56 new classrooms for remote villages in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 14 June) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 has completed 56 additional classroom projects worth P33.53 million through the World Bank-supported anti-poverty program Kalahi-CIDSS.

Gemma Rivera, DSWD Region 12 assistant director, said Friday the new classroom buildings were all completed and turned over by the agency to the beneficiaries in time for the formal opening of classes last June 3.

She said most of these classrooms were constructed in public elementary and secondary schools that were located in remote villages in the region.

Southwestern Mindanao comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

She said the projects, which were mainly aimed at helping ease the problems on classroom shortage in the region, were implemented in 25 public schools in the provinces of Sarangani, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.

The newly-completed classrooms replaced “dilapidated, overcrowded and makeshift learning facilities” of the school-beneficiaries, she said.

“The classroom-student ratio in these schools has long been over the standard ratio and that situation has denied our eager young learners with accessible quality education,” Rivera said.

In Sarangani Province, she said the project’s beneficiaries were public schools in Barangay Seven Hills, Nomoh, Kabatiol, Kablacan and Daliao in Maasim town; Pangi, New La Union, Maguling, Ticulab, and Wali in Maitum; Lagundi and Tambilil in Kiamba; and, Kibala and Banahaw in Malungon.

She said the agency spent around P22.24 million for the 14 classroom building projects in the area.

In North Cotabato, Rivera said a total of P2.94 million was released by DSWD-12 for the construction of the new classrooms in the villages of Batiocan, Palao, Abaga and Montay in Libungan town.

In Sultan Kudarat, she said they spent P8.35 million for the construction of the new classrooms in barangays Kenram, Mapantig and Kolambog in Isulan; Malegdeg in Senator Ninoy Aquino; Natividad in Columbio; and South Sepaka in Bagumbayan.

Aside from the completed projects, Rivera said the construction of additional classrooms in barangays Monteverde and Daluga in Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat and in Tuanadatu in Maasim, Sarangani is presently ongoing.

She said the ongoing projects are worth around P5.95 million.

Kalahi-CIDSS stands for Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, which forms part of the three-pronged anti-poverty convergence programs of the national government that are implemented by the DSWD.

Dubbed “Tatsulok,” the initiative includes the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps and Sustainable Livelihood Program.

Under the Kalahi-CIDSS, poor communities are capacitated to analyze their own problems, manage, plan, and implement their identified project to answer their pressing needs.

In Region 12, the project was able to help build various community infrastructure projects such as school buildings, bridges, health stations, water systems, day care centers, roads, post-harvest facilities, and other common services.

Since the project’s launching in 2003, the agency has already facilitated the construction of P143 million worth of classroom buildings in various villages in the region.