School row leads to raps by parents vs exec
BAYAMBANG, Pangasinan— The parents-teachers association (PTA) of Bayambang Central School (BCS) here filed a complaint of graft against the school’s principal in the Office of the Ombudsman after the official supposedly collected graduation fees from students and asked ambulant vendors around the school to pay rental.
A group of PTA officers, led by PTA president Filipinas Alcantara, filed the complaint against BCS principal Danilo Lopez in the Office of the Ombudsman’s regional branch in Rosales town, Pangasinan province, on Oct. 1.
Several parents executed affidavits saying they each paid P400 for the graduation fee of their children in March, which, Alcantara said, violated a Department of Education order prohibiting the collection of any kind of monetary contribution.
The complaint included an affidavit of Ma. Lourdes Quesada, a BCS teacher, who said that during the school year 2012-2013, the PTA was able to generate enough funds to pave the front yards of three classrooms, repaint seven classrooms and buy a used printer.
“But we were shocked to find out that the projects were included in the [school’s report on] maintenance and other operating expenses,” she said. Part of the PTA funds, she said, also went to the daily wage of a school janitor, who was on the school’s payroll.
The Inquirer had been trying to reach Lopez since Monday but he did not take calls.
On Thursday, the Inquirer went to his office here but a teacher said Lopez was attending a seminar and could not be reached because he had lost his mobile phone.
Quesada said that when she was treasurer of the BCS teachers’ club, Lopez assigned her to collect P6,000 monthly rental from two stalls near the school and P2,000 from the school canteen.
She said Lopez also allowed the schoolyard to be rented out during the town’s fiesta celebration as a site for a “peryahan” (carnival).
Fourteen vendors in the school executed affidavits saying Jonathan Omnes, a janitor, collected P10 daily from each of them, supposedly on the orders of Lopez, when the school was still at its old site in Barangay Zone II here.
The PTA officials said Lopez failed to submit a financial report on a school-sponsored bingo game for which each student paid P50 per card. Yolanda Sotelo, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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