By Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City – A teacher-in-charge of a barangay high school in Isabela, Negros Occidental is asking the Department of Education (DepEd) to push through with the construction of the two additonal 2-storey school buildings on the campus to address congestion.
Erwin Torres of the Tinongan National High School (Patrick Arroyo Montilla Jr. High School) said only senior high students can be accommodated in a 2-storey school building constructed on the property donated by the family of former Isabela Councilor Patrick Miguel Montilla.
Torres said the 10,000-square-meter property donated by the Montillas in 2017 was supposed to be the site for three 2-storey school buildings.
In 2018, then Councilor Montilla, as chairman of the Sangguniang Bayan’s Committee on Education, facilitated the construction of a classroom using local government funds.
In 2019, the school was informed of the budget for the remaining two school buildings, but it eventually fizzled out because of COVID-19.
“Naabtan pandemic, so most likely the budget was utilized to address urgent matters of the department caused by the pandemic,” Torres added.
With the situation getting better and face-to-face learning in full swing, he hopes DepEd can again allocate funds for the construction of the needed school buildings.
He added that the student population has nearly doubled.
Torres said that years back they lobbied for a lot for the school site. Now that there is property donated for the purpose, he hopes the school buildings will be constructed.
He recalled that before, high school students would squat with elementary pupils for lack of space.
“Now that we have a site for our school, the junior high school students are still squatting with the elementary school students for lack of classrooms. We need to provide the students a conducive environment for effective learning, how can that be if they are congested?” Torres said.