Grade school shuttered by San Juan politics to finally open

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2019 10:52 AM

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A four-story school building that became a casualty to local politics in San Juan will finally open this Monday, July 29, nearly 4 years after it was built.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said the P38.8 million West Crame Elementary School, the first public school in San Juan's most heavily populated barangay, will finally open its doors after construction was finished in December 8, 2015.

Zamora said the school became a casualty of the Zamora-Ejercito war in San Juan after the previous administration refused to open the school due to safety reasons. Prior to the falling out between the two families, Zamora was vice-mayor of San Juan while his father was congressman.

The mayor said the previous administration never allowed the school to be opened "allegedly because there were bullets from the firing range of Camp Crame" that could hit the school.

A proposal to transform the school building into a drug rehabilitation facility or public housing project was rejected by then congressman Ronaldo Zamora since the General Appropriations Act specifically allocated funds for a school.

"Let's put it this way - if bullets really come out of the firing range, [why have a drug rehab center there] or a housing project? You should already clear that entire road and declare it a danger zone. They never did. Napulitika...Barangay West Crame is the biggest voting population in San Juan," he said.

In 2017, then PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa and Education Secretary Leonor Briones certified that the school was safe for use.

"During the entire campaign in 2016 and 2019, I was promising Barangay West Crame that if I became mayor, I will make sure it will open and now on Monday, July 29, we will now open West Crame Elementary School," he said.

Up next, he said, is the opening a second public high school in the city - which was earlier promised by his predecessor, Guia Gomez, but remains unfunded.

Zamora, however, said there are many unfinished projects left by the previous administration including the San Juan Hospital and San Juan justice hall.

ANC, July 26, 2019