THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) and the Angeles City Government are set to build a P50 million worth school building that will house 20 classrooms at the City College of Angeles (CCA).
This came after Pagcor Chairperson Andrea Domingo, Mayor Carmelo Lazatin Jr., Vice Mayor Vicenta Vega-Cabigting, members of the City Council, and City Engineer Donato Dizon led the groundbreaking ceremony and time capsule laying at the CCA on June 28.
Also present during the ceremony was Executive Assistant IV Reina Manuel.
The ceremony coincides with the birthday of the late Congressman Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin, father of Mayor Lazatin.
The mayor honored his father, citing his greatest contribution in uplifting the quality of education not just in the city, but in the first district of Pampanga, with the help of then Governor Lilia Pineda.
“Ang edukasyon po ay mahalaga sa aking ama at gano'n din sa aking lolo, si Governor Rafael Lazatin, dahil naniniwala po kami na ang edukasyon ang greatest equalizer -- ang edukasyon po ay makakapag ahon sa ating mga mahihirap na kababayan sa kahirapan,” Lazatin said.
“Gaya po nila, kami po ng aking kapatid na si Cong. Jon ay patuloy na isusulong ang mga programang pang-edukasyon upang maisaayos pa ang public schools dito sa Angeles City,” he added.
He then thanked Pagcor for being an ally in the city’s advocacy of providing quality education to the Angeleño youth.
“Lubos po akong nagpapasalamat sa Pagcor at sa pamunuan nito, sa pangunguna po ni [Domingo] at naging katuwang kayo ng Angeles City Government sa adhikaing walang kabataang Angeleño ang maiiwan pagdating sa larangan ng edukasyon,” Lazatin said.
Meanwhile, Domingo remembered the late congressman Lazatin as a "cool headed" colleague in Congress.
It was on November 2020 when a P50-million donation from Pagcor turned over to the City Government.
On the same day, Lazatin made a statement that the amount will be used for the building of additional classrooms at the CCA.
For his part, Dizon said the construction will be finished by 2022.
According to Mayor Lazatin’s chief adviser, IC Calaguas, it is only when there are more available classrooms at the CCA that additional courses will be offered to Angeleño scholars and more professional teachers will be hired. This has been the advocacy of Lazatin for CCA as soon as he took office.
"Kapag po mas maraming classrooms, makakapagdagdag tayo ng courses na pwedeng pagpilian ng mga iskolar natin. Iyan po ang paniniwala ni Mayor Lazatin," Calaguas said.
To date, there are 16 courses available in the city college with 3,200 enrolled scholars.
“Kahit po may pandemya, nais siguraduhin ni Mayor Lazatin na walang kabataang Angeleño ang maiiwan pagdating sa edukasyon. Kaya naman tuloy-tuloy po ang mga programang edukasyon na nangangalaga sa kanilang kinabukasan,” Calaguas added.
It can be recalled that the CCA was given 3,200 tablets since the transition to the digital education. The tablets will be exclusively used for the educational learning of the scholars residing in the city and at the end of the academic year, the units will be given back to the school’s administration.
Alongside, internet learning cards were also provided for better internet access to the city's free WiFi.
Apart from this soon-to-rise building, P210 million will also be allotted for the city college's infrastructure development.
It was during the elder Lazatin's stint as city mayor when 200 classrooms were built in the city's public schools, including Balibago High School, despite the limited budget of P200 million. It was also during his stint as First District representative from 2011 to 2013 when 344 classrooms were constructed and repaired.
“We will remain true to our promise, that no Angeleño children will be left behind in terms of education,” Lazatin said.