School debunks reports that it’s closing down due to COVID-19 crisis

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY — Contrary to previous reports, the Dominican-run Angelicum School Iloilo Inc. (ASIL) in this city will not close due to the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

 (Rene Trance via Tara Yap / MANILA BULLETIN) (Rene Trance via Tara Yap / MANILA BULLETIN)

ASIL’s Board of Trustees issued a “corrective statement” Friday, May 29, after its then school director Fr. Maximo Gatela issued a May 27 notice that the school will close by July 31, 2020.

“The Board of Trustees, as well as the Provincial Council of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, didn’t approve any cessation of operation,” said the statement signed by Fr. Napoleon Sipalay, the board’s chairman.

In the same statement, Sipalay confirmed that Gatela has already resigned.
Gatela previously released a public statement, explaining COVID-19’s challenges to the school’s operations.

“The experience of the 4th Grading Period was difficult for all of us. The sad part was that ASIL was not ready and failed miserably in delivering the services,” wrote Gatela.

In that statement, Gatela listed options for students and their parents, including a home study program under the UST Angelicum College.

The school opened in 1978 under the leadership of Fr. Rogelio Alarcon.

The school’s façade was once the Lizares Mansion, which was abandoned and used as a garrison by the Japanese during World War II. The Dominicans later purchased the property.