February 3, 2023

It is the Baguio City National Science High School (BCNHS) and not the Philippine Science High School Cordillera Administrative Region Campus (PSHS-CARC) that was the subject of Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s tirade for having substandard structures.

Magalong admitted he confused one school from the other as both BCNHS and PSHS-CARC or “Pisay” stand next to each other resulting to the gaffe.

He apologized to PSHS Campus Director Conrado Rotor Jr. and PSHS Resident Engineer Mary Carmelle Bautista for the blunder which he said was inadvertent and was not in any way intended to put PSHS in a bad light.

“In recent interviews about school-based infrastructure projects and corruption, I inadvertently referenced the PSHS-CAR as one of those schools which building I personally inspected and found to have been wanting.  Today, I ask that I be given the opportunity to learn from that mistake. I have said what I have said out of an honest sense of duty,” the mayor said.

“Please understand, my only intention was to protect schoolchildren and teachers from the dangers posed by poorly built structures, with fair warning against those who have committed and intended to commit omissions as to make such buildings unfit for its intended use;

“Unfortunately, my passion overcame my memory that I unknowingly placed the good name of the PSHS-CAR and its administrators in a bad light;

“Hoping my words may restore whatever harm my earlier ones have brought you, I have instructed the Public Information Office under my department to distribute a press release quoting this very letter together with the concerns you have each raised in your communiqués,” the mayor said.

The mayor criticized the deficient works done in facilities and structures in some schools in the city citing substandard buildings at the PSHS but was actually referring to the BCNHS.

Rotor acknowledged that it was “an honest mistake” on the part of the mayor but said it put the PSHS-CARC in “a very bad light especially since the theme of (the) talk is about “substandard buildings” and ‘corruption.’”

“The mention of ‘structurally unsafe building’ that endangers our students brings anxiety to our current and future students, parents, and teachers.  I am afraid that your ‘honest mistake’ head dealt our agency (DOST and PSHS) and its officials irreparable damage to their reputation of good governance and free from corruption,” he said. – PIO Baguio