BY RUEL CAMBA
LINGAYEN – A ranking official at the Pangasinan Schools Division I here is seeking an independent investigation into the “destruction” of a newly renovated comfort room (CR) which was dismantled shortly after renovation was completed.
“As I see it, somebody should answer for the waste of public fund used in the renovation of the comfort room,” the official, who requested for anonymity as some of those involved are close associates, said.
The controversial CR is one of the four toilets that were fully renovated sometime in August this year when Assistant Division Superintendent Sheila Marie A. Primicias served as OIC division superintendent from August 10 to September 16 in lieu of Dr. Aurora T. Domingo who was on leave.
The fund used amounted to about P185,000.00 to be drawn from the division’s coffers.
Primicias said she caused the renovation because employees and visitors were pestered by the rundown condition and the foul odor emitting from the old toilets.
Sometime last October, Primicias came to learn that one of the renovated comfort rooms was torn down. The dismantling of the facility was reportedly supervised by Engr. Ricardo Ventayen, the division’s physical facilities coordinator.
The Regional Examiner tried to get an interview with Ventayen but he was not in his office last Friday.
When confronted with the issue, Domingo denied giving the order to dismantle the structure.
Domingo, however, explained that there was a standing request from the accounting department headed by Ms. Leslie Villanueva, for the conversion of the same space where the dismantled toilet stood as records stockroom.
She said the request was put on hold pending release of fund from the Department of Education main office in Manila.
When the fund arrived, the toilet-which was just renovated – was torn down to give way for the construction of the stockroom, Domingo said.
“I told them (Ventayen and Villanueva) that they should have informed Mrs. Primicias before they proceeded constructing the stockroom,” she said.
Domingo said that during a dialogue that she called, Ventayen and Villanueva apologized to Primicias who felt resentful because the money used to renovate the toilet only went to waste.
“If I were Sheila I would have felt the same,” Domingo told newsmen who interviewed her last Friday.
Primicias said employees at the groundfloor and visitors are now forced to go upstairs whenever they feel like using a washroom or comfort room.