Posted: Tuesday | July 17, 2012 | 3:00 PM
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. (right) joins Cong. Neptali Gonzales (2nd from right), Mandaluyong City Mayor Ben Hur Abalos (2nd from left) and Travellers International Chairman Andrew Tan (left) during the groundbreaking ceremony of a new school at Barangay Addition Hils in Mandaluyong City on July 17, 2012. PAGCOR and Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. (operator of Resorts World Manila) committed to fund the construction of the said school.
Once completed, the new school building can accommodate up to 2,000 elementary and high school students living in Barangay Addition Hills, which is one of the most populated areas in Mandaluyong.
PUBLIC elementary and high school students of Barangay Addition Hills in Mandaluyong City will have a better chance of finishing their basic education after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. (operator of Resorts World Manila) committed to fund the construction of an integrated public school there.
Travellers, as part of its Entertainment City investment obligation, has allocated approximately P60 to P80 million for the construction of the Mandaluyong Addition Hills Elementary School in Mandaluyong City’s most populated barangay.
The new school will have 2 four-storey buildings with 40 classrooms and 16 comfort rooms. It can accommodate up to 2,000 elementary and high school students. The groundbreaking of the new learning facility was held today while construction will start in the last quarter of 2012.
According to PAGCOR Chairman Cristino Naguiat, Jr., Travellers’ commitment in this particular project is in line with PAGCOR’s mandate to build more public classrooms which is anchored on the agency’s billion-peso funded “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid Aralan” project.It aims to address the education sector’s perennial problem on classrooms shortage by building more than 1,000 school rooms in public elementary and secondary education institutions nationwide.
“Ang kabataan ang yaman ng ating bayan. At dahil dito, ginagawa po ng PAGCOR ang makakaya nito upang maging katuwang ng pamahalaan sa pagtataguyod sa kanila. Naniniwala kami na sa pamamagitan ng edukasyon, mababago natin ang buhay ng maraming kabataang Pilipinong salat sa buhay,” the PAGCOR chief cited.
Mandaluyong Representative and Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales, who passed House Bill 6001 proposing the establishment of a new elementary school in Addition Hills said public school students in their locality will finally be given the right time and venue for their studies. “Words cannot express our gratitude to PAGCOR for this new school building. Napakalaking tulong ito sa mamamayan. If we can’t add more classrooms, our children will lose interest in their studies. Now, we are ready to provide our students with better venues for learning as we prepare for the Department of Education’s K+12 program.”
City Mayor Ben Hur Abalos equally expressed his gratitude to PAGCOR and Travellers International for helping uplift the quality of education of his constituents. Being one of the most populated areas in Mandaluyong, Barangay Addition Hills has around 22,000 families and the three existing public schools in Barangay Addition Hills are not enough to address the educational needs of the growing population of students, especially those from the elementary level. “We thank PAGCOR and its partners for helping provide our students with better venues for learning,” he said.
According to Mandaluyong City government’s Public Information Officer Jimmy Isidro, the classes in the three public schools are divided into three shifts starting at 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. to address the issue of overpopulation. Each shift runs for four to five hours. Isidro added that apart from the fully packed daily schedule, each classroom at Barangay Addition Hills accommodate up to 60 students.
Based on the Department of Education’s (DepEd) standards, the ideal number of students per classroom should be 45-50 in order to provide a more conducive learning environment. Isidro said that once the construction of the 2 four-storey buildings is completed, “up to 40% of the students from the three public schools in the locality can move there. Thus, it will be possible for the public schools of Barangay Addition Hills to follow DepEd’s classroom management standard.”
Travellers International Chairman Andrew Tan, who graced the groundbreaking ceremony, said education is now one of the major corporate social responsibility projects of their company. “Our group is very committed to education. We believe that it is the most important thing for our youth. We are happy to be a part of this project.”
Recently, PAGCOR turned over a five-classroom, single storey building to Sampaloc Elementary School in Tanay, Rizal.
Apart from the establishment of a new school in Addition Hills, some 749 classrooms are scheduled to be built this year in various parts of the country through PAGCOR and DepEd’s schoolbuilding project. PAGCOR also allocated P65 million for the construction of 75 Gawad Kalinga Sibol Kindergarten classrooms and 25 Alternative Learning Centers for out-of-school-youths nationwide.