By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo on Thursday turned over a two-classroom building in Calatagan, Batangas through her flagship anti-poverty program, Angat Buhay.
Robredo, whose key advocacies include public education, went to Barangay Sta. Ana in Calatagan to officially open the new school building in Pedro Palacio Senior Elementary School.
The school building was funded by donations from Angat Buhay partners K-Servico, Jesis V. Del Rosario Foundation, and Aklat, Gabay, Aruga tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa Foundation Inc.
The Vice President recognized the importance of developing a classroom environment conducive to learning.
“Alam natin na iyong pinaka-formative years, iyong pre-school. Ito iyong parang make or break sa kanila, eh, ‘di ba. Iyong mga bata parang nagiging mahusay sa eskwelahan kapag naging maganda iyong karanasan nila sa mga unang taon ng pag-aaral,” she said in a media interview.
(We know the formative years are in pre-school. This is the make or break for them. The children excel in school if they have good experience in their early years.)
The building’s construction was completed last March 2019 and it has been used by the Kindergarten students since July 2019.
K Servico is part of AGAPP’s Silid Pangarap program, where they construct school-library facilities for schools in disadvantaged communities. This has provided over 700 classrooms from 2010 to 2013.
Shortly after turning over the building to beneficiaries, Robredo admitted public schools in several areas are still in need of classrooms.
“Marami pang pending na request sa amin. Pero iyong mga requests kasi, vina-validate din iyon ng aming opisina. So may team na bumaba dito, tiningnan kung talagang kailangan. Kasi pina-prioritize din alin ba iyong mga pinaka-urgent,” she said.
(We have a lot of pending request. But our office validates the requests. So we had a team that went here to check if it was really needed. Because we prioritize the most urgent.)
Since Robredo’s office launched its Angat Buhay program in 2016, it has initiated the construction of several dormitories for public schools in far-flung areas, such as in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay; Sumilao, Bukidnon; and Salcedo in Eastern Samar.
Just last week, Robredo was in Siayan, Zamboanga Del Norte for the turnover of a P1.2-million dormitory constructed by her office and the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation for Siayan National High School.