Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto bade farewell to the traditional practice of naming infrastructure projects, particularly government-owned buildings, after politicians, opting instead to recognize the achievements of prominent individuals who hailed from the city.
On Wednesday morning, June 22, Sotto along with Congressman Roman Romulo inaugurated the new “Jovito R. Salonga Building” in Pasig Elementary School (ES).
Jovito R. Salonga was an admired senator, lawyer, and lecturer, who was also called “The Nation’s Fiscalizer”. He was known for spearheading legislation such as the State Scholarship Law, the Disclosure of Interest Act, the Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and the Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder.
He served as senator under the administrations of Diosdado Macapagal, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., and Cory Aquino.
“New government buildings in Pasig are now being named after prominent Pasigueños who have passed away at least 10 years ago. Goodbye to the old practice of naming buildings after incumbent politicians,” Sotto said in a social media post.
In a speech at the inauguration of the building, Sotto said he and Congressman Roman Romulo decided on this new naming system as early as July 2019 in order to duly recognize the various well-known and noteworthy Pasigueños in any field or industry.
“Dito sa ating mga paaralan, gusto natin mayroong mga iniidolo at may halimbawa ang ating mga mag-aaral at kabataan (Here in our schools, we want our students and youth to have role models whom they can look up to),” Sotto said.
He hopes this new system will motivate students to pursue their studies and succeed.
Sotto acknowledged the past traditions of naming infrastructure projects after politicians, but emphasized that the city is “gradually embracing a more progressive system of government.”
“Hopefully, this can be an inspiration to all of us, but especially to the next generation of leaders, of Pasigueños,” Sotto added.
The names of other new school buildings will be announced this coming July 2 in celebration of “Araw ng Pasig” or Pasig Day.
The four-storey building was an initiative of Congressman Romulo in cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Education (DepEd), and the Pasig ES.
It houses six classrooms, and one multi-purpose hall on the fourth floor, aimed to accommodate and increase the school’s capacity to accept learners.
Some members of the Salonga family also graced the event.
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Sotto said he was glad to see students and teachers coming back to hold face-to-face classes in preparation for the new normal.
The local government utilized every resource available to continue children’s education amid the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.
During the inauguration, Pasig City Schools Division Superintendent Evalou Agustin shared that they are well-prepared for the resumption of face-to-face classes next school year, with 100 percent of learners participating in blended learning modes and deploying an alternate system.
In keeping with the implementation of the minimum public health and safety protocols, Agustin stressed the need for more classrooms to accommodate the significant decrease in class size per session.
As some schools in the city lack facilities, she said the SDO is looking into implementing two to three shifts or rotations of scheduled classes per day.
Agustin called on the continued support of the local government in providing adequate resources for the betterment of students’ education, especially in the “balik eskwela” scheme in the new normal.