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Half-million schoolchildren to get Gwen notebooks starting today

/ 09:32 AM June 04, 2013

Students and teachers of public schools around the province will have a treat from the provincial government of Cebu on the second day of school year 2013-2014.

Yesterday morning, Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale turned over to Cebu Provincial Schools Superintendent Arden Monisit over a million notebooks and other school supplies for distribution to about half-million public school children all over the province.

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The distribution of school supplies has been delayed after the Commission on Audit (COA) said its cover – that features the picture of suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia – violates Memorandum Circular 2010-11 of the Department of the Interior and Local Governments (DILG).

The COA reminded the Capitol that the DILG circular “prohibits on the inclusion of names, initials, images or pictures of government officials in billboards and signage on government programs, projects and properties.”

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The notebooks and other school supplies were purchased using Capitol funds amounting to P19,358,589 last year.

Monisit said the supplies are enough for half a million school children enrolled in public schools this school year.

The supplies, he said, will be given to the principals. They will then be responsible for distribution to the students starting today.

Eva Encabo, chief of the Provincial General Services Office the kit consists of three notebooks, a pad of paper, ruler and eraser. The items are placed inside a plastic folder.

School kids will also get blue and yellow bags printed with the acronym “GWEN”(Government Working for Educational Needs).

The Capitol earlier abandoned plans to cover the notebooks with paint or manila because it will cost about P4 million.

Magpale instead included in the Memorandum of Agreement between Department of Education (DepEd) and Capitol a provision that would requires students and parents to cover the notebooks.

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Last week, Magpale sought exception from the DILG Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas to circular saying it would be a waste of government funds if the materials are left to rot in a warehouse in the Capitol.

Since no word was received from Manila and with the school opening yesterday, Magpale said she has instead consulted Jerome Gonzales, acting provincial director of DILG 7 about the distribution of the controversial school supplies.

According to Encabo, 111,000 additional notebooks set for distribution in 2011 will also be sent to recipient towns tomorrow morning.

She said mini trucks owned by the provincial government will be utilized for the delivery.

Garcia who has been elected as representative in congress of Cebu 3rd district is expected to return to the Capitol on June 19, after her six-month suspension ends on June 18. Magpale has been elected vice governor to governor-elect Hilario “Jun-jun” Davide. /Peter L. Romanillos, Correspondent

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