A project of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) in a remote village in Las Navas, Northern Samar has been transporting college students for an hour twice weekly to a nearby tertiary school. The village has around 40 students enrolled at Colegio de Las Navas located at the town center and nearby University of Eastern Philippines in Catubig town, said San Isidro SK president Elmer Pajanustan in a phone interview Tuesday. Since the boat's primary purpose is to transport college students, they only use it every Friday to ferry learners going back to their village. The boat leaves the village every Sunday afternoon to send students back to the town center for Monday classes. Instead of the PHP70 regular fare, each student only pays PHP25 per trip to shoulder the cost of fuel and maintenance. 'This is a big help for those who want a college degree. Education is not just shaping one's future, it is a foundation that nobody can break,' Pajanustan told the Philippine News Agency (PNA). Before the project launch, these students used to argue with other passengers for a seat in the motorboat each time they go to school or go home. Launched two weeks ago, Panajustan thanked their village officials for supporting his idea. The SK or the youth council spent PHP120,000 to buy and repaint the motorboat. Riding a motorboat is the only means of transportation from San Isidro village to the town center because the road leading to their village is still under construction. Pajanustan, who completed a Criminology course last year, recalled that during his college days, he went home once a month because of high fares and lack of passenger boats. Lea Belle Lebico, a first-year computer science student of Colegio de Las Navas said that for a poor student like her with PHP500 weekly allowance, the discounted fare assures her that she can go home every weekend. 'Because of this SK program, we now have the strength and reason to continue our studies without spending a lot for transport,' Lebico said. During emergency cases, residents can use the motorboat to transport their patients going to the town proper or back to their village. Renting a passenger boat from their village going to the town center would cost PHP2,000. 'We can use the SK motorboat on emergencies cases like in transporting residents that need to be treated in a medical facility," Pajanustan added. Aside from the SK motorboat project, the youth council has other initiatives that cater to high school students like free printing and giving of school supplies.
Source: Philippines News Agency