Feature: Brief History of NAII: NAII - Before, After and Future
The Negros Agro-Industrial Institute (NAII) came into existence in the late 1960s, in 1965 to be exact. Forty seven ago, the green and white secondaryschool was the only accredited 2-2 plan school in Southern Negros located in the town of Binalbagan, the oldest town in Negros Island and Western Visayas, thereby earning the title "Banwang Panganay". Binalbagan became a town on May 15, 1572 and was one of the two first settlements (the other one being Ilog).
The NAII PMT Officers and Sponsors during the presentation of sponsors in 1972 inside the compound of Negros Agro-Industrial Institute in Binalbagan, Negros Occidental.*
Although NAII is a secondary school, it also offers vocational courses like dressmaking, radio technicians, radio operators and later four-year college courses.
The emergence of NAII was realized with the brainchild of businessman/farmer, the late Mr. Hermilo "Romy" Nava. It was acquired by him in 1965, according to reliable sources close to him, with the vision of having a school to answer the needs of students who were children of farmers, fishermen and sacadas (sugarcane workers).
But the acquisition had very sad experiences since it was muddled with controversy.
According to the source, the school and its school building and property was ridden with controversy after it was allegedly foreclosed by the Philippine National Bank (PNB).
Nava reportedly acquired the lot and school building after he bought it from the Echauz family who allegedly owned the property. The operation of NAII ran smoothly through the years when the school was fully accredited by the Department of Education, then the Bureau of Education. The most significant years saw the school having bloomed 1967-1968 until it was saddled with controversy that its last graduates were in 1986-1987, about 26 years from way back.
The first batch entered the school in 1967 and graduated in 1971. Between those years until 1978 were joyous years for students while still occupying the main school building across the railways. But the controversy erupted when the former occupant, the Southern Negros College (SNC) traded legal suits with the owner including Mr. Nava who possessed the property where the edifice of NAII stood.
It was when the alleged "sale" of the property by the Echauz family to Nava materialized that Mr. Nava took over the building from SNC. The Lopezes allegedly filed a civil case against Echauz to recover the property they allegedly bought from them. Mr. Nava also filed legal suits against the Lopezes but failed.
It was from there that the students took temporary shelter from the Javellana family house and made makeshift cottages to let the students continue their schooling.
In the latter part of 1980s, the students transferred to the compound of Rural Bank of Binalbagan, once run by Mr. Nava. But the school reportedly was no longer owned by Nava. It was run by teachers headed by Mrs. Virginia Gasacao. At the said location, the present administration had a tree and makeshift nipa buildings to allow students take their lessons until they graduated from high school.*