SouthCot allots P4.8M for ‘Pisay’ regional campus

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 27 Feb) – The provincial government of South Cotabato has allocated an additional P4.8 million to help fund the construction of additional facilities at the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) campus in Koronadal City.

South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes said Thursday such appropriation is part of the local government’s commitment this year for the continuing development of the PSHS regional campus, which formally opened in June last year.

She said the funds will be utilized for the construction of a covered court and concrete stage within the 4.5-hectare campus.

The provincial government had spent some P7.3 million for the acquisition of the school’s site in Barangay Paraiso in Koronadal City and an additional P5 million for the construction of its initial buildings.

The lot, which is located near the site of the state-of-the-art Philippine National Halal Laboratory and Science Center of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Region 12, was the provincial government’s counterpart to the project based on an earlier agreement with the DOST.

“We will continue to support the school, especially in terms of investing on facilities that will give more competitive advantage to our students,” Fuentes said.

The governor said the local government is also committed to assist the efforts of the PSHS in “building a culture of science” in the area.

“We want our young people to have a better future and the best opportunity to succeed,” she said in a statement.

The PSHS campus opened last year with an initial 52 scholars and a dozen faculty and staff.

The school is adding 89 more scholars from Region 12 in the next school year.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

The new scholars, who passed the PSHS scholastic aptitude test (SAT) conducted in October last year, will enroll in June as freshmen students or Grade 7 in the K-to-12 curriculum.

Dr. Zenaida Daidan, DOST Region 12 director, said 25 of them were from this city; 23 from South Cotabato; 10 from Davao City; six each from Koronadal City and Tacurong City; four each from Cotabato City, Kidapawan City and Sultan Kudarat; two each from North Cotabato and Sarangani; and one each from Marawi City, Tagum City and Quezon City.

The DOST had signified to invest around P200 million for the phased development of the PSHS regional campus, which is the 12th in the country.

Dr. Josette Biyo, PSHS system director, said the campus will feature modern academic buildings, complete research and laboratory facilities as well as dormitories or housing facilities.

She said they will also establish alternative learning centers within the campus to cater to the needs of “gifted students” from the area.

The DOST central office and the PSHS board approved two years ago the establishment of a PSHS campus in Koronadal City as part of its expansion program in Region 12.

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.