GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/18 Oct) – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is targeting to complete within the next three years the development of two more campuses of the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) in two regions in Mindanao.
Prof. Fortunato dela Peña, DOST undersecretary for science and technology, said plans are underway for the establishment of PSHS regional campuses in Regions 13 (Caraga) and 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) following the scheduled opening of the Region 12 or Soccsksargen campus in nearby Koronadal City in June next year.
He said the PSHS system is presently working on the development plan of the campus in the Caraga Region, which will be established in Barangay Ampayon in Butuan City.
The five-hectare site was earlier donated by former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr.
“Once the Caraga campus is completed, only Region 9 will be left without a PSHS campus but hopefully we can address that soon,” Dela Peña said.
The DOST and the PSHS system launched in June the development of the Soccsksargen or Region 12 campus in a 4.5-hectare lot in Barangay Paraiso in Koronadal City.
Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo earlier said the PSHS-Soccsksargen campus, which will be built within the DOST regional complex, will cost around P200 million.
The provincial government earlier spent some P7.3 million for the acquisition of the school’s site, which is located near the site of the state-of-the-art Philippine National Halal Laboratory and Science Center of DOST-12.
The local government pledged another P5 million for the construction of the initial buildings while partylist groups Youth Against Corruption and Poverty or YACAP and AGHAM promised augmentation funds of P5 million and P2 million, respectively.
The PSHS, which operates as an attached agency of the DOST, is a specialized public high school system that focuses on high quality science-based education and training.
The PSHS system, which was initially patterned after the Bronx High School of Science in New York City, was established by the government “for the purpose of giving an education highly enriched in science and mathematics to exceptionally gifted Filipino children,” its website said.
Once completed, the PSHS campus in Koronadal City will be the country’s 12th and the third in Mindanao.
The two other existing PSHS regional campuses in Mindanao are located in Davao City (Southern Mindanao) and in Baloi, Lanao del Norte (Central Mindanao).
Montejo said the DOST is targeting to complete the establishment of PSHS regional campuses in 16 regions of the country, including Regions 13 and 9, by the end of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III’s term in 2016. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)