Mayor Lani guarantees free graduation in all 34 public schools in Taguig

The Taguig City government assured anew free graduation for all graduating students in the city’s 34 public elementary and high schools this month amid reports of complaints of graduation fees aired by parents in other cities and municipalities, Mayor Lani Cayetano said.

Apart from graduation expenses, Mayor Lani said that the city government will provide graduating students with free togas and shoulder yearbook fees, in a bid to ease the economic burdens of families.

“The city government will assist in every way it can to sustain the needs of every student in our city,” said the mayor.

This year, a total of 17,613 students will graduate from Taguig’s public schools, consisting of 10,756 elementary and 6,857 high school students.

The free graduation in Taguig City is in line with the Department of Education (DepEd) Order No. 9, released last January 27 prohibiting public school heads, teachers and DepEd personnel from collecting “any graduation fees or any kind of contribution for the graduation rites.”

As in the past year, the city government will also give financial assistance to Top 10 students of the graduating class. Besides, the most outstanding student of each section in all levels from elementary and high school will be given financial support. (pls. clarify that the purpose of the  financial assistance is to help parents and students with expenses in h.s. and college)

According to Mayor Lani, the city government is providing financial support to students because she wants deserving students to continue pursuing their education.

“I understand the importance of education. I also recognize that many students do not enroll in further studies due to different reasons. This is the reason why I and the rest of our allies in the city council laid out education programs that would give opportunities to our Taguig youth,” Mayor Lani pointed out.

For his part, Atty. Darwin Icay, Mayor Lani’s spokesperson, noted that the Cayetano administration has implemented significant reforms in education, including this year’s P200 million scholarship fund, which is double the P100 million allocated in 2011.

“Aiming for the 1:45 ideal teacher-student ratio, the city government implemented the Taguig Learner’s Certificate (TLC) Program to improve the quality of education. Under this program, more than 1,000 public high school students were transferred to various private schools in our city,” said Atty. Icay, also the Public Information Office chief.

The Cayetano administration has also unveiled several public school buildings and hired additional teachers, he added.

“The unwavering support of Mayor Lani in the education sector does not end there because for the first time, all public school students have been given complete school uniforms. We provide ready-to-wear uniforms, bags, pairs of shoes, notebooks, pencils and paper, compared with the past administration wherein students were provided only with fabric,” Atty. Icay said.

Recently, Mayor Lani donated new sets of sound equipment to all public schools in Taguig. Also, the mayor donated photocopying machines to the city’s 34 public schools, a demonstration of her aggressive implementation of education reforms and programs.

Mayor Lani said her administration will continue supporting the education sector, as she urged the students to study diligently. She added that teachers and parents should guide the youth to be responsible citizens.

TAGUIG CRAFTS IMPROVED DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

TAGUIG CRAFTS IMPROVED DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Mayor Lani tasks officials to identify risk-prone areas

To ensure better preparedness in case of a major calamity in the city, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano has directed barangay officials to submit a comprehensive disaster management plan on their areas of jurisdiction.

Specifically, Mayor Lani tasked the officials of the city’s 28 barangays to outline the process in responding to disasters and identify equipment they needed for a faster and coordinated response during disasters.

“We want our officials to be better prepared in times of calamities to prevent the loss of lives and minimize injuries among our citizens,” said Mayor Lani, adding that the city government wants to be at the forefront of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Mayor Lani stressed that the city government is ready to provide the equipment every barangay needs for disaster response.

The barangay officials were given a month to complete their respective disaster plans, to be submitted to the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) for appropriate action.

The plan to draft a barangay disaster management plan is part of the mandate of local government units under Republic Act 10121 or the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

The Taguig CDRRMO and disaster officials representing their barangays have attended a recent training conducted by the Department of Interior and Local Government in Clark, Pampanga on disaster awareness and preparedness, which included preparation of a thorough disaster plan.

The CDRRMO has identified at least three potential areas that could be used centralized evacuation centers in Taguig in case of a major earthquake strike, although the choice has yet to be finalized.

Among the possible centralized evacuation centers eyed by the CDRRMO include the golf course in Army headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, the parking lot at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan and the Baseball Stadium in Barangay Ususan, which provides better access for relief distribution.

In accordance with disaster preparedness measures, the city also plans to implement institutional city-wide earthquake drills in the first quarter of the year.

In case of typhoons, public schools and covered courts will still be used as evacuation centers.

Atty. Darwin Icay, Public Information office chief, said that the city’s programs are not limited to disaster relief but also to address the adverse impacts of climate change.

“The Cayetano administration has wide-ranging programs on disaster response because the city government does not want officials to be ill-prepared in responding to calamities,” said Atty. Icay.

Recently, Taguig City and the Australian government signed a partnership to build a P2.5-billion housing resettlement for vulnerable communities in the city. It aims to build about 1,800 housing units for families.

Likewise, Taguig City was selected by the Australian government as pilot testing site for a high-resolution geo-hazard map that would provide city officials with better information on areas vulnerable to various types of calamities like typhoon, flooding, landslides and earthquakes.

Taguig public schools get hi-tech, multi-function copying machines

Teachers  and officials of Taguig public schools are no longer rushing out to nearby stores to Xerox urgently needed test papers or other teaching materials.

This was because each of the 34 public schools in the city now has their own brand new multi-function photocopying machines—courtesy of Mayor Lani Cayetano who donated the equipment to the schools recently.

“We are very glad that we have a mayor who has a heart in education. We want to reciprocate her good deeds to our local education by our schools’ accomplishments and achievements,” said Dr. George Tizon, special liaison to the Taguig Local School Board and officer-in-charge of Senator Renato “Companero” Cayetano Memorial Science and Technology High School.

According to Mayor Lani, this only shows the top priority she gives to the local education sector.

On the other hand, she took a dig at the previous administration which she accused of giving little support to the public school, or if at all, favored those in areas controlled by their political allies.

“It is our commitment to give what is due to our schools. The city government hopes to strengthen the public school system’s technological infrastructure,” said Mayor Lani.

The heavy-duty office equipment, costing a total of P3.5 million, can not only be used for photocopying but could also function as scanner or printer and can be connected through a computer network.

Atty. Darwin Icay, chief of the Public Information Office, stressed that the Cayetano administration is unwavering in its commitment in finding ways to improve delivery of educational services to the citizens of Taguig.

“Mayor Lani wants to extend help in every way her administration can for the welfare of our schools and for the greater benefit of our students,” said Atty. Icay.

Icay noted that critical investments were placed in the city’s education sector including the  P200 million allocated this year by the city government in scholarships alone, which is a big jump from the P100 million in scholarship fund earmarked last year.

In contrast, Icay noted that the previous administration allocated a measly P5 million annually for scholarship.

He added that the city government also gives public schools other forms of assistance, like distributing cleaning materials during the annual Brigada Eskwela, when teachers and parents clean the rooms in preparation for the onset of the school year.