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Education

Palompon is the seat of the only state college in Leyte,  the Palompon Institute of Technology (PIT),  which is offering quality education in maritime, technology, education and allied courses as evidenced by the continuing commendable performances of the graduates making it in the national tabulation of excellent topnotchers on national board and licensure examinations.  Through the academic years, the impressive passing percentages of the PIT examinees  oftentimes surpass and are higher than the indicated national percentages.

Likewise, the municipality has 46 complete elementary schools, 11 secondary schools of which five national high schools, five privately-owned schools, and one laboratory high school at PIT.  The literacy rate Palompon is 95.75 %,  completion rate is 66.25 %,  retention rate is 90 %, and the dropout rate of the elementary school pupils is 1.3 %.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The school system of Palompon started rather informally in the Spanish era with the establishment of a parochial school by the parish priest sometime in 1892. A heavy premium was placed on religious instruction. Mastery of the cartilla and the caton was a must, a latigo ever poised for the slowpoke.

It was during the advent of the Americans that formal education was offered free primary education with English supplanting Spanish as a medium of instruction.  The cardinal classroom instruction focused on the three R’s reading, ‘riting’, and ‘rithmetic. Religious instruction was no longer compulsory.  Schools in Leyte that time were under Baker B. Sherman, the first division superintendent for Samar and Leyte.

Primary Education. Palompon was one of the first towns in Leyte wherein primary education (Grade I to IV) was established under Act. No.74 of the Philippine Commission. The Americans arrived here in July 1901 under Captain Cooke, and management of Mr. Boodroo, and later, Orville Babcock.

The first school building was a diminutive one-storey structure of stone bricks with limestone and nipa that ches; erected where the office of the Seaside Community School now stands. Two additional, bigger school buildings were constructed in front of the present Liberty Part.

Intermediate Instruction.   Intermediate classes (Grade V to VII) opened in 1915 at the second floor of the old municipal building. In the following years there was a meteoric increase in enrolment which led to the conversion of the entire Town Hall into classrooms, the office of the municipal government having been nudged out to private house. Palompon eventually became the center of learning in this side of Leyte with pupils coming from as far as Camotes and Biliran.

The present site of the Central Schools was acquired in 1925 and classes squatting at the old municipal building were transferred to the new buildings.

In 1940 Grade VII was dropped from the elementary curriculum and the “double-single” session was instituted to cope with the increasing cost of maintaining classes. The decade of the 40s witnessed the gradual Filipinization of the ranks of educators as more and more Filipino/Palomponganon teachers took the place of American mentors.

Significantly, classes were never held in private houses during the American regime. School suppliers and materials were free, school contributions and fund drives unknown in the school that time.

High School Education. The first attempt to establish a secondary school in Palompon was in 1932 when Mr. Pablo Mejia founded the Palompon Institute which was housed at the old Marilao Building in Ipil. The school survived only for a year. In 1941, Don Vicente Gullas put up the Northern Leyte Academy (NLA) as a branch of Cebu’s Visayas Institute (now UV) only to wilt with the outbreak of Word War II.

Nevertheless the unwavering bid of the townspeople for a bid of high school education made possible the re-establishment of the Northern Leyte Academy on June 15,1945; this time NLA was owned and operated by true-blooded Palomponganons who called their group the Palompon Cultural Association. Its founding president and school director was Saturnino Mari. For more than two decades NLA was the only high school in the town and nearby municipalities.

With the enactment of the Barrio High School Charter (RA 6054) in 1964, barrio (now barangay) high schools were opened in Tinabilan (1966), Lomonon (1968) and Taberna (1972). More fully, in 1964 the Palompon School of Arts and Trades (now PIT) was established. The latest addition is Colegio de San Francisco Javier which was established in 1967.

College Education. Collegiate courses in Palompon were first offered by the Northern Leyte College (NLC) in 1949 with junior normal and liberal arts curricular offerings, but were stopped in 1954. However, in 1983, NLC reopened with education and A.B courses.
The Palompon School of Arts and Trades obtained a state college status on August 31,1972, becoming now the Palompon Institute of Technology (PIT). It is the only state college in northern Leyte which offers technological, maritime and social services courses. PIT started offering collegiate courses under the non-degree program in 1973-74, and the degree program in 1978-79.

