PANGLAO, Bohol – Teachers and residents have rejected the report insinuating that the century-old school buildings made of limestones of the main Central elementary school in this tourist town had been demolished. “Wala’y giguba,” (No demolition), street sweeper who only introduced herself as “Rose” said in an exclusive interview yesterday. “Rose” who has been a sweeper assigned here for two years said that she saw no demolition activities of the school building. Ms. Lorelei Dominguez and Janette Datoy, 32, who are teaching in the school, also said that it’s not true that there was demolition of one of the old structures as reported.
Both admitted there was an on-going restoration works on the equally-old tower nearby or wthin the vicinity of the old Catholic church. They said that they’re even elated as the debris of the ruins even before the earthquake took place were cleared for the safety of the school children, who often frolic within the school perimeter. The teachers’ rejection of a demolition of old school buildings that shelter some 500 pupils and 15 tutors was consistent with the reported statement of disclaimer of Wilfreda Bongalos, schools division superintendent of Bohol.
The uproar stemmed from school custodian Rodrigo Guiritan’s report that indeed there was a demolition of a building. Guiritan appeared persistent that a school building was demolished when it fact it was not. He accompanied the group of officials who conducted on site inspection yesterday to really find out if there was a demolition of a building.
Among the officials who inspected the botched building demolition include officer-in-charge Angel Bautista of the National Museum (NM), NM Bohol in-charge Charlie Tantingco, architect Soc Fucanan, school officer-in-charge Zenaida Cloma, municipal administrator Noel Hormachuelos, municipal building officer Engr. Rogelio Bonao and the media.
Later on, Guiritan said that only a portion, which he called a wash room, of the old building was partially torn down and not the whole building was demolished. And the building where the destroyed “wash room” he was referring was the one situated at the corner the road leading to barangay Doljo.
Asked who really “demolished” the “wash room” of the old building, Guiritan failed to pinpoint. He did not categorically say that it was the alleged “Israel construction” who did the demolition. The alleged contractor is the one who attempt to construct an additional building for classrooms funded by the PAGCOR. The construction appeared halted for now during the inspection.
On the other end of the road leading to a cemetery is situated the equally old school building where some debris littered all around while parasite trees (balite) grow robustly around the old posts made of limestone.
The entire area owned by the municipal government, facing the old church and public plaza where the old municipal hall is, has been declared as Important Cultural Heritage (ICT) by the National Museum. (rvo)