MANKAYAN, Benguet – Mayor Materno Luspian said that the local government was able to initiate the establishment of public schools in the town’s different barangays that paved the way for the youth to avail of affordable and quality education over the past several years.
He stated that he is of the belief that education is the best inheritance the parents and guardians could give to their children because it could not be easily taken away from them and that it will be able to help people move out from the shackles of poverty if properly used.
From only 23 elementary schools in the different barangays in 1995, Luspian was able to work out the establishment of more elementary schools in the barangays which now number to about 35 while from only 3 high schools, there are now 8 additional junior high schools and 8 other senior high schools distributed in the town’s 12 barangays.
In the case of day care centers, Luspian claimed that the local government in partnership with concerned government agencies was able to establish some 58 day care centers municipal wide that helped provide access for the youth to avail of accessible quality education from the said institutions.
At present, Luspian said the municipal school board is paying the honoraria of some 23 teachers who are assigned in remote communities of the town to help in providing the needed basic education to the children wanting to learn and become successful professionals in the future.
He claimed that the establishment of more schools in the rural areas was one of his institutional programs when he was given the mandate by the people to serve the municipality for three consecutive terms because he wants the present and future generations to use education as their vehicle in uplifting the present condition of their families and to help them move out from the shackles of poverty.
While it is true that Mankayan is a first class municipality based on income, Luspian emphasized the need for the provision of sufficient support from concerned government agencies so that the town’s potential source of income such as agriculture, tourism and entrepreneurship could be enhanced for them to be able to be key economic drivers for the locality in the future once given the appropriate investments for those involved in the said sectors to advance in terms of promoting their produce, the available tourist spots and the well packaged products.
According to him, one of the needs of the municipality is better state of roads and bridges to improve inter-barangay, inter-municipality, inter-provincial and inter-regional linages that will contribute in efforts to improve the status of other potential sectors that will help in advancing growth and development in the countryside.
Mankayan is now known to be the producer of quality gongs following the revival of the town’s gong making industry through the Bedbed senior citizens association and with the support of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of ?Science and Technology (DOST) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
Currently, the local government is working out the preparation of the needed tourism development plan that will serve as the blueprint in advancing the town’s ecotourism industry.