Graduate Education. Foundation courses for master’s degree were offered at PIT in the early 80s. However, due to constraints in the requirements for a full-scale graduate program PIT in the meantime settled for a consortium with the Leyte Institute of Technology for technical, and lately with the Leyte State College for academic, specializations. Both state colleges are based in Tacloban City. Except for one summer term for residence requirement, classes on the graduate courses are recited at PIT. Many have earned a master’s degree under this program.
Although in CY 1994- 1995  the PIT Graduate School independently offered its full-scale master’s degrees, and three academic years after its doctoral degree programs.

Non-Formal Education.
Non-formal education started in Palompon in 1973, in keeping with PD No.6-A (Educational Development Decree of 1972) which provides for skills training program for out-of-school youths and the unemployed, and continuing education program for non-literate adults.
Short terms courses are regularly offered in the central school of Palompon South and Palompon North. In PIT this concern is under the auspices of the Extension and NFE Department  which offers the following short-term courses: automotive mechanics, metal lathe operation, radio assembly and repair, dressmaking, tailoring, baking/cooking, swine, and goat raising, and green mussel (tabong) culture.

THE SCHOOLS OF PALOMPON

PALOMPON SOUTH DISTRICT

Palompon South is the mother district of the elementary schools system of the Palompon. Its composition fares 188 teachers and 4,774 pupils populace.

Early Review. The pre-war grade school classes had Palompon and Merida as one school district under Supervisor Jose Ocampo and Principal Alberto Pasagui. The Merida-Palompon school district was then a part of the Leyte-Samar school divisions. Only three barrio schools existed in Palompon then: Cantuhaon, Sabang and Tinabilan, with Lomonon added later.

During the Japanesse occupiation the Palompon Central School became a military headquarters. On December 3,1944 Palomponganons witnessed American fighter planes (“Wild Cats”) bombing mercilessly the school building to get rid of Japanese soldiers. On December 26 the Americans occupied the town and set up an air-strip for club planes stretching from the Central School to the shore of Lincoln Street.

In January 1945 schools were reopened using makeshift buildings under the management of Superintendent Vicente J. Villegas.

Post-War Development. After the war Palompon and Merida became two independent school district. The first administrators of the Palompon District were Eugenio A. Viacrucis as supervisor and Saturnino Beltran as central school principal. Replacements of badly damaged school structures were immediately instituted.

Supervisor Joaquin Anover and Principal Domingo Pore took over from 1946 to 1951. More barrio schools were opened even in far-flung areas. Their successors, Supervisor Pedro Caceres and Principal Jesus Canson ably channelled the Palompon District into the limelight when our town won the much-coveted “Cleanest Town in Leyte” awarded.

In the school year 1959-60, Matag-ob now a municipality, succeeded in its  unrelenting bod gor autonomy from the Palompon District.

Reorganization Syndrome. In 1966 the Palompon District was divided into two: Palompon I which was composed of all southern barrios with the Central School as its district office, and Palompon II composed of all schools in the northern portion of the municipality. Its districts office was at San Isidro.

Three years later the two school districts were reorganized into three, the third having its district office at the Seaside Community School.

The reorganization fever had a last spasm in academic year 1977-78, when Palompon reverted to two districts.

PALOMPON NORTH DISTRICT

Footprints. San Isidro was Lo-ok before, a sitio of Brgy. San Juan. In response to the desire of the people to have an independent elementary school, a school site was secured and in 1953 an extension class was opened with Susana Ramirez as the pioneer teacher in grade one which was housed at the chapel.

Two years later, grades two and three were added with Barbara Bongal and Galicano Sevilla as teachers.

From 1955 to 1962 grades four and five were added opened with Jose Eporlas and Norma Alvarez teaching.

The school year 1962-63 ushered in a complete elementary known as Lo-ok Community School, with Nida Brocoy as head teacher. In the same year the PTA school building was constructed on a site donated by Brgy. Captian Adolfo Alvarez and the Omega and Pastor heirs, followed by more school building.

The Emergence of Palompon North District. On August 1,1966 Palompon School District was divided into Palompon I and Palompon II, with San Isidro as the district office of the latter.Sister Superiors

School Year
District Supervisor
Principal
1965-1966
Inocentes Dolina
Leonardo Juanero
1966-67
Elias Bertulfo
Leonardo Juanero
1967-68
Elias Bertulfo
Felix Martinito
1968-1969
Jesus Canson
Felix Martinito
1969-1971
Macario Esmas
Felix Martinito
1971-1974
Fellix Martinito
Damaso Rojas
1974-1981
Fellix Martinito
Anselmo Francisco
1981-1982
Fellix Martinito
Emelia Delgado
1982-1984
Fructoso Cazar
Emelia Delgado
1984-1986
Fructoso Cazar
Constancio Maupo
1986-1988
Angiolo Rufin
Alejo Ramirez
1988-1991
Angiolo Rufin
Jose Llagono

