The Provincial School Board, headed by Gov. Gwen Garcia, has now embraced the independent schools divisions of the province’s six component cities and one highly urbanized city as “organic and regular” members of the PSB beginning May 4.
This transpired by virtue of a mass motion passed during the PSB meeting at the Capitol where DepEd division superintendents from the cities of Mandaue, Carcar, Naga, Toledo, Talisay, Danao, and Bogo expressed interest in joining the PSB.
In the same meeting, it was reported that all basic education students in all public schools in the province — including the city divisions — will be receiving school supplies, T-shirts, as well as sandals from the PSB. The reported figure, as of May 4, has reached 822,832 public school student-beneficiaries.
The PSB also passed a motion that sought to include in the GSIS accident insurance coverage all teaching and non-teaching personnel of the seven city schools divisions; the seven PTA Federation Presidents of the seven city divisions; as well as all the PTA presidents of all public schools in the province’s 44 towns, six component cities, and one highly urbanized city in Mandaue.
The PSB had earlier enrolled all teaching and non-teaching personnel, as well as the 44 PTA Federation presidents of the 44 municipalities of the Province in the GSIS personal accident insurance coverage. They are entitled to a P100,000 coverage for personal accident; P10,000 as medical reimbursement coverage; and P10,000 burial assistance.
Figures of insured DepEd personnel, as well as PTA presidents, have already reached 30,678; but these do not include yet the DepEd personnel as well as PTA presidents of all public schools in the province who were just made beneficiaries of the GSIS insurance coverage in the meeting.
Provincial treasurer Atty. Roy Salubre reported that the PSB has enough Special Education Funds (SEF) available which amounts to over P1 billion as of press time, although the governor ordered him to find additional funding support for the now expanded PSB.
The SEF is sourced from a portion of the real property tax (RPT) collected from the 44 municipalities of the Province, as stipulated by RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991. This is the reason why the PBS initially includes only the Provincial Division of DepEd which has jurisdiction over the 44 towns of the province since only the towns remit RPT to the province.
Newly installed Cebu Provincial Division Superintendent Dr. Senen Priscillo Paulin welcomed the inclusion of the seven city divisions in the PSB and lauded the governor’s generosity especially that it would also entail a bigger budget for the programs of the now expanded PSB.
He called the governor’s management style as “very participatory”, adding that its effectivity lies in the fact that “more heads are better than one”.
“She (the governor) is like a mother to the province. She does not want to exclude the cities, and I appreciate that,” Dr. Paulin told Sugbo News.
“The governor has always been mindful of the welfare of the province, and that is something that we should appreciate and be grateful about — that she thinks of the welfare of everyone,” he added. | Ioannes P. Arong