Friday | Feb. 24, 2017 | 12:00 PM
Patrick Jadli (standing) and his classmates used to hold classes in makeshift classrooms before PAGCOR donated a two-storey, eight-classroom school building to their school.
FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD Patrick Jadli had always wished the situation in his class would be much better.
Sitting in a makeshift classroom with no ceiling, Patrick recalled how he and his Grade 7 classmates at Palina East National High school (PENHS) in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan endure their decrepit and poorly ventilated classrooms. On rainy days, the classrooms become muddy and flooded due to lack of decent flooring.
Because of this deplorable condition, Patrick and his classmates could not focus on their lessons. Fortunately, the sorry state of the classrooms caught the attention of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
PAGCOR AVP for Community Relations and Services Arnell Ignacio (3rd from left) leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony during the ceremonial turn-over of a two-storey, eight-classroom building to Palina East National High School in Urdaneta City. Photo also shows (from left) a student representative, Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo Gregorio Perez IV, City Schools Division Curriculum Implementation head Adelaida Deogracias and School Principal Senen Esmeralda.
PAGCOR recently turned over newly-constructed two-storey, eight-classroom school building to PENHS. It also awarded a one-storey, six-classroom structure to Palina West National High School (PWNHS). With 14 additional classrooms, both schools will have spacious, decent and comfortable classrooms when they start offering Senior High School next school year.
“Isa itong napakalaking biyaya para sa aming paaralan. Higit sa pagkakaroon ng mga bagong silid-aralan na talagang maluluwag at matitibay, binuksan ng PAGCOR school building na ito ang pagkakataon upang makapag-offer kami dito ng Senior High School,” said PENHS Principal Senen Esmeralda.
He shared that prior to the construction of the PAGCOR school building, he would sometimes see students going out of their makeshift classrooms as they could no longer bear the heat. “Hindi sila makatiis sa init dahil napakababa ng bubong ng kanilang kwarto,” Esmeralda added.
The PAGCOR logo of the new two-storey, eight-classroom building of Palina East National High School is unveiled by PAGCOR AVP for Community Relations and Services Arnell Ignacio (extreme left) and Urdaneta City Mayor Amadeo Gregorio Perez IV (2nd from left).
But by the next school year, over 400 Grades 7 and 11 students of PENHS will use the new PAGCOR classrooms.
Meantime, PWNHS expects a surge in enrollment next school year after it received six new PAGCOR classrooms which can accommodate over 200 students. According to PWNHS school head Gemma Prestoza, the PAGCOR school building that will be used by Grades 10 and 11 students is a far cry from their existing classrooms in terms of size. The new learning facility will also serve as library and information technology center where students can do research work.
In Buhangin, Davao City, students and teachers of Bernardo D. Carpio National High School (BDCNHS) felt extremely blessed when PAGCOR turned over the newly-constructed three-storey, 18-classroom building to the school.
BDCNHS Principal Zenaida Milando said many of their students who come from far-flung barangays enroll in their Senior High School program. “Most of them come from low-income families but many of them are very talented and driven. So it is just proper that we provide them with the best that they deserve,” she said.
The school however has its limitations. Because of the increase in enrollment due to the K-12 Program, they had to implement a shifting schedule to fit in all students.
“We only have 25 classrooms shared by over 2,000 students. The fact that many of these classrooms are no longer safe for our students worsens the problem. That is why I am very glad that PAGCOR took notice of our school. This multi-storey building will help us respond well to the educational needs of our students,” Milando added.
The symbolic key of the new three-storey, 18-classroom building in Bernardo D. Carpio National High School is handed by PAGCOR AVP for Community Relations and Services Arnell Ignacio (4th from left) to School Principal Zenaida Milando (4th from right). Witnessing the turn-over are Atty. Raul Nadela from the City Government of Davao (extreme left), Cong. Mylene Garcia-Albano (3rd from left) and DepEd and school officials.
To date, PAGCOR has already built 482 classrooms in Pangasinan alone while 295 classrooms in 54 sites in the Davao Region had been completed.
All in all, PAGCOR’s school building program has turned over a total of 6,921 classrooms in 53 sites nationwide. Apart from these, 2,404 classrooms in 220 sites are under construction while 173 classrooms in 22 sites are under procurement.