COLEGIO DE SAN FRANCISCO JAVIER

The only sectarian high school in Palompon was established in 1966 under the administration of Rev. Fr. Sergio Osmena. The Board  of Trustees was composed of laymen. On July 4,1967 the first and second year classes opened which were temporarily housed in a building at the corner of Mabini and San Francisco Streets.
Fisrt in Leyte. When Most Rev. Msgr. Teotimo Pacis CM, DD was missioned to the bishopric of Palo, Leyte, he made possible the turning over the school to the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. He interceded in the capability of the school, and his petition was granted by Sister Filomena Zulueta , D.C. Visitatrix and her Council Colegio de San Francisco Javier thus became the first Catholic school in Leyte run by the Daughters of Charity. The first Sister Superior was Sr. Constancia Marilao, D.C., a true blooded Palomponganons.

The year 1968 witnessed the construction of a concrete building worth 40,000.00 donated by an American veteran Major James A. Buchanan, which is ideally located near the parish church, St. Francis Javier Parish.

On July 6,1970 the school obtained recognition from the defunct Bureau of Education. In 1972-73, five rooms were constructed for the students who were temporarily occupying the social hall of the parish church through the initiative of the sisters with the help of generous people.
In 1980, the Xavier Community Development Center was established as the school’s outreach services to the community of Palompon. The XCDC is now affiliated and funded by the Christian Children Fund, Incorporated, a foreign funding agency.
An annex building with four rooms was constructed in 1984 under the supervision of Sr. Raymunda Seagan. D.C At present, Colegio de San Francisco Javier offers a complete secondary course for young boys and girls.

Later Development. For the current school year, the CSFJ-PTA donated a two-classroom semi-concrete building to accommodate two additional sections. The donation was made possible through the leadership of George Liok. PTA president, and the able management of Engr. Jose Viacrucis with the all-out support of the parents.
A.reading center has also been put-up this year to meet the present needs of the students in reading.
On this 25th year of its existence, CSFJ is managed by six Daughters of Charity with 15 lay collaborators. It has a population of 580 secondary students. Being in a Catholic school, the students are given the opportunity to come up with a well-rounded Catholic education.

Salient Features.
CSFJ has been in good hands through the years by the following Sisters Superiors who really put their hands, heart, and mind in making the school an ideal haven for shaping up upright and intelligent citizens in the society.Sister Superiors

Sister Superiors
Academic Year
Sister Constancia Marilao, D.C
1968-1973
Sister Isabel Tanalgo, D.C
1973-1976
Sister Milargos Gregorio, D.C
1976-1979
Sister Edita Espia, D.C
1979-1982
Sister Raymunda Seagan, D.C
1982-1985
Sister Lourdes Peralta, D.C
1985-1988
Sister Milagros A. Magistrado
19988-present

NORTHERN LEYTE COLLEGE

Genesis. In the summer of 1945 a pock-marked concrete staircase stood defiantly amidst the ruins on corner Magallanes and Libertad streets of Palompon. The Americans had earlier retreating Japanese forces. All was rubble for blocks around, but the concrete staircase which once led to the spacious house of Cipriano and Pilar Payos stood out, as  if to remind that adversity could unlock the door to hidden potentials.

It was there on those battered steps that a group of young Palomponganons chanced to gather one evening that summer of 1945: Minggoy Pastor and Supe PAyos who had makeshift huts near the staircase, Jesus Viacrucis, Ramon Eamiguel, Maning Apostol, Tito Marcial, Beroy Dabon. Theoir ramdon conversations eventually focused on the town’s crying need for a high school to absorb the hundreds of student now eager to resume studies. Cebu shools had opened but few in Palompon could afford the distances. True, Don Vicente Gullas had put up in 1941 the Northern Leyte Academy, a branch of Cebu’ Visayan Institute (now UV), but the war wilted the fledgling branch only seven months after it began.

Then the idea came.
why don’t Palomponganons pool their resources and re-establish the NLA? The idea instantly  caught fire and the war-scarred bunch dispersed and spread the news to their townspeople. A few weeks later the NLA, now the offspring of the town’s self-reliance, was born.

Vision to Reality. Civic leaders had, long before the war, felt the need for a high school in Palompon. One Pablo Mejia founded the Palompon Institute in 1932; housed at the Marilao building, but it lasted only for year. The vision persisted, and it was Felipe Delgado who initiated later steps that brought that vision to realty.

