Legarda Pushes for Revival of Gabaldon Schools

August 13, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today renewed her call for the restoration of Gabaldon school buildings in the country not only as part of heritage conservation but also to reuse them for their original purpose as places of learning.

Legarda said that the Gabaldon school houses, like the heritage houses built during the Spanish period, speak much about the nation’s history.

“The success of the restoration of these structures can promote the concept of heritage conservation especially in the provinces where these built heritage remain standing. These buildings can be used to ease classroom shortage or congestion especially in the countryside,” she said.

“As we teach the Filipino youth our nation’s culture and history, we should also inculcate in them the respect for things that form part of our heritage,” she added.

The Gabaldon school buildings were designed by American architect William Parsons and funded through Act No. 1801 authored by Philippine Assemblyman Isauro Gabaldon.

The Gabaldon schools are huge school buildings with high ceiling, spacious corridors and rooms that are divided by wooden collapsible partitions with wide windows made up of capiz shells.

In line with this, Legarda filed Senate Resolution 800, asking the Senate to inquire about the status of the implementation of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) heritage school building restoration program, including the conservation and maintenance of Gabaldon school houses and other heritage structures within its jurisdiction.

She noted that under Memorandum Order No. 164 Series of 2009, the DepEd created the Task Force on Heritage School Buildings to determine the heritage school houses across all regions and be responsible for their restoration.

The Senator stressed that as built heritage structures, the Gabaldon buildings represent historic, architectural and socio-political significance to the country.

“These structures symbolize the first foundation of the Philippine public school system during the American colonial regime, in which each Filipino child, even from the most remote areas of the country, had access to formal education,” said Legarda.