By: Jonathan Mongcal
CAGAYAN DE ORO — After assuming office in January 2017, school principal Rosemarie H. Dullente of Macasandig Elementary School discovered that she had an almost herculean task before her.
A new 3-storey building had leaking water pipelines that caused uncontrollable water flow making the building useless. In addition, there were two rickety structures on campus— the old library which housed the principal’s office, and a 2-classroom building— that were earlier identified as unsafe and condemned.
She had to demolish the useless buildings, but she knew how difficult it would be. Her school’s resources would not be enough to cover all the costs. As it is, the school was responsible for the cost of upkeep for the rest of the buildings on campus, and had very limited funds and savings. She had to find other means to fund the demolition.
Principal Dullente turned to CheckMySchool to address her problem. She recalled the lessons of social accountability and felt the urge to apply them. She was the principal of Bayabas Elementary School when she first encountered social accountability through CheckMySchool coordinator, Jonathan Mongcal. Following this experience, Dullente studied ways to involve all the stakeholders and reached out to them to seek help for the demolition work.
From the corporal’s office, the letter was re-echoed until it reached Colonel Deonisio C. Baudin. After three days, the Colonel replied scheduling a visual inspection at the school premises.
Corporal Salabao and Platoon Head Danny D. Sucuano conducted the inspection which identified the required equipment and manpower. Their calculations showed that the demolition would take three days. At best, the Philippine army could only offer manpower as it had limited equipment.
It was a good move because Punong Barangay Ernesto P. Edrote was ready to help. Erdote, who was also the Chairperson of the School Governing Council, convened the GPTA. With the help of GPTA Roger A. Lacsi and its officers, an action plan was formed, which addressed the needed equipment as well.
A tight budget of PHP 5,000.00 was raised to cover food. Funds came from SGC (PHP 2,500), GPTA (PHP 1,250) and school canteen (PHP 1,250). Both school teachers and parents volunteered to prepare the food.
All the efforts of Dullente and the school’s stakeholders culminated with the three-day demolition. The successful demolition showed that perseverance and community effort – from raising funds, finding equipment and recruiting volunteers from parents to the army – can topple real buildings.
Principal Dullente’s diligent efforts truly paid off. On the first day of the demolition last March 17, 2017, Dullente said, “Through CMS we were motivated to work harder and focus on the things we need to improve. At the same time it gave us inspiration as they [community stakeholders] truly appreciate our efforts.”
Edited by: Io Aceremo