Pagcor donates P7B for K + 12 school facilities
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is investing in education, having provided P5 billion to build classrooms and P2 billion more by the end of October to complete school facilities needed for the country’s transition to the K + 12 basic education program, the gaming firm’s chair said.
Addressing Philippine Military Academy (PMA) cadets here on Saturday, Cristino Naguiat Jr., Pagcor chair, said the gaming firm had concentrated some of its resources on education “because we know that the future of our country is in that sector.”
Naguiat was guest speaker during the academy’s 116th Foundation Day celebrations.
He said Pagcor’s donations to the education sector were the result of proper spending and savings. These would be put to good use by building new schools in provinces in the Visayas ravaged by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” last year, he said.
He said the funds would be coursed through the Department of Education (DepEd), which is slated to receive the P2 billion when both agencies sign a memorandum of agreement on Oct. 27.
Naguiat said the projects were meant to prepare all facilities needed when the country’s schools enroll the first batch of senior high school students in 2016, part of the changes introduced by the K+12 basic education program.
Pagcor has committed to finance a 32-classroom senior high school building project for Baguio City National High School at a government property, which now hosts the Philippine Science High School’s Cordillera regional campus, Baguio Schools Superintendent Francis Bringas said during the weekly executive-legislative meeting at Baguio City Hall on Monday.
Bringas said the DepEd had proposed to expand this project to 62 classrooms, anticipating that the Baguio public school system would be serving 5,000 of the projected 7,000 students who would become eligible as high school seniors in 2016.
He said they submitted funding proposals for two four-story buildings that would hold a total of 44 classrooms.
Naguiat said Pagcor had also bankrolled the P105-million modernization of the PMA sports complex here.
He said the gaming firm’s contributions to education were “aboveboard and were the outcome of responsible gaming operations.”
Naguiat said investing in the PMA was timed with reforms to convert the academy into a leadership training school. “Apart from teaching our cadets how to be prepared for combat, the academy also now regards peace-building as an additional tool [for approaching] the challenges of insurgency and terrorism in our country,” he said. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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