People, including the alumni, still gaze with disbelief at the rapid expansion of De La Salle Lipa, which started in 1996. Clusters of buildings suddenly sprouted replacing the old one floor building that used to house the high school department. The old Bro. Virgil Gym, venue of many sports tournaments, gave way to a wider Sentrum, which hosted the defunct-MBA, PBL, and PBA extravaganzas, not to mention concerts by named artists like Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Side A and Freestyle among others. There were around 15 clusters of buildings that rose during a two-year construction spree, and still counting at this writing. Each time a building was blessed, many prominent persons in the local and national government and in education would get invited. Thus, word passed around about De La Salle Lipa, adding one milestone after another. In fact, many thought—and still they continue to think—that De La Salle Lipa has become a university!
The architect of this rapid expansion of DLSL was the dynamic Bro. Rafael S. Donato, FSC. In fact, because he changed the face not only of the school but of the city as well, the mayor at that time, Ruben Umali, conferred on him the title “adopted son of Lipa.” And why not? It is DLSL that had Lipa’s first elevators in both its Unified and the MTDC buildings. The learning institution has put Lipa City in the map of the country. Other establishments soon lighted up that highway, which used to be a sleeping and unproductive area. Brother Rafe coined the famous slogan, which even non-Lasallians seemed to have adopted, “Live the future now!”
Two years ago, this self-effacing educator, following the Institute’s own regulation, retired as president of the school upon turning 65. But not before, he has successfully negotiated with the Ford Foundation some funds to finance a project aimed at improving the reading proficiency of public school children in Lipa City. The project called “Project K,” a brainchild of Brother Rafe, is now being successfully implemented by a team, headed by Mayor Vilma Santos Recto. This showcases also the team-up of the private sector (DLSL), the LGU (headed by Ate Vi), and the local DepEd. The project was the last to be funded by the prestigious Ford Foundation before closing its door to local projects.
This column pays tribute to the card-bearing senior citizen and President-emeritus of De La Salle Lipa as he celebrated his birthday on October 12. Mind you, he may be retired from active administrative post in the academe, yet he still offers his services for special classes to teachers. His only regret now is that his time for golf has been greatly diminished as the Visitor of the Philippine District of the De La Salle Brothers asked him to be his assistant—a post he could not reject, considering not only his obedience but also his vast experience (and wisdom).
Ad multos annos, Brother Rafe!
Bro. Rolando Dizon, FSC, resigned as chair of CHED for health reasons. In his stead, the President appointed another religious, Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, OP., former Rector Magnificus of the University of Santo Tomas.
Sayang, this La Salle Brother is another innovative leader, well connected not only in political but in educational circles. Like Brother Rafe, Brother Rolly is also an October birthday-celebrator. Our prayers for good health and blessings, Brother Rolly!
Cable operators all over the country should thank management of Batangas CATV Inc. for this good news. They are no longer afraid of the pressures coming from LGUs which wrongly thought they could regulate the industry coming to their jurisdictions. In a 29-page decision handed down by the Supreme Court on September 29, the highest court ruled that it is the National Telecommunications Communications and not the local governments that has the power to regulate subscriber rates of the community antenna television (CATV). The same court also ruled that there was no law specifically authorizing LGUs to grant franchises to operate a CATV system.
In 1993, Batangas CATV wanted to increase its monthly subscriber rate from P88 to P180. The city government threatened to cancel its permit. Batangas CATV went to court. The Batangas Regional Trial Court decided in its favor. The Supreme Court upheld this ruling.
Presently, the cable operator charges P300 monthly. With today’s rising costs, not only of equipment but also of the charges levied by such companies like ESPN, Star Channels and other foreign and local cable producers, cable operators resort to raising their monthly subscriber fees. In today’s high-tech age, CATVs link us, in living color, to our neighbors in other parts of the world, making us a global village.