GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Tribal schoolchildren in a remote community in Malungon town, Sarangani province will no longer need to walk for at least two hours when they return to school this June, with the construction of three new classrooms in their village.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-Region 12 formally turned over on Tuesday the newly-completed P3.3-million three-classroom building at the Lamlangil Elementary School in Barangay Tamban, Malungon.
Jackiya Lao, DSWD-12 assistant regional director for administration, said the project was among the school-based projects implemented by the agency in the area in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
She said the new classrooms will mainly benefit at least 60 schoolchildren belonging to the Blaan and Tagakaolo tribes in Sitio Lamlangil and the neighboring areas.
Sitio Lamlangil, which is among the far-flung communities of Barangay Tamban, is located around 24 kilometers from the town proper of Malungon.
Lao said the classroom project was earlier identified by community stakeholders as one of their most pressing needs.
The lack of classrooms in the area had forced some schoolchildren in enrol in other schools and endure at least two hours of hike, she said.
She said the project was eventually endorsed by DSWD-12 for funding under the Bottom-up Budgeting or BUB program and with the UNDP as its partner service provider.
''This is a concrete way of showing that our government is taking care of the welfare of our children — our next generation leaders,” Lao said in a statement.
She said the presence of the new school building will be “a great help in encouraging the whole community to send our children to school.”
The implementation of the project was supervised and monitored by DSWD-12, through the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services or Kalahi-CIDSS program.
The agency said it ensures that recipients are empowered and given the opportunity to be actively involved in the identification, implementation and rollout of sustainability mechanisms for the projects.
Under the program, Malungon received last year around P10 million worth of classroom buildings and daycare center projects.
As of the end of April, DSWD-12 already completed some P13.18 million worth of projects in parts of the region that were funded through the BUB program since last year.
At least 14 community projects worth around P23 million are being implemented in the area and due for completion this year. (MindaNews)