ramos, Al Victor Espino, Secretary to the Mayor Moises de la Cruz and VAGRES Parent-Teacher Association president Isagani Salveron.*CGS