Pagcor donates 482 classrooms to 74 public schools
More than 24,000 public school students from five provinces have become beneficiaries of 482 classrooms donated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) through its “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” school building project.
Pagcor said of the 482 completed classrooms, 110 were constructed in 24 public schools in Davao Oriental; 98 were donated to 17 public schools in Pangasinan; 75 were given to seven public schools in Negros Occidental; 87 were turned over to 14 public schools in Iloilo; and 112 were built in 12 public schools in Cavite.
Pagcor Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr., who has been leading the turnover and groundbreaking rites of thousands of classrooms in public schools, said the agency’s donations will help address the classroom shortage in state-subsidized schools and replace their dilapidated buildings with more decent learning facilities.
“By building these new classrooms, we are helping the DepEd and the government in promoting quality education in our public schools. We want the students and their teachers to have the best facilities to make learning easier and as much as possible hassle-free for the school children,” Naguiat said in a statement on Tuesday.
He said the agency was able to fund the construction of thousands of classrooms all over the country primarily due to the “prudent management of its earnings.” The agency’s total funding for the school building program, he said, now stands at a staggering P10 billion.
Pagcor’s school building project is being carried out in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
As of June 2015, Pagcor said, a total of 1,739 new classrooms had been completed nationwide. Thousands more are being built in various provinces including areas heavily devastated by super typhoon Yolanda.
One of the recent beneficiaries of the project – the Tayug Central Elementary School (TCES) in Pangasinan – was extremely grateful to the state-owned gaming firm, for responding to their urgent need for new classrooms. While TCES has 36 functional classrooms for its 1,400 students, most of these buildings are already over half a century old.
Apart from their dilapidated classrooms, TCES Principal Teody Tagare said that since their 10-classroom Gabaldon building was razed by fire 15 years ago, the school never had the chance to build a new one due to lack of funds.
The thickly-populated Bata National High School(BNHS) in Bacolod City with over 2,000 enrollees also heaved a euphoric sigh of relief following Pagcor’s donation of a four-storey, 20-classroom school building.
Due to lack of school buildings, hundreds of students in BNHS have to endure having classes in the oven-hot gymnasium, oftentimes sharing space with those having Physical Education (PE) lessons and Sepak Takraw players who are training.
“Pagcor is such a great blessing to our school. From now on, our gym will solely be used for athletics and other purposes and not as a classroom. Napakaraming makikinabang sa aming bagong school building at siguradong magiging komportable na ang aming mga estudyante sa kanilang pag-aaral,” said BNHS Principal Evelyn Casiano.
In Cavite, 4th District Representative Elpidio Barzaga, Jr. praised Pagcor for responding to the educational needs of his constituents.
“We’re very fortunate that Pagcor is our formidable partner in upholding the education of the youth,” Barzaga said.
Imus City Mayor Emmanuel Maliksi, who was present during the groundbreaking ceremony of a four-story, 20-classroom building in Imus Pilot Elementary School (IPES) said the new building was a big blessing to IPES which has over 4,000 students.
Maliksi said the impact of Pagcor’s support to the education sector would be felt not only by the schools but also by the community.
Pagcor also recently turned over a total of 23 classrooms to five public national high schools in Davao Oriental.
“The construction of the additional classrooms augurs well for the school beneficiaries as they prepare for the implementation of the K-12 program next year,” the agency said.
“Located in areas inhabited mostly by indigent families, the Banaybanay National High School, Lupon National High School, Leandro Japos National High School, Badas National High School and Don Salvador Lopez National High School are expecting heavy influx of enrollees from these communities next school year,” it further said. Maila Ager/IDL
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.