BACOLOD City – Mayor Evelio Leonardia said he will ask the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) to rename a facility at Barangay 16 into “Bacolod City Elementary School.”
Leonardia said he had written Education Secretary Leonor Briones on September 3, 2018 requesting the DepEd to name the 36-classroom facility into “Bacolod City Elementary School.”
On Sept. 5, DepEd Bacolod schools division superintendent Cynthia Demavivas endorsed the mayor’s letter to the DepEd secretary, stating “no objection to the proposal.”
The 3-storey facility, now commonly called ETCS 4, is located at the reclaimed area in Barangay 16. A mix of more than 1,600 pupils from ETCS 1, 2, and 3 are now using the P39-million building, and there is a plan to create a new school using this facility, the mayor said.
Leonardia told Briones it is high time for Bacolod to have its own elementary school that proudly bears her name, especially on its 80th year as a city. This will also give the present and future students a new sense of identity and pride as Bacolodnons, he added.
On Sept. 29, Education Assistant Secretary Revsee Escobedo, in a memorandum to Briones, said that the DepEd need not object to the proposal.
Escobedo also wrote the mayor on Oct. 19 reiterating the position of the DepEd.
‘The Department has looked into the legal implications as well as the feasibility of your proposition, and interposes no objection to the proposal,” the assistant secretary said.
Escobedo, however, pointed out that “a favorable recommendation from the Local School Board is required, in compliance with the Local Government Code (Republic Act No. 7160), and subsequent issuance of an ordinance by the Sangguniang Panlungsod to formalize the renaming, is needed.”
“With Councilor Renecito Novero as chairman of the SP Committee on Education, we foresee smooth sailing for this proposition,” the mayor stressed.
In 2011, upon the agreement of Leonardia and then Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Bacolod became the first city in the country to have an agreement with the DepEd on the “50-50 scheme” for school construction.
This means the city government will build 24 classrooms, while DepEd will build another 24 or a total of 48 classrooms.
The city constructed its 24-classroom share, while the DepEd constructed 12 classrooms, for a total of 36 so far. DepEd is expected to provide 12 more.
The school building was one of the priority projects of Leonardia during his fourth term as mayor from 2010 to 2013. It was finished towards the end of his term in 2013.