SURIGAO CITY – Building facilities that are more conducive to learning is a step in further improving access to quality education in the country, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said on Tuesday.
Secretary Andanar was here to attend the blessing and turnover ceremony of a four-storey school building for the Surigao City Pilot School (SCPS), the largest elementary school in Surigao City, where he recognized the school’s administration and the local government unit for pushing for the project.
“This is a remarkable accomplishment in our pursuit to provide a better environment for our children, and also a milestone in promoting quality education in our country,” he said.
The said P46-million school building, which was funded under Department of Education’s Basic Education Facilities Fund (BEFF), houses 16 classrooms that will be able to accommodate more students once face-to-face classes resume.
The PCOO chief said these classrooms are part of the 15,000 classrooms that were constructed under the Duterte administration.
He hopes that this will inspire more students to continue their education and pursue their passion amid the pandemic.
“As the largest public elementary school in the city of Surigao, this additional four-storey building will breathe life to the dreams and aspirations, likewise create lasting memories for our students here,” he said
“Let’s make this an instrument for our students to pursue their passions in whatever field that may be,” he added.
Secretary Andanar also remained optimistic that with the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination program and the declaration of community quarantines to curb the spread of the virus in localities, the country will be able to recover from the pandemic so that children can finally go back to school.
“I am optimistic that soon, we will be able to go back to the lives we had pre-pandemic so that our children and our students will be able to truly benefit from this project,” he said.
“For now, I encourage everyone to continue to mask up and follow health protocols for our safety, as we wait for our turn to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” he added.
Secretary Andanar was accepted as an alumnus of the school, having attended there during his early education.
He further committed to continue to help the school in the remaining months of the administration.
According to the chief education supervisor of Surigao City, Dr. Elizabeth Larase, it was Secretary Andanar who helped in following up the funding and the completion of the school building.
Also present at the inaugural ceremony was Surigao del Norte 2nd district Congressman Robert Ace Barbers.
The SCPS is also known as the site for a building structure built during the American occupation in the country, the Gabaldon school building. It is part of the cultural properties under the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Jan. 18, 2019 Republic Act 11194 or the Gabaldon School Buildings Conservation Act, which seeks to preserve the architectural, historical, and social significance of Gabaldon school buildings, heritage school houses built in the Philippines from 1907 to 1946.