Legarda Urges DepEd to Build Green Schools, Restore Heritage School Buildings

September 27, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda today renewed her call for the Department of Education (DepEd) to build green schools and restore heritage school buildings in the country during the hearing on the proposed 2017 budget of the Department.

Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, reminded the DepEd to ensure that the new classrooms being built to address classroom shortage are climate-resilient.

“We want to build not just school buildings, but green schools that are climate- and disaster-resilient. Aside from being safe, we want these schools to be innovative and environment-friendly by putting up rainwater catchment systems, growing vegetable gardens, using renewable energy and setting up a recycling program, among others,” she said.

In the 2016 national budget, Legarda introduced special provisions under the DepEd budget that require the establishment of vegetable gardens, rainwater collection systems, and materials recovery facilities (MRF) in public schools.

“The DepEd receives the largest slice in the budget pie since education should be our highest priority. But it is not enough that we allocate funds for education, we must also teach our youth how they can put values into action. We must inculcate in them the value of an environment-friendly lifestyle,” said Legarda.

The Senator also asked the DepEd to fasttrack the restoration of all Gabaldon school buildings and other heritage school buildings in the country.

“We need to prioritize the restoration of our heritage school buildings because if we ignore them now, next year might be too late as these old buildings could already disintegrate. The DepEd should look into its unobligated funds and check with the Commission on Audit if such funds can be used for the restoration of Gabaldon buildings,” said Legarda.

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