Nabunturan PTCA to sue principal who pushes PTA

april 23-29, 2012

By Cha Monforte
The Parent Teacher Community Association of Nabunturan National Comprehensive High School, Inc. (PNI in short) is ready to file an injunction case next week in their bid to stop the school principal from making alleged further harm when he earlier had the group’s office padlocked and tried dissolving the PTCA by replacing it with a PTA (Parent Teachers Association) body.
They filed the injunction case at RTC Branch 3 in Nabunturan handled by Judge Hilarion Clapis.
“I am not recognizing the president and other officers of the PTA appointed by the school principal,” Antonio Mencidor, president of the PNI earlier told this paper.
He said that the NNCHS school principal has no authority to replace the PTCA with the PTA nor terminate the services of the 15 members of PNI’s board of directors saying that the PTCA has its own juridical personality being registered with the Securites and Exchange Commission.
In an interview, PNI officers said that last March 30, NNCHS school principal Sinfronio Merlas issued a memorandum to the PNI officers stating that their services were already terminated based on Dept. of Education Memorandum Order No. 54.
On that same day Merlas ordered for the padlocking of the PNI’s office located inside the school gym.
Merlas accordingly had encased the office door with a steel grill casing and a new padlock obviously to bar any PNI officer or worker from entering their office.
Earlier, the school principal and some teachers had organized the PTA officially naming it as Parent Teachers Association of Nabunturan National Comprehensive High School, aka also “PNI”.
The PTCA’s PNI has been the operator of the PNI’s technical-vocational school that holds nighttime classes in the rows of rooms it constructed at the side of the gym constructed by the late Congressman Prospero Amatong inside the NNCHS compound.
PNI started operating in the second semester of 2003 offering a two-year computer hardware servicing course for high school graduates and youths mostly from low-income families. From original 27 students the school student population peaked to as high as 300 three years ago. At that peak, the tech-voc school had 10 part-time teachers, mostly coming from the NNCHS high school faculty, and some PTCA officers as management staff.
The number of enrolees now dwindled to over 60 after parents got wind of the brewing conflict between the school principal in alliance with “self-serving teachers”  and the PTCA officers.
Since the recent school years, parents have to pay P6,500 matriculation and tuition fees per semester per student for the computer hardware servicing course. From a two-year course, the DepEd under the Aquino administration had directed that the said course would have to be reduced to only one-year course.
It would be recalled that before the Aquino administration, it was PTCA body that held the reins of power of the organization of the parents and teachers in the school.
The DepEd Order No. 54 changed that, but the order resulted to confusions and conflicts between the PTCA and PTA nationwide as there are PTCAs that have been already registered with SEC and therefore they have already the juridical personality to transact business, undertake projects, own assets, to sue and be sued, among others.
Under that DepEd order, the PTA is said to be contemplated to operate within the DepEd’s authority.
On the otherhand, being SEC-registered, PTCA is said to operate within the parameters of the Corporation Code of the Philippines.
PNI’s tech-voc school was registered with TESDA and its sole course of computer hardware servicing has been accredited with TESDA. The schol has been assessed by the TESDA Comval provincial office to be having the best computer laboratory throughout the province.
Other lawyers contend that with that seeming conflict, there is a need to harmonize the DepEd Memo Order 54 with the laws on corporation.
PNI’s tech-voc school was established by virtue of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by and between the PTCA, DepEd regional office, NNCHS and the Barangay Poblacion. It was founded by former barangay kagawad and former DepEd Comval assistant schools division superintendent Antonio P. Delos Reyes.
Merlas and his supporter teachers reportedly contended that since some of the MOA signatories were already deceased, the PTCA’s legal existence is already questionable.
At press time, the Valley & City Chronicle tried but failed to contact Merlas for comment. (cha monforte)

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