Dipolog City, Philippines – The much-awaited Laboratory for Life (LABLIFE) Project of Punta National High School (PNHS) was formally inaugurated last April 25, 2023.

Project LABLIFE was initiated by the determined, results-oriented, and innovative School Principal III of PNHS, Josefina S. Tan. The project now serves as an answer to the long-time dream of PNHS students taking course in Food Processing under the Technical-Vocational and Livelihood (TVL) strand to have a functional and convenient food processing laboratory for them to work effectively and efficiently.

The laboratory is equipped with 2 comfort rooms for men and women, with lavatory and shower, washing area with 4 faucets, proper lighting, tiled floor, concrete pavement, and jalousie windows and grills. The building covers a total floor area of 72 square meters. The laboratory is a priority project for the school year 2022-2023 that started last November.

The primary objective of the project is for students to hone their skills on food processing of fish and other raw materials such as fishery produce, fruits, and vegetables, including local produce of the neighboring communities.

Project LABLIFE utilized available scrap metals, steel bars, and galvanized iron from the dilapidated school buildings and the used tiles from the Division Office. The project cost approximately ₱1,000,000.00, which was funded by the school, Parents-Teachers Association (PTA), the teaching staff, and various stakeholders.

Mr. Erwin Taboniag and Ms. Shiela Palisoc, both Senior High School teachers handling Food Processing subjects, said that they were “overwhelmed by the fulfillment of the project, which was given top priority by the School Principal, as this is also the dream of the students—to have a conducive place for them to develop their skills in food processing.”

The ceremonial blessing was celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Enrico Montano, parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish, Olingan, together with the faculty and staff of the school. The blessing paved the way to finally make the laboratory operational. This said project will be formally turned over by the GPTA Officers, which will be witnessed by the Punta Barangay Council, parents, students, and teachers on a later date.

The students and faculty members of PNHS expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the GPTA members and officers, LGU of Brgy. Punta, stakeholders, and donors who wholeheartedly supported this endeavor.

In an interview with Principal Tan, she enthusiastically said, “I look forward to the time where PNHS will be producing varieties of quality processed foods which could hit the international market.”

By: Joyce S. Ozaraga