Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III joined President Benigno Aquino in the turnover ceremony of a school building worth P42 million for Guadalupe Elementary School in Barangay Guadalupe last Thursday (March 3).
Davide, who delivered the welcome address, said the new school edifice shows the president’s commitment to education.
“Kining gihatag sa presidente na four-story building usa kini sa makahatag og kalambuan sa tanan,” Davide said. (This four-story building handed to us by the president is one that will give progress to everyone.)
The state owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) funded the four-story 20-classroom school edifice. It was constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPHW).
Davide stressed the importance of quality education as well as the facilities it needed to foster an effective studying atmosphere.
“Quality education requires quality schools. Quality schools require comfortable and adequate classrooms,” he said.
Davide said there is no president perhaps in recent history that has built as many school buildings other than President Aquino.
In his speech, Aquino highlighted the accomplishments of his administration in advancing education.
The president said that before he assumed office in 2010, the shortage of classrooms had reached 66,800.
To fill in the gap, Aquino said his administration has constructed more classrooms and before his term ends the number of classrooms will reach 185, 149. It also solved the shortfall of textbooks, chairs and teachers.
Aquino said it was his father (Ninoy Aquino) who taught him the value of education.
“Sinabi nang tatay ko, puwedeng sikat ka ngayon, peru bukas makalawa laos kana. Puwedeng may per ka ngayon, peru bukas makalawa mahirap kana,” he said.
“Peru kung mag-aaral ka nang maayos at pumasok sa iyong kaisipan ang lahat nang karunungan, mangyari na ang mangyari, handa kana sa anumang hamon,” he added.
Aquino commended Pagcor chair and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr., who was present in the event, for earmarking at least P12 billion under the “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” program.
Earlier, the president drew loud applause from the audience, mostly teachers and students, when he greeted the crowd in Cebuano.
“Nalipay gyud ko na makauban mo karon akong mga pinalangang Sugbuanon. Kinasingkasing nakong magpasalamat sa inyong mainitong pagdawat kanako. Kamo gihapon ang akong kusog,” Aquino said.
After the ceremony, Aquino, who was joined by some Cabinet secretaries including Rogelio Singson of DPWH and Armin Luistro of Education, proceeded to three historical sites for more turnover rites.
Aquino first went to Fort San Pedro then proceeded to the Magellan’s Cross kiosk and the Basilica Menore del Santo Niño de Cebu.
The national government gave funds for the restoration of these heritage sites, which were damaged by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in 2013.