Peping was, in 1940, property custodian and chief janitor of the Visayan Institute, popularly called VI, as well as president of Leyteno students of that school. He was also a veritable “god-father’ to poor students from Palompon. With true grit he would wangle out from the VI treasurer’s office special permits that enabled fees delinquent students to take their monthly exams. One such student was Antonio Abayon. Very early one morning, in utter desperation, Toting roused Peping from sleep and pleaded for a special permit for the exams to be held that very morning. Peping rankled with irritation. He was a kindly fellow, yes, but this was the fourth consecutive time Toting asked for such a permit. “If you have no money, why don’t you go home?” snapped the exasperated Peping.

Yet the incident bothered Peping in the days that followed. Here, he pondered, are scores of students from the provinces, eager to study but with hardly the means to do so. If only we had a high school in Palompon. . . . This thought propelled Peping to the office of Don Vicente to whom he broached the idea of establishing a VI branch in Palompon. VI was rapidly expanding, having outpaced much older schools and was now second in Cebu only to the Southern Institute (now USP). It did not take long for Don Vicente to say: why not?

The Cebuano educator promptly dispatched Peping to Palompon for initial talks with prospective investors. VI had enough funds but Don Vicente sought board to give them a sense of involvement in this pioneering venture. Three immediately responded: Ramon Eamiguel, Jesus Viacrucis and Sabas Ramirez, each of whom subscribed for 300 shares at 100 per shares. In July 1941 the VI branch, christenend Northern Leyte Academy, opened with classrooms at the Marilao building. Classes stooped, however, in December when World War II broke out.

PCA In Action. N.L.A – Part II was owned and operated by a group called the Palompon Cultural Association (PCA), formed on June 15,1945 for the specific purpose of re-establishing the NLA . The preamble of its constitution, signed by 32 original members, reads:”We the undersigned citizen of the town of Palompon, Province of Leyte, Philippines, aware of the tremendous importance of the role that the high school plays in the cultural, moral, and social advancement of the youth of the land and conscious of the need of forming one in order to meet the present demand of young men and women and in order to lessen the burden of the State in its endeavor to provide opportunities and facilities for higher education, do hereby form ourselves into an association.”

First PCA president and school director was Saturnino Mari, with Domingo Pastor as vice president, Alfredo Esporlas, Sr. , as secretary, Digno Salvino as treasurer and Lucas Tupa as auditor. With only a temporarily permit, the school opened in July 1945 with some 200 students holding classes at the Marilao, Nestorio Omega and Marcelo Baranda building.

With formal government recognition obtained, school year 1947-48 opened with as budget of P54,200. NLA’s salary scale featured the following attractions: P250 for the director, P225 for the principal, P220 for the English and science teacher, P210 for history, math and national language.

Inspired by booming enrolment, the school put up an orchestra and sought a permanent school site, finally choosing the present site on Zamora street over the altenative site at Cantobo.

In 1948 the PCA was supplanted by the NLA, Inc., and classes were transferred to the Ramon Eamiguel building. The following year collegiate courses opened (junior normal and liberal arts) with Saturday classes for teachers and night classes for high school students. Eugenio A. Viacrucis, hailed as having “ the personality and high educational qualification as a guarantee for more achievements and progress for the school,” was “imported” from the Colegio de Sto. Niño in Cebu where he was principal, and placed as new director, with Saturnino N. Betran as college dean and Praxedes J. Pastor as high school principal. It is at this point that the aging Mr. Mari made his exit from the institution. His seminal contributions to the school is reflected in a Board resolution citing his ‘unselfish efforts in organizing and shaping the Northern Leyte Academy by achieving its government recognition and its growth to its present status’.

Later Development. The college and elementary department were stopped in 1954, and the name reverted to NLA. The school opened a branch at Cantuhaon in 1970 for first and second years, adding the third and fourth years in 1983. The NLC now offers, secretarial courses.

PALOMPON INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

The Palompon Institute of Technology (PIT) was established in 1964 as the Palompon School of Arts and Trades by virtue of RA 3394. With a measly group of students and a handful of teachers, it initially held classes in rented private houses until, eventually, a school site was acquired and the first few buildings were constructed. On July 17, 1967 the Palompon School of Arts and Trades was converted into a state college through RA 5101 authored by then Congressman Marcelino R. Veloso of the third district of Leyte and was consequently renamed Palompon Institute of Technology. It started operating as a state college on August 31, 1972 with technological education as its main thrust. Persistent demands from local residents encouraged it to offer other programs, such as teacher education in 1772, marine transportation in 1976, marine engineering in 1978, graduate education in 1993, and information technology in 1997, among others.

