Bontoc honors teachers on Teachers’ Month

Students stand by the side of the road holding banners and placards expressing their gratitude to the teachers who paraded along the thoroughfares of the capital town during the provincial celebration of the National Teachers Day on October 4, 2018. ** Alpine L. Killa, Bontoc –LGU

Bontoc, Mountain Province – In a simple, yet meaningful and joyful celebration, public school teachers in this municipality gathered at the Eyeb Open Gym on October 3, 2019, in celebration of the Bontoc District Teachers’ Day.
Speaking before almost a hundred teachers, Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey commended and thanked the teachers for all their hard work and sacrifices.
“You may think that your job is a thankless job. You may think that the national government is not giving you commensurate attention as regards your pay and benefits as compared to the uniformed personnel of the police or the armed forces. For all your sacrifices, even those that are not recognized during your ranking and promotion, and for all those times that you get tired and feel like giving up, please remember that service is reward unto itself,” the mayor remarked.
While it is true that the Bontoc Local Government Unit (LGU) cannot provide an additional amount of the salary given to teachers, he assured that the municipal government strives to give whatever assistance it can to help the education sector.
Some of these include the annual allocation of financial aid for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, District Athletic Meet, Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) Meet, Batang Pinoy or Philippine National Games, and Alternative Learning System; the increase of the municipal government’s financial aid to the Provincial Meet to 1.2 million pesos for year 2020– the highest in Mountain Province; allocation of P400,000 for the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) as in the previous years; and the increase of allocation of the Oplan Pera sa Basura to P300,000 for cash incentives to schools next year.
He said that last year 2018, more than P1 Million was released by the municipal government to the respective schools as Special Education Fund (SEF) while for this year, from January to September, almost P700, 000 was released to the respective schools as SEF.
Odsey added that starting this year, the municipal government has also allocated P1.2 Million for the financial assistance to indigent students or the municipal scholarship program. The assistance of P2, 500 per grantee increased to P4, 000 per grantee which is even higher compared to other municipalities.
To encourage students to excel either in academic and/or sports competitions in the provincial, regional, national, or international levels and bring honor to the municipality, the mayor added that the municipal government has, for how many years now, allocated P300,000 per year for cash incentives to students who bring home gold, silver, or bronze medals. It is noteworthy that it is only Bontoc, among all the towns in Mountain Province, which has this program.
The mayor emphasized that in addition to other municipal funds, all of the Bontoc municipal government’s share from the collection of Real Property Taxes, are being given back to the public in the form of the various programs to include the education sector.
An elementary teacher himself by profession and since he started his political career, education has always been one of his top priorities.
“During the 2019 Bontoc Foundation Anniversary celebration last September, I laid out my vision for Bontoc in the next three years, which I hope will be worthy of a legacy during my last term as your mayor. This vision, I call, “BONTOC ON THE RISE”. This vision embodies the five major programs of our administration, namely youth development, shared prosperity, sustainability and wealth, disaster resiliency and preparedness, and people centered- service,” Odsey shared.
With this, the mayor challenged the teachers to focus on youth development through education, sports, and the arts.
“Youth development is essential in nation-building, so your job as teachers is practically, to build the nation. Such is your value and your responsibility – TO BUILD THE NATION. As with your theme today “Gurong Pilipino: Handa sa Makabagong Pagbabago”, you must adapt to the changing times and harness technological advances to more effectively accomplish your mission as molders or educators of our country’s future,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Schools District Supervisor Amelia Wacangan thanked the municipal government for their non-stop support to the education sector.
Presidential Proclamation No. 242 declares September 5 to October 5 of every year as National Teachers Month and Republic Act 10743 declares the 5th day of October of every year as the National Teachers Day and the designation of the World Teachers Day every 5th of October by the United Nations Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). **Alpine L. Killa, Bontoc- LGU

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