LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The present provincial administration assured the Department of Education (DepEd) of its continuing efforts to shed light on the rampant robbery cases and burning incidents in elementary and secondary schools in Pangasinan in collaboration with law-enforcement agencies, Local Government Units (LGUs) and barangay officials.
On behalf of Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr., Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Z. Calimlim, Jr. presided the meeting with police forces, fire marshals, provincial board members; superintendents and representatives from six DepEd schools divisions in the province recently at Urduja House, here, where status of ongoing investigations and findings regarding school robbery and burning incidents were discussed.
“Let’s get our acts together because these issues concern everyone,” Vice Governor Calimlim stressed as he pointed out that if the issues will not be resolved, the benefits, including the computerization program of the DepEd intended for public schools in the province will be delayed.
It can be recalled that key officials of DepEd schools divisions in the province were earlier invited by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to report during the question hour particular details regarding theft incidents in school premises.
Bro. Armin Luistro, Education Secretary, has expressed his concern to the Vice Governor regarding said issues last week, asking the provincial government to help for the immediate resolution of the cases.
Police reports stated that robbery of school equipment mostly computer units and multi-media projectors, happened after the school year (or after graduation) while burning incidents were mainly caused by faulty electrical wirings.
PSSupt. Rolly Saltat, OIC Police Provincial Director, said that intelligence operations are ongoing, noting that some leads and evident patterns of the robbery cases in schools in Pangasinan were already determined.
It was found out that lack of coordination with police forces on the arrival or delivery of computer units and projectors in schools became an opportunity for robbery attempts.
Some robbery incidents were reportedly done after the delivery of school equipment.
Meanwhile, Board Member Amado I. Espino, III suggested that peace, order and security efforts by the police must be complemented with “harmonious relationship among school administrators, local chief executives and barangay leaders.”
“Barangay captains could assign Community Volunteer Organization (CVO) members to reinforce security measures for a particular school in a barangay,” Espino, Liga ng mga Barangay Provincial President said.
Provincial Fire Marshall Arthur Sawate said fire prevention programs for schools have been intensified as he mentioned that fire safety inspections, including re-installation of electrical wirings were done before the start of classes.
By Dexter A. See