State College Status. PIT  has indeed come a long way from its humble beginnings as a school of arts and trades some three decades ago. Over the years it has taken modest but determined steps to attain its present status, policies, and programs in the pursuit of its goal to offer quality, affordable, and accessible education to the people of northwestern Leyte, its service area, which comprises the municipalities of Palompon, Villaba, Tabango, San Isidro, Calubian, Matag-ob, Kananga, Leyte, Isabel, Merida, and the city of Ormoc. Today, it is a state college into a maritime state university in the near future.

The PIT campus is ideally located in the town’s eastern periphery, with its physical plant, buildings, and structures sprawled over its 11-hectare land area to accommodate an ever-growing populace. Enrollment has steadily increased through the years, from the 184 students in its first year of existence to today’s 3,000 plus students who have passed through rigid admission procedures, and most of whom come from low-income families. It boasts of a competent and highly qualified faculty, many of whom are holders of advanced academic degrees, who are in turn complemented by a pool of dedicated and supportive non-teaching personnel manning its various units and offices. The administrators, where learning is a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Curricular  Programs. PIT’s academic programs are handled by five colleges. The College of Advanced Education, which was established in school year 1993-1994, offers doctoral and master’s programs in education, management, and technology. The College of Technology offers courses in the fields of engineering, information technology, and industrial technology and, through the years, has produced graduates who are now manning the wheels of industry  in different trade areas. The College of Education offers two teacher-education programs, Bachelor of Science in Home Technology Education (BSHTE) and Bachelor of Science in Industrial Education (BSIEd). The College of Arts and Sciences, aside from taking charge of the general education courses in all higher education programs, also handles the Bachelor of Science in Shipping Management (BSSM) program. The College of Maritime and Shipping Administration is in charge of the maritime education program, the main program thrust of PIT.

The PIT maritime education program is certified by the Det Norske Veritas (DNV) of Norway as having satisfactorily complied with the rules for maritime academies. PIT is also in the “white list” of maritime education institutions accredited by the International maritime Organization (IMO) for having fully met the requirements of the Standards for Training Certificate and Watchkeeping (STCW) 1995. above all, it is the lucky recipient of a comprehensive assistance package from the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNR) in consortium with the Shipping and Transport College (STC) of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

PIT- KVNR Maritime Tandem. In all counts,  the PIT-KVNR/STC consortium is a very big boost and boon to the Institute’s stature as a state school.  With the certification of PIT’s Quuality Standard System (QSS) by the Det  Norske Veritas (DNV), a top-rated accrediting body of Norway, coupled with the built-up enthusiasm of  the PIT community,  the Institute made it in the CHED-IMO “white list” stipulating the maritime academies of the Philippines that passed and obtained full compliance in  the evaluation of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

PIT also has an external campus, the Marcelino R. Veloso National Polytechnic College (MRVNPC), which was integrated to it by virtue of RA 8292, and Special provision No. 2 of the CHED. Originally the Tabango Vocational School, MRVNPC, which is situated in Otabon, Tabango, Leyte, offers baccalaureate degree programs in industrial education, home economics education and technology, and industrial technology, as we’ll as short-term vocational courses under its non-formal education program.

PIT’s strict adherence to standards of quality are evident in the good performance of its graduates in licensure examinations a satisfactory employment rate, and the accreditation of its advanced education, teacher education and industrial technology programs by AACCUP and its maritime education program by the CHED.
The latest bolder and momentous development saga wielded by the PIT constituents with President Delia T. Combista at the helm is the relentless bid for university hood of the Institute.

Working hand-in-hand with the College President is a pool of dedicated and hardworking men and women who share his vision of making PIT a center of excellence in all its programs and who have nothing but the best interests of PIT in mind. The problems are formidable, but with PIT in the hands of good and dependable leaders who are committed to the attainment of its mission, goals and objectives, there is a promise of greater things to come as it moves toward broader horizons to meet the changes and challenges of the future.

The position of prestige, respect, and recognition that PIT presently enjoys as an educational institution is due in large part to the dynamic leadership of the Institute administrators through the academic years from its establishment. PIT is indeed fortunate to have been managed by excellent managers, enterprising leaders,  highly-motivated administrators, and virtually men for all seasons.  They have shaped up the Institute into a proverbial bulwark of intellectual strength and a bastion of freedom and independent thought.  Here lies the secret of PIT’s success.  Dr. Antonio E. Reposar