Rafi to build school in Barangay Ermita-A A +A
Friday, January 10, 2014
SOME 500 children from Barangay Ermita, Cebu City will no longer have to go far every day to go to school.
A public elementary school worth P13 million will already be built in the barangay through the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi).
The four-story building with 12 classrooms will rise on a 1,042-square-meter lot that the City purchased for P14 million near the Ermita barangay hall.
Yesterday, the City, through Mayor Michael Rama, together with Rafi’s president Roberto Aboitiz and Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu City Division Superintendent Rhea Mar Angtud already signed the memorandum of agreement for the project.
Anthony Dignadice, executive director of Rafi’s Education Development Unit, said there are 800 children from Ermita who go to the City Central School, the school closest to the barangay.
DepEd records, though, revealed that last year, 50 elementary students from Ermita dropped out because of the travel distance and of the financial burden.
Dignadice said Ermita is one of the most populated barangays in the city, but it doesn’t have its own school.
He also said they chose Ermita as a recipient of the project because Rafi has a long standing relationship with the barangay.
He said Ermita has been their focus-area for their projects in last several years.
Dignadice said the 12 classrooms can accommodate 540 students if each classroom will hold 45 students.
With only an estimated 500 students who will be accommodated in the new school building, Angtud said they will prioritize who will transfer.
She said they will accommodate kindergarten students up to Grade 3.
“We will prioritize them kay sila ang sector sa mga bata nga lisud makatabok sa dan padung (because it’s too dangerous for them to cross streets on the way to) City Central. This will be for their safety,” she said.
Asked when the construction of the school building will start, Dignadice said they don’t have a timeline yet.
He said they have given the City two months to demolish the two-story building on the site where the school will be built.
Rama yesterday said the construction of a public school in Ermita is another dream come true for him, adding that he has been pushing for a school to be built in the area for the past years.
Ermita Barangay Captain Felicisimo “Imoc” Rupinta thanked Rafi for the project, saying his constituents have been yearning for a school.
Once the project is completed, Dignadice said Rafi plans to build more classrooms not just in the city but also in the province.
For the next three years, Dignadice said they plan to build 300 classrooms, or 100 classrooms per year.
This will be over and above the 400 classrooms that the foundation will rebuild out of the 1,200 classrooms in northern Cebu that were heavily damaged by super typhoon Yolanda last Nov. 8.
Repairs will be implemented in the next three months and will cover Daanbantayan, Bantayan Island, Sta. Fe and Madridejos.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2014.