Wednesday | Jan. 18, 2017 | 4:00 PM
PAGCOR officers, school officials and guests release balloons to celebrate the inauguration of a new five-classroom school building donated by the state-owned gaming firm to Banaoang Community School in Santa, Ilocos Sur.
THE Province of Ilocos Sur became the newest recipient of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) school building project.
PAGCOR together with its partner agencies -- the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) -- turned over a two-storey, six-classroom building to Ilocos Sur National High School (ISNHS) in Vigan City and a one-storey, five-classroom building to Banaoang Community School (BanCS) in the Municipality of Santa. The two buildings will benefit more than 6,000 students from both schools.
Built in 1902, ISNHS is one of the country’s oldest learning institutions. It is likewise the most densely-populated public school in the province with a current enrolment of 6,000.
Despite its huge population, the school has only 100 functional classrooms. “With this new school building we will have adequate rooms for our students. Likewise, we will have additional spaces where they can enhance their skills as we plan to make this new facility a computer center,” said ISNHS Principal Romulo Quitevis.
PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Community Relations and Services Arnell Ignacio hands the symbolic key to Ilocos Sur National High School principal Romulo Quitevis to formally turn-over the newly-built two-storey, six-classroom building to the said school in Vigan City.
A thick crowd of students gather to witness the turn-over of a new two-storey, six-classroom school building donated by PAGCOR to Ilocos Sur National High School in Vigan City.
BanCS Head Salvador Lazo, Jr., was also extremely grateful to the state-owned gaming firm for giving them more than what they requested. “Tulong lang po para sa pagbili at pagpapakabit ng mga bagong floor tiles sa ilang classrooms ang hiniling namin sa PAGCOR, pero higit pa roon ang aming natanggap – isang napakagandang five-classroom building na tutulong sa pagbuo ng matatayog na pangarap ng aming mga mag-aaral,” Lazo said.
With a school population of only 248 pupils, BanCS has enough classrooms for its enrollees. But most of their classrooms are cramped.
Ten-year-old Adriane Chris Ancheta, a Grade Five student from Baranggay Banaoag is one of the lucky students in BanCS who will soon use the new PAGCOR classrooms.
Having studied at BanCS since Grade 1, Adriane has gotten used to study in congested spaces. But when he learned that PAGCOR donated new and modern classrooms, he was overly excited. “Dati po kasi, nagsisiksikan kami ng mga kaklase ko dahil malilit lang mga classrooms namin. Minsan pa nga nagkaka-bangaan kami kapag may tumayo o may naglakad. Ngayon po, dahil may mga bagong classroom na kami, hindi na mangyayari iyon,” he said.
With the new classrooms, Adriane looks forward to go to school each day. He is now more inspired to fulfill his deceased father’s dream for him to become a civil engineer someday.
“Bago po na-aksidente si Papa habang nagka-karpintero, palagi niya pong sinasabi sa akin na mag-aral ng mabuti dahil gusto niya akong maging Civil Engineer. Ngayon po, mas matututo ako ng husto dahil sa mga bagong classrooms dito sa school namin. Mas madali kong matutupad ang pangarap niya para sa akin,” he narrated as tears streamed down his cheeks.
During the formal turn-over of the two school buildings, PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Community Relations and Services Arnell Ignacio proudly shared that to date, the agency has already built close to 4,000 classrooms in more than 700 sites nationwide.
“Higit ang kasiyahang nararamdaman namin na kami’y nakakapagbigay-tulong at ginhawa inyo sa pamamagitan ng libu-libong classrooms na ipinatayo ng PAGCOR. Kung dati-rati, pangkaraniwan ng tanawin ang mga mag-aaral na nagka-klase sa ilalim ng mga puno, ngayon po ay may sapat nang silid para sila ay makapag-aral nang maayos at komportable,” Ignacio said.