BY DANLOR HIDALGO
DAGUPAN CITY- The CSI group of companies and the Jimmy Fernandez Foundation headed by City Vice Mayor Belen T. Fernadez are helping the East Central Elementary School in elevating the school ground above the flood level.
The flood prone school dilemma was learned after School principal Socorro Dimalanta reported to Fernandez that frequent class suspension had resulted in poor academic performance of the pupils despite the make-up classes during Saturdays to achieve the required number of school days.
Vice mayor Belen Fernandez said that the school, located in Barangay Mayombo, is often flooded during the rainy season and even during high tide in the adjacent Pantal River, thus often resulting in the automatic suspension of classes.
Such, Fernandez noted the drop in the attendance of pupils and many already transferred to other schools.
Dimalanta also said they suspended classes in the school for three months last year after typhoon Cosme.
The principal believed that elevating the school premises to at least one foot will solve the flooding problem.
It was learned that the Jimmy Fernandez Foundation, the CSI Group of Companies and the vice mayor’s friends and supporters, consistently support the “Brigada Eskwela” with the East Central Elementary School as one of the identified priority schools.
Corollary to this, the Dagupan City council passed a resolution requesting the local school board to allocate funds from its annual budget for the construction, repair and maintenance of various schools in the city.
Under the Local Government Code, local school boards are allotted a Special Education Fund from one percent of the real property tax collection which is primarily intended for the improvement and development of school facilities.
“What we really care about in the City Council is to ensure that our children can learn under the best environment possible,” Fernandez said, justifying the reason of the council in passing Resolution No. 4509.
According to Fernandez, the resolution was passed after she conducted an ocular inspection and found that there are classrooms in public elementary and secondary schools that are unfit for occupancy.
Other schools lack rooms to accommodate the increased enrollment this school year.