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Residents demolish Salugpongan school

Residents of Sitio Puting Bato in Barangay Ngan, Compostela Valley yesterday joined hands in demolishing a Salugpongan school, which they accused of teaching communist ideology.

This as the provincial government turned over a newly constructed two-classroom school building, just fronting the old Salugpongan school, to the residents.

The sitio, near the boundary of Compostela and Cateel in Davao Oriental, used to be a stronghold of the New People’s Army (NPA). It is under the area of responsibility of the Philippine Army’s 66th Infantry Battalion.

In an interview at the site, Gov. Jayvee Tyron Uy said he was happy that the school building requested by the community is finally completed, and ready to be used to serve the children in the area.

“The community is involved in constructing,” Gov. Uy said. The local government and national government agencies joined hand with the military and police for the realization of the school.

The governor said the two-classroom building cost P1.2 million pesos was constructed in 22 days.

Uy led the blessing and turn over ceremony with Reynante Solitario, the officer-in-charge of the Schools Division Superintendent in Compostela Valley.

Renanto Soliterio, the schools division superintendent, said two teachers, both from neighboring New Bataan town in the same province, will be assigned in the area.

In an interview, teachers Michelle Mangko, 22, and Rhea Rojas, 24, said they accepted the task because they want to “teach the children.”

“As teachers, our goal is to teach those who are in need,” Mangko said. “We pray to God to put us in a place where we are needed and this is His answer.”

“The children need us here and we know that they are the future of our country,” Mangko added.

Initially, there will be 75 students in the sitio.

The school will have a multigrade: Grade 1 to Grade 3 in one classroom and Grade 4 to Grade 6 in another classroom.

Soliterio said they prioritized the elementary students because the Bango National High School is just adjacent.

However, they are targeting high-school education by next year in Sitio Puting Bato.

Gov. Uy said they will soon be constructing a teacher’s cottage to serve as the shelter for the teachers. He said they will also set up a kitchen to have a free lunch.

Currently, only military vehicles, dump trucks and motorcycles can enter the sitio due to its rough road.

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