Governor Gwendolyn Garcia directs the Provincial Parents-Teachers Association Federation in creating a system on delivering at least one free meal daily to around 600,000 elementary school pupils in the province.
In a meeting which precedes an oathtaking ceremony of the new PPTAF officers and Board of Directors last October 14, Garcia vowed to support a feeding program but said no to infrastructure projects like construction or repair of classrooms.
“We will support the needs of students and teachers, but for infra dili na ta makig-compete sa national government. Naay complete funds ana,” Garcia pointed out.
She said she would rather sit down with the Provincial Budget Office on how much will be given per child for the 240-day feeding program. “Let’s start with one meal daily, preferably lunch, kay daghan kaayo ning mangeskuyla nga nagkutoy ang tiyan,” she said.
She is also set to discuss this with the Department of Social Welfare and Development since DSWD already has a system on feeding in the daycare centers.
“School supplies and flip-flops will also be distributed to learners as the governor would rather focus on these areas over infra projects. Teachers will get assistance in the purchase of learning materials,” Dr. Isabelo Montejo, president of the federation, shared.
Montejo, former executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources 7 and who once served as DENR undersecretary for field operations, said that teachers already have around P3,000 allowance for chalk and other instructional materials but that these don’t suffice so that it has come a practice among teachers to source out the funds from their own pockets.
Montejo represented the federation in Argao. The rest of the PPTAF officers who took oath before Garcia are Atty. Giovanni Gil – vice president (representing Toledo), Ana Germa Burden – secretary (Balamban), Marjun Durog – treasurer (Medellin), Almar Gutierrez – auditor (Barili) with Board of Directors Geroncio Azucenas of Consolacion, Acelino Baguio of Oslob, Chris Jesuani de los Santos of Alcoy, Gemma Lape of Asturias, Gary Ponce of Sibonga, Cesar Busmion of Samboan, Ronalyn Carreon of Ronda, Rizally Aparre of Minglanilla, Joy Biongcog Saavedra of Cordova, and Manuelito Ilustrisimo, Jr. of Daanbantayan. (Eleanor Valeros)
Photo: Junjie Mendoza