– The provincial government here broke ground Monday for its PHP11.65-million two-story school-based multi-purpose teen center that will provide a venue for psycho-social and health development programs benefiting youths and adolescents in the province. The construction of the teen center at the Iloilo National High School (INHS) in this city’s La Paz district is under the “Bulig Eskwela sang Probinsya (BES PROBINS)’ program, particularly on the support to infrastructure and facilities in public schools and the Department of Education (DepEd). “We are not only concerned with the education in the four corners of the classroom. We are very concerned about your social life and psycho-social well-being. And we want our programs that deal with that to find a home in our teen center,” Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said in his message during the program. It will serve as a home for the Adolescent Health and Youth Development Program (AHYDP) and the Program for the Resilience of Iloilo in Mind and Emotion (PRIME). The center will also be a venue for the career guidance and counseling program localizing Republic Act (RA) 11206, of which Defensor was the main author when he was still a congressman, establishing a career guidance and counseling program in all secondary schools in the country and the voter’s education program. RA 11206, signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte on Feb. 14, 2019, is otherwise known as the Secondary School Career Guidance and Counseling Act. Defensor said the architectural design of the project is similar to the façade of the Casa Real which was declared an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum of the Philippines last month. “That looks like the facade of our Casa Real because we incorporate architectural design. We have been suggesting to the national government that any opportunity that we can incorporate architectural design to our civil works to make it beautiful, we will do it,’ he said, adding that beauty is appreciated, loved, and preserved. The provincial government targets to build PHP35 million worth of teen center buildings in around 10 national high schools in Iloilo this year. It has prepared a typhoon-resilient design for other teen centers that can withstand the strength of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines, costing around PHP2.9 million each. All teen centers are funded under the government’s Provincial School Board Special Education Fund. Defensor said there are 97 other teen centers in the province but the provincial government only provided equipment for those facilities, unlike this time when it is the one constructing the buildings. The groundbreaking was also attended by DepEd Iloilo Schools Division Superintendent Ma. Luz de los Reyes, INHS principal Delorah Cecilia Fantillo, provincial administrator Raul Banias, and Provincial Population chief Ruel Von Superio.
Source: Philippines News Agency