Development in Bauko school ground nixed

BAUKO, Mountain Province  – Concerned residents of the town petitioned government agencies and the local government to stop the implementation of all development projects within the Bauko Central School site that did not pass the required consultations with the education department and the people.

In a petition signed by some 150 barangay officials, teachers, school officials and residents of Poblacion, they expressed their opposition to the development projects being implemented within the Bauko Central School ground because previous government leaders reportedly segregated the school lot having an approximate area of 20,249 square meters including its expansion in 1938 by another 5,531 square meters for education purposes.

Based on the tax declaration of the Bureau of Public Schools, the said property now contains an area of 24,293 square meters as per revisions done in the property.

The petitioners claimed that for more than a decade of occupancy, the school lot was developed through the effort and support of succeeding government leaders together with the Bureau of Public Schools and the education department and development of the property for education was evident.

During the establishment of Bauko Central School, the petitioners claimed the public school catered to learners from Sabagnan, Bauko and Tadian towns and it became the district office of the BIBAK division of the said municipalities which reduced thousands of basic education graduates who have been employed inside and outside the country.

The petitioners argued that with the increasing demand of the K to 12 basic education program, many education facilities such as laboratory rooms, industrial arts rooms, information communication technology rooms, home economic rooms, school clinic and canteen and proposed sites for junior and senior high school have emerged to help achieve quality education.

The petitioners disclosed that various project5s will be implemented in the school site but the education department, through the school head, and the people were not reportedly informed or consulted about the matter, thus, all development projects that must be introduced in the school ground must be for educational purposes only for the benefit of the younger generat6ions.

Earlier, the Cordillera office of the Civil Defense (OCD-CAR) funded the put up of a P34 million regional evacuation center that will be erected within a 2,000-square meter government property in the municipality primarily to serve not only as an evacuation center but also a disaster operation center and a warehouse of preposition relief goods to be used during emergency situations.

Subsequently, education officials allegedly padlocked the construction site for still unknown reasons that resulted to the serious delays in the implementation of the projects considering that the property where the structure is being constructed is within the school ground of the Bauko Central School.

It can be recalled that Mayor Abraham B. Akilit lashed out at officials of concerned government agencies for allegedly sabotaging the on-going construction of the multi-million Cordillera Regional Disaster Center within a government-owned property in the municipality, saying that such actuations of supposed responsible public servants are contrary to acceptable normal and conduct of public officers.

The local chief executive claimed that the construction site was allegedly padlocked by purported representatives from the education department’s Provincial Schools division while the Cordillera office of the National Commission on indigenous peoples (NCIP-CAR came out with a ruling that the area where the disaster center is being built is part of the public domain.

However, Akilit revealed that upon making the necessary representations with the education department, there was no order from them to padlock the project site that will significantly affect the implementation of the project because they were not allegedly aware of the situation in the area.

“We do not understand why there are some private or public officers who want the project to be delayed when it will benefit not only the people of Mountain Province but also other people who will be in needed of evacuation areas from other parts of the region during emergency situations,” Mayor Akilit stressed.

He argued that there is no basis for the NCIP-CAR to claim that the over 2,-square meter area donated by the local government to the office of Civil Defense (OCD) in the Cordillera for the construction of the regional disaster center is part of the public domain because it was already surveyed and segregated for the requirements of the municipality based on survey conducted way back in 1906.

According to him, the on-going construction of the regional disaster center which was provided with the appropriate funding from the OCD-CAR had already been delayed for several days because of the project site having padlocked by still unidentified individuals who simply want to derail the realization of the project which is supposed to be one of his major accomplishments.

Mayor Akilit urged concerned stakeholders to openly discuss the issues and concerns related to the project during consultations and not for them to attempt to sabotage the realization of the project which is considered to be a cowardly act of those responsible for the unnecessary suspension of the construction activities in the project site.

By HENT

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