Learning center up at Laguna relocation site | Inquirer News

Learning center up at Laguna relocation site

/ 12:03 AM April 07, 2014

CALAUAN, Laguna—A two-story learning center was the latest addition to the communal facilities built in a resettlement site that houses thousands of families who used to live along Manila’s estuaries and those who lost their homes to Tropical Storm  “Ondoy” in 2009.

With at least six computer desktops with Internet access, the center is seen “to level the playing field” for the out-of-school youth and even the adults in terms of “access to global knowledge,” said Girlie Aragon, program director of Bayanijuan of ABS-CBN Foundation.

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Aragon said tutorials on computer use would also be provided at the learning center for a fee half the price of the regular computer rental (usually P20 per hour). The center would be comanaged by the foundation and the relocatees’ homeowners’ association.

The learning center and a gym that would serve as a community and sports center were inaugurated on Thursday.

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Both facilities were funded by the global insurance company Sun Life Financial Philippines, which committed

P49.3 million for a five-year community development program with Bayanijuan in 2010.

From that amount, Sun Life had funded the construction of 115 houses, which are currently occupied by 98 families. The amount also provided for the electrification and installation of water supply and solar street lights in a portion of the resettlement area being referred to as “Legacy of Light Village.”

A duck farm was also put up to provide livelihood for the residents.

“Sun Life wants these kids [here] to grow up to become productive citizens. We are building lives [and] not just homes,” said Sun Life president and chief executive officer Rizalina Mantaring.

The 100-hectare property of the National Housing Authority in Barangay (village) Dayap here has been referred to as Bayanijuan-Southville 7 since its launch in 2009.

The project, which  has initially relocated 1,217 families of informal settlers and typhoon victims from Marikina and Pasig cities, houses more than 5,000 families in the whole area.

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