MANKAYAN, Benguet – The Lepanto National High School (LNHS) emerged champion in the public-rural school category in the regional Gawad Kalasag Award, besting four other qualified public schools in the Cordillera Region. LNHS will receive a plaque and cash prize of P50,000.
The Gawad Kalasag (Kalamidad at Sakuna Labanan Sariling Galing at Kaligtasan) is the country’s premier annual awards for outstanding contribution in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and humanitarian assistance. It aims to encourage stakeholders to adopt and implement innovative and useful programs in disaster preparedness and emergency management.
“We have a very strong support system here in LNHS coming from our various stakeholders; the Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, the Local Government Units, the school governing council, our students and teachers, our PTA, the alumni association and the Department of Education, to name a few”, LNHS Principal Nestor Dalay-on proudly remarked.
“Their unyielding support, especially in terms of technical assistance for our disaster management and preparedness programs, has always been overwhelmingly accessible and unfailing”, he added.
Clares Guminigin, one of the school’s master teachers, shared: “Even before joining the Gawad Kalasag Award, our disaster management program had been in place for years. With the changing and challenging times, it has evolved into a more complex structure, and we reinforce it further through quarterly drills, regular seminars and training particularly on climate change mitigation.”
Out of the 20 entries in the region, only four met the 80% rating requirement of the board and therefore qualified to compete in the national level. LNHS had an average evaluation rate of 86%. Others who made it to the list were Mountain Province for the Provincial DRRM category, the municipality of La Trinidad under MDRRMC category, and the University of the Cordilleras under the Higher Education Institution category.
LNHS is one of the “in-camp” schools that Lepanto has been supporting for decades with free electricity and water as well as donations of books, computers, among other equipment and facilities. These schools have reaped not only local but also national recognitions.
“The Cordillera region is no stranger to calamities – earthquakes and strong typhoons. Lepanto, therefore, has to proactively and continuously improve its disaster preparedness and management programs for the company, its employees, and the community. The Gawad Kalasag award of LNHS attests to Lepanto’s commitment to preserve and protect its community, especially the children and the students in its in-camp schools,” LCMC VP and Resident Manager Engr. Thomas Consolacion said.
“The culture of unity is one of the best practices that Lepanto National High School has been fostering for years, and we are proud that we have passed it on to generations. As long as this culture is imbibed within us, Lepanto High will continue to soar high,” Dalay-on concluded.
By Salvador ‘Butch’ Mendizabal