IN a constant effort to provide the youth with an ideal education environment conducive for learning, Manila Mayor Joseph E. Estrada said the city government is allotting P1.4 billion this year on infrastructure projects for public schools in Manila, bringing its total expenditure to P5.773 billion since 2013.
As of last year Estrada said his administration already spent P4.373 billion for similar undertakings from the time he assumed the mayoralty seat five years ago.
Given their heavy investment in the education sector, Manila has so far built 62 new school buildings, and repaired and rehabilitated 149 others under Estrada’s administration.
Speaking before the teachers and parents at the graduation rites of secondary students of Arellano High School and Araullo High School, the local chief executive said many school buildings in Manila were deteriorating when he took office in 2013.
Being the “Father of the City,” he said he always prioritizes the welfare of all Manila graduates and those who will come after them.
He said he has been working very hard to provide local students with everything they need to finish their studies.
Despite budget constraints due to indebtedness, Estrada said the current administration works hard to renovate school buildings and classrooms that need repairs and build more so as not to compromise the safety and security of the students.
The mayor also increased the city teachers’ monthly allowance to better compensate them for their hard work and dedication in educating the youth.
“Now they are receiving P2,000 in addition to their monthly salaries,” he said, citing his continuous effort to further raise their benefits in due time.
To those who graduated valedictorians, Estrada gifted them with cash gifts of P7,000 each; salutatorians, P6,000 each; first honors, P5,000 each; second honors, P4,000 each; and third honors, P3,000 each.
The top-three students from Kinder up to Grade 10 will also receive cash gifts from City Hall worth P3,000, P2,000 and P1,000 each, respectively.
“You all deserve to be rewarded for your hard work and for being role models for your classmates and all the young people of our city,” Estrada said.
With or without honors, all Manila students will receive “Erap All Stars” rubber shoes from the mayor.
Estrada already instructed the teachers and school officials to get the students’ shoe sizes. The Chuck Taylor classic shoes from Converse will be distributed next school year.
“One of the happiest moments of my life is to witness your success—the new generation of Manileños,” he said. He urged the graduates to thank their teachers, school officials and parents for contributing to their success.
“May you take advantage all of the opportunities available to finish your studies and become successful in the near future,” he said.