The Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) held a groundbreaking ceremony of the proposed high school building project in Brgy. Ngan in the Municipality of Compostela Valley, Province of Compostela Valley (ComVal) on 17th January 2014. This ADDU-funded construction project is the rebuilding of the Consuelo M. Valderrama High School. This project, together with the proposed construction of an elementary school building in Brgy. Dapnan in the Municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental (DavOr), was earlier approved by university president, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, in late December 2013.  Both projects were proposed by the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, with the endorsement of the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC).

The groundbreaking was attended by Atty. Romeo Cabarde, chair of UCEAC; Ms. Lilibeth Arcena, director of the Arrupe Office; Mr. Karl Anthony Ebol, community engagement officer (CEO) of the Arrupe Office who is also the project manager; Engr. Jonas Gallego, construction supervisor; Engr. Richard Manapol, project engineer; and Ms. Elcy Debildos, Arrupe’s field officer. Ms. Perlita Villegas and Ms. Edna Sisbreño, principal and president of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) of Valderrama High School (HS), respectively, as well as Hon. Margarito Alcos, brgy. captain of Ngan, were also on hand to grace the occasion.

Simultaneous with the groundbreaking was the ceremonial signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between ADDU and the administration of the Valderrama HS. ADDU, likewise, distributed relief goods (such as food and hygiene kits) to over 145 families who were seeking shelter in Valderrama HS due to severe flooding in Purok Salvacion, Brgy. Ngan, caused by tropical depression (TD) Agaton in early January of this year.

Barring another ontoward extreme weather condition, the project is expected to be completed in sixty (60) days.  For its part, Valderrama HS will provide ten (10) volunteers daily to help in the construction of the building.

Valderrama HS, formerly known as the Ateneo de Davao Compostela Branch, was built by the Jesuits in the early70s under the supervision of the late Fr. Rudy Malasmas, SJ.  In December of 2012, the building sustained damages due to the onslaught of Typhoon Pablo, which also took a heavy beating in many parts of DavOr and ComVal regions.

In mid-2013, the Arrupe Office proposed for infrastructure projects in Baganga, DavOr, after the implementation of the Ateneo Student Exposure Program (ASEP) in four of its barangays.  After the reconstruction/rehabilitation of two daycare centers and a wet market, the Arrupe Office then proposed for another infrastructure projects that would address the need of some communities who were also badly affected by the impact of Typhoon Pablo in this part of ComVal region. Incidentally, this newly-approved project falls within the same year that commemorates the 200th year anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus since its worldwide suspension in 1814. Therefore, its inauguration and blessing (to be attended by the alumni of Vanderrama HS and the members of the Jesuit Community in Davao) becomes a fitting and symbolic occasion to celebrate this important event, as it is in line with the Jesuits’ restoration theme marking the year 2014.

Moreover, the groundbreaking and MOA signing for the construction of an elementary school building in Brgy. Dapnan, Baganga, will be scheduled once the major coastal roads and bridges linking Mati and other parts of DavOr, destroyed by TD Agaton, are fully restored. (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)1601526_10201770369439083_1972259489_n (3)