Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday that they hope to start the construction of the Education and Training Center School IV on the city’s property at the Reclamation Area under the 50/50 scheme of the Department of Education, early this year.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro and Leonardia signed a memorandum of agreement at the DepEd main office on February 9 for a 50/50 partnership in the construction of a new 48-classroom elementary school on the city’s 2-hectare property at the Reclamation Area.
“I am proud to announce that we are the first city in the Philippines given this partnership by the DepEd,” Leonardia said.
The P24 million budget of the city is now ready and they hope to start the construction of the school building within the first or second quarter of this year, he said. “If we are able to do it fast, it might be completed before the opening of classes next year,” he added.
Leonardia said that under the scheme, whatever the city will spend, will be doubled by the DepEd.
The school that will cost a total of P48 million will be 3-storeys and will look like the letter “U”, he said. Its façade will look like the Sum-Ag Elementary School, he added.
Leonardia said the front building will have 24 rooms and the building on one side will have 12 classrooms, and also the other building on the other side.
The DepEd, said that, due to budgetary constraints, they will first construct one building amounting to P12 million, he said. So most likely, it will be able to finish one wing this year, after which, when they get additional funds this year or next year, they will add another wing, he added.
Leonardia said they have agreed that the city will construct the front building.
When they discussed the classroom needs of the educational system in Bacolod, this was recommended by local DepEd, he said.
Bacolod is also part of the experiment of DepEd’s K+12 program, Leonardia said. “These two major programs of the DepEd, where Bacolod is a lead recipient, I believe are going to put our education in Bacolod a step ahead of others in the Philippines,” he said.
Leonardia said education continue to be a top priority of his administration and he and his fellow officials will try their best to give as much as they could for the improvement of the educational system in Bacolod. That could only happen when there is a good partnership between the DepEd and the LGU, he said.
They have chosen ETCS because of its well-established reputation and tradition for excellence, he added.
Meanwhile, Leonardia said he thanked Vice President Jejomar Binay for choosing Bacolod despite so many invitations he had received on Valentine’s Day from other cities and municipalities.
“I hope his presence had given inspiration to the 755 couples at the mass wedding Tuesday at the Bacolod City Government Center whom he urged to work to make their marriage successful, he said.
Leonardia said “Together with Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson and the city councilors, we congratulate the newlyweds and we are hopeful that, through their bonding as husband and wife, they will raise productive and decent families because we believe that, collectively, when we have strong families we will also have stronger and better cities.”
Pag-Ibig has confirmed that Bacolod had the biggest mass wedding in the country at 755 in the last count.
Bacolod Civil Registrar Evelyn Legaspina said they will review their figures to determine the total number of couples present at the mass wedding since there might be additional couples or there may be some who were absent.*CGS