P12-M Iloilo teen center to boost students’ well-being

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. led the groundbreaking ceremony of the P11.65-million multi-purpose teen center at the Iloilo National High School in La Paz, Iloilo City on Monday, May 15, 2023.  (Capitol photo)

By John Noel E. Herrera

The construction of the two-story school-based multi-purpose teen center in Iloilo will boost the students’ total well-being, which is equally as important to their academic performance, according to Governor Arthur Defensor Jr.

On Monday, May 15, 2023, Defensor, together with Department of Education (DepEd)-Iloilo Schools Division Superintendent Ma. Luz de los Reyes led the groundbreaking ceremony of the P11.65-million teen center at the Iloilo National High School (INHS) in La Paz, Iloilo City.

“We are not only concerned with the education in the four corners of the classroom. We are very concerned about your social life and psycho-social well-being. And we want our programs that deal with that to find a home in our teen center,” Defensor said during the program.

This first teen center to be constructed this year will also serve as a venue for different health development programs that will benefit youths and adolescents in the province, noting that schools already promote a holistic approach to education.

It will as well serve as a home for the Adolescent Health and Youth Development Program (AHYDP), the Program for The Resilience of Iloilo in Minde and Emotion (PRIME), and the province’s career guidance and counseling program.

The teen center was also designed to compliment the cultural heritage of Iloilo as its architectural design is similar to the facade of the Casa Real, which was declared an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum of the Philippines last month.

Defensor said that the construction of the teen center is under the province’s “Bulig Eskwela sang Probinsya” (BES PROBINS) program, which supports the development of infrastructure and facilities of public schools in Iloilo.

The province currently has 96 operational teen centers, and the provincial government is looking to add more this year as they alloted P35 million, through the Special Education Fund (SEF), for the construction of additional buildings in 10 secondary schools.

The governor added that they have already prepared a typhoon-resilient design for all the school facilities they plan to construct this year, including teen centers and classrooms, noting that many school buildings were damaged and destroyed by typhoons recently.