By Che Palicte
August 10, 2019
DAVAO CITY: The top official of the Department of Education (DepEd) visited the Nasilaban Integrated School in Barangay Palma Gil Talaingod in Davao del Norte on Friday, to give Indigenous People (IP) communities new hope through various projects.
Being the first Cabinet official to set foot in the village, Secretary Leonor Briones bared her plans to the community to provide better education to IP children.
“Talaingod was the IP area I failed to visit last year due to security concerns. But today, I have proven that the town is peaceful,” she added.
During the visit, Briones pledged to put up a three-story building with nine classrooms, a dormitory, a solar panel project for electricity supply, and a rainwater collector.
She called on her undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and DepEd officials, from the municipal to provincial levels, to make sure that the projects are delivered before the Duterte administration’s term expires in 2022.
“Every sitio (sub-village) in Talaingod would have its set of kinder, elementary, junior and senior high schools,” she said.
Meanwhile, Talaingod Mayor Jonnie Libayao conveyed to Briones that it is crucial to establish a college in the area.
Briones, however, said priority would be given to basic education for children.
“I understand her for it needs a lot of process, but I am thankful that DepEd initiated a move for senior high school graduates to land for a job,” Libayao said, in reaction to Briones’ statement that the DepEd and the Civil Service Commission had talked about the possibility of accepting senior high graduates for jobs in local and national government offices.
The projects offered by DepEd have a big impact on the lives of the IPs, he said. “Despite her age, she managed to visit us and provided government services to this far-flung area,” he added.
Libayao also said that Briones got the chance to talk to the IP residents, teachers and students and promised to solve the shortage of school buildings and the needs of the schoolchildren.
Briones also went to the adjacent Salugpongan school and saw that nothing was left of it since the residents dismantled the school. (PNA)