July 21, 2024

The community school of Barangay Scout Barrio will soon close its doors after 105 years of operation.
By April this year, officials of John Hay Elementary School (JHES) will cede the property where the building stands to the John Hay Management Corporation, a subsidiary of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority.
JHES principal Daisy San Andres said for close to a decade now, JHMC served several notices to the former principal of the school about the reclamation. In 2009, then principal Carolina Aquitania sought the assistance of the barangay council after finding out that the property where the school stands remain to be owned by the BCDA. To salvage the school, the barangay council organized an ad hoc committee to reorganize the composition of its board of directors on the same year. In 2012, JHES Inc. was registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission. A new set of teachers was employed so that operation of the school would continue.
Still, San Andres said JHMC persisted in reclaiming the school. She said JHES Inc. has sought the assistance of the barangay, its alumni association, and the Department of Education but JHMC is bent on taking over the property.
She said the JHES board even agreed to convert the school into a public school so that the DepEd and the JHMC need only to sign a usufruct agreement so that the school would continue operating but as of January, nothing concrete has come out of their pleas.
“The building stands on a government property – a property of the BCDA. We are a private school. Just like house, if you stay on a property that you do not own, either you buy it or you move out,” San Andres said, but continues to appeal to the JHMC to allow the continuous operation of the school.
Leasing the area was also explored but this was set aside for the school does not make enough income to rent the property.
“If it will be managed by DepEd as an annex school of a government school, at least it will still operate as a school. This is already a landmark. It is more than 100 years old,” San Andres said.
JHMC has previously allowed use of some of its properties for public use through the signing of a usufruct agreement. Some of these schools are the Baguio City High School-Hillside annex and the Country Club Village Elementary School.
She said the JHMC has not yet agreed to the board’s suggestion for the school’s conversion into a government school.
A private school owner has also signified intention of buying the area but the JHMC has yet to reveal its plans over the property.
JHES, formerly the Camp John Hay Barrio School was established in 1915 by the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – a Roman Catholic religious institute of pontifical right of women, dedicated to the service of those in need in the Third World. Rev. MM Wenceslas was its school head and MM Hosanna as principal. The lot and the building belonged to the US government.
In 1976, the Camp John Hay Barrio School was renamed John Hay Elem. School.
In 1991, the U.S. government turned over to the Philippine government all U.S. bases, including Camp John Hay and its 13 surrounding barangays. – Rimaliza A. Opiña