Some 1,200 elementary school pupils and teachers in the municipalities of Pres. Manuel A. Roxas and Polanco in Zamboanga del Norte are now enjoying the benefits of new school facilities funded under the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF) of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

          In Denoman Elementary School of Barangay Denoman, Pres. Manuel Roxas, around 200 pupils and teachers are now holding their classes in the new seven-classroom school building. This project is constructed using funds from the P3-million Gawad Pamana ng Lahi-PCF incentive of the Provincial Government of Zamboanga.

          Mrs. Lina Decierdo, a Grade 2 teacher of Denoman Elementary School, said that the teachers and pupils have finally settled in the comfortable and spacious classrooms two years after the old school went up in smoke in November 2012. For some time, they held classes in open spaces like the school stage, in cramped makeshift rooms, or the combined classes overflowing with pupils in a larger room -until the new school building was completed.

          “Nagpasalamat gyud mi ug daku sa mga LGU- barangay, municipal, ug provincial pati na ang sa national government kay napatukuran ug balik ang among nasunog ng aeskwelahan. Nahan-ay na ug balik ang tanan gikan sa kinder hangtud Grade 6 ug pati na principal’s office,” she said. (We are very thankful to all LGU- barangay, municipal and provincial as well as to the national government for constructing a new school building after the old one was burned to the ground. Now everything is in place from kindergarten up to grade 6, including the principal’s office.)The Provincial Government of Zamboanga is a three-time PCF awardee.

          “We hope to remain in the list of qualifiers in the Seal of Good Local Governance so we will continue receiving the PCF incentive in the future,” said Acting Provincial Governor Atty. Senen O. Angeles.

          The PCF is an incentive given to provinces, cities and municipalities that have complied with the good governance standards set under the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG).

          Meanwhile, around 1,000 pupils and teachers in Polanco Central School are now using their new covered court for various school-related activities, or even district and provincial sports events of the Department of Education (DepEd). The construction of the said structure was made possible through the P1-million PCF incentive received by the town of Polanco and the P2.62 million counterpart fund provided by the municipal government.

          Mr. Rolando Gersom, the school principal, is very thankful that they could now conduct their school activities in the convenience and safety of the covered court. Their events can now go unhampered by heavy rain or the searing heat of the sun like it was before.
“Nalipay gyud ug daku ang mga teachers ug parents kay daku gyud ug gikatabangang covered court sa among mga school activities, congressional meet, seminars, provincial activities, ug trainings,” he said. (The teachers and parents are very happy because the covered court has helped them a lot in their school activities, congressional meet, seminars, provincial activities, and trainings.) He added that their school is now considered as an alternative venue in Dipolog City whenever there are DepEd activities that require a larger venue.

          The pupils from both schools also expressed their happiness with their new facilities. “Maraming salamat po na mayroon na kaming maayos na paaralan. Hindi na po kami mababasa kapag umuulan, di gaya ng dati nang nagkaklase kami sa stage,” said Maya Wayne Emotin, Grade 6 pupil of Denoman Elementary School.

          “Happy mi kayo kay kung naay program, dili na mi magbayad ug P5 or P10 para makagamit sa municipal gym,” said Gemma Rose Laguiao and Juan Emmanuel Barbaso of Polanco Central School. (We are happy because we will not have to pay P5 or P10 anymore for using the municipal gym whenever we have a program.)