Despite earlier memo, Angelicum school in Iloilo clarifies it won’t close
ILOILO CITY, Philippines – Angelicum School Iloilo (ASIL), a Catholic private school in Iloilo City, announced on Friday, May 29, its administration is rescinding its decision to close.
This came days after school’s director Rev. Fr. Maximo Gatela made an earlier annoucement that the private institution will cease operation effective July 31, 2020 due to the difficult implications brought about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health crisis.
ASIL is run by Dominicans, one of the three Angelicum schools established by Fr. Rogelio B. Alarcon, O.P. in the 1970s. The school caters to pre-school, elementary, junior high school, and senior high school students. (READ: How other countries are reopening schools during coronavirus pandemic)
"The experience of the 4th grading period was difficult for all of us. The sad part was that ASIL was not ready and failed miserably in delivering the services," said Gatela in a statement released on Wednesday, May 27.
In the same announcement, ASIL put forward three options for parents and students heading into the next school year that includes enrolling in the Home Study Program of University of Sto. Tomas (UST) - Angelicum College; signing up for REAP (Re-entry Education Agenda for the Poor), an off-shoot of UST – Angelicum's home study program offered for free to disadvantaged students; or transferring to another school of their choice.
He said the first two options are non face-to-face, which is fitting during the pandemic.
"Your transfer documents are ready for pick-up after you have been given clearance," he added.
But ASIL’s Board of Trustees on early Friday, May 29, released a media advisory relaying that they have overturned the decision. In the same statement, they also announced the resignation of Gatela.
It said that ASIL Board of Trustees overrules and recalls the earlier notice on the cessastion of operations of the private institution. The document was signed by ASIL Board of Trustees chairman Fr. Napoleon B. Sipalay Jr., OP.
"The Board of Trustees, as well as the Provincial Council of the Dominican Province of the Philippines, didn’t approve any cessation of operation," it further clarified.
ASIL was first established in 1978, with the school motto “Caritas, Justitia, et Fortitudo” (Charity, Justice, and Fortitude). The institution is housed in the Lizares Mansion compound along McArthur Drive, Tabuc Suba, Jaro, Iloilo City.
The site is a declared important cultural property. Built in 1937, the Lizares Mansion were designed by famed architect Andres Luna de San Pedro, son of the Filipino master painter, Juan Luna.
The Dominicans acquired the property in the 1960s after the death of Lizares patriarch Don Emiliano Lizares. – Rappler.com
Rhick Lars Vladimer Albay is a Rappler Mover based in Iloilo. He reports mostly on the local cultural community and art scene.