A Glimpse of Its History

The Pages of history unfold that before there was no Surigao del Sur but the undivided province of Surigao. It was only on June 19, 1960 by virtue of Republic Act No. 2786 that Surigao del Sur was created as the 56th Philippine province. It formally functioned as an independent province on September 18, 1960 paving the way for the eventual creation of the Schools Division of Surigao del Sur, Region XI.

Immediately, after its creation, Vicente Revecho was designated as OIC of the Division from 1960-1963; and Eusebio Respecio took over as the First Superintendent (1963-1964); he was succeeded by Conrado Yabut (1964-1965); Leocadio Momongan (1965-1967); Mr. Antonio A. Orozco became the OIC of the Division from (1967-1971); Pedro M. Calo (1971-1972); Jesus M. Catre (1972-1974). He implemented the concrete signage along the highway intersection of every municipality.

Mr. Antonio A. Orozco became the Superintendent of the Division from 1974-1983. Hosted the First SMRAA Meet in 1977; Post no Bill was implemented. He was the founding Superintendent of the Surigao del Sur Public School Teacher Association (SSPSTA) and initiated the construction of the Teachers’ Home with Mr. Leopoldo Pagaran and Mr. Miguel Matildo of Tandag District. He was followed by Migdonia A. Pichay (1983-1987), the only Superintendent in Region XI who was able to influence the teachers to put up a toilet in every classroom, water facilities and herbal gardens in every school; every central school had bottle symphony, rondalla and choral group; Music and Arts was emphasized.

Felicidad M. Roque became the Superintendent (1987-1988); Prudencio M. Mabanglo (1988-1989); Cesar B. Ollosa (1989-1991); Rosita Q. Pimentel (1991-1997). During her time, construction of school building projects in all districts was made possible; Monitoring and evaluation of all schools from north to south were done.

By virtue of RA No. 7901, under His Excellency Fidel V. Ramos, DECS Caraga Administrative Region or Region XIII became the newest DECS Region of the country. Caraga Administrative Region is composed of four (4) provinces and two cities namely: the province of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur with its component cities of Surigao and Butuan. Surigao del Sur then separated from Region XI. The Regional office in Butuan City was formally and officially inaugurated on July 8, 1995. Dr. Pimentel was followed by Luz S. Almeda in 1997-2000 at some point in Ma’am Almeda‘s leadership, the Division of Surigao del Sur was the general champion during the CARAGA Regional Athletic Meet held in Tandag. Radio Transmitting Station was put up at Madrid National High School and Lianga District Office. Madam Fe C. Valeroso served as Superintendent in 2000-2010. On August 16, 2000, Republic Act No. 8804 paved way for the establishment of Bislig City Division when it was chartered as a city. Lucia S. Castro became the first Superintendent of Bislig City Division.

Being one of the big divisions in DepEd Caraga, the Division of Surigao del Sur prides itself in pursuing vigorously DepEd’s thrusts and programs. For the past years, its performance has consistently improved. Its organizational culture nurtures growth and development, boosted by its outstanding achievements to include among others: First CSC Accredited Division of DepEd Caraga; Outstanding Division for foreign funded projects; First in the National Sample Based Assessment among the Social Reform Agenda provinces; Two-time top ten performing Division in the National Achievement Test for medium-size Division; Brigada Eskwela Best Implementer since 2002 to present; SURDOECO was organized; and created Division Office Canteen and Lodging Rooms.

In November 2010, ASDS Gregoria T. Su took over as OIC of the Division; and Dr. teofila G. Cabatuan succeeded as the Superintendent on October 1, 2011 to present.

APPES accreditation Level 2 of 4 elementary schools and 12 elementary schools APPES Level 1 accredited, Sterling Silver accreditation of 8 secondary schools, made the Division of Surigao del Sur even prouder of its achievements. Today, the Division of Surigao del Sur bears up and continues to provide equitable access to basic education, quality of learning and management and strengthen internal system of governance to 26 schools districts and 11 secondary clusters, under a new brand of leadership in line and geared towards the fulfillment of its thrusts.

(Sources: Fe C. Valeroso, Anita M. Agunod, Anita L. Orozco and Ruth Pilapil)