Thusday | Mar. 16, 2017 | 8:00 AM
PAGCOR AVP for Community Relations and Services Arnell Ignacio (middle) mingles with appreciative teachers and students of Doña Hortencia Salas Benedicto National High School (DHSBNHS) in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental after PAGCOR formally turned over a two-storey, 10-classroom school building to the school.
MORE than 2,000 public school students in Manila and Negros Occidental bid goodbye to their old and rickety classrooms when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) formally turned over brand-new buildings to two schools recently.
PAGCOR donated a four-storey, 20-classroom school building to P. Gomez Elementary School (PGES) in Sta. Cruz, Manila and a two-storey, 10-classroom structure to Doña Hortencia Salas Benedicto National High School (DHSBNHS) in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental.
With the new classrooms, PGES became the very first public school in the city of Manila to receive a school building from the agency. Despite having 5,200 students, PGES has only 27 functional classrooms and has to implement a morning and afternoon shift to accommodate all students.
PGES Principal Noel Gelua said their new school building will be occupied by over 1,300 kindergarten and Grade 4 students who are presently holding classes in three-decade old buildings that are about to be condemned. “Sobrang excited na ng mga bata at teachers kasi iba yung pakiramdam ng lilipat ka sa bagong classrooms. Parang lilipat ka sa bagong bahay. Isa pa, hindi na safe para sa mga estudyante at guro ang mga classrooms na ginagamit nila ngayon dahil sobrang luma na,” he said.
(Left photo) Pupils of P. Gomez Elementary School will no longer endure holding classes in this decrepit three-decade-old building due for demolition, following PAGCOR’s school building donation. (Right photo) The new school building that was donated by PAGCOR to Doña Hortencia Salas Benedicto National High School is a far-cry from the termite-infested classrooms that the students used to occupy.
The school building turnover in PGES was graced by no less than PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo, who proudly noted that she spent her fourth grade in the 102-year-old school. “I was nine years old and was in Grade 4 when I studied here 58 years ago. Coming from the province and getting bullied by some of my classmates, my stay here taught me to be tough and helped made me who I am today,” she fondly recalled.
Aside from PGES, the state-run gaming firm also turned over a two-storey, ten classroom building to Dona Hortencia Salas Benedicto National High School (DHSBNHS) in La Carlota City.
Close to 1,000 senior high school students of DHSBNHS who have been holding classes in decrepit classrooms for a long time will benefit from the new PAGCOR school building.
Students of P. Gomez Elementary School witness the formal turn-over of the newly-constructed building to their school.
This brand-new four-storey, 20-classroom PAGCOR school building will soon be the new home of kindergarten and Grade 4 students of P. Gomez Elementary School.
Incoming Grade 12 student Mary Lee Salazar said she and her classmates are very much eager to use the new building, which is a far cry from the termite-infested buildings that they used to occupy. “Naranasan na po namin bahain sa loob ng mga dati naming classroom habang malakas ang ulan. Paminsan po may mga nahuhulog na ding pira-pirasong kahoy mula sa kisame,” she related.
Formerly called La Carlota Provincial High School, DHSBNHS was built during the first half of 1947 – barely two years after the Second World War ended.
Currently, it is one of the most populated high schools in Bacolod with a total of 3,652 enrollees.
PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Community Relations and Services Arnell Ignacio who was present during the turn-over of school building to DHSBNHS said that the agency has always believed in empowering the youth.
“We at PAGCOR are doing our best to help our education sector through the provision of better learning facilities. Through this venture, we hope to advance national literacy and empower the Filipino youth,” Ignacio said.
DHSBNHS Principal Dr. Leopoldo Sichon also expressed his gratitude for the valuable educational aid that PAGCOR extended to their school. “Words cannot express how happy and thankful we are for this new facility. This is indeed a wonderful blessing to our students and staff which would not have been possible without PAGCOR’s generosity” Sichon said.
To date, PAGCOR’s school building program has turned over a total of 6,931 classrooms in 54 sites nationwide. Apart from these, 2,404 classrooms in 220 sites are under construction while 173 classrooms in 22 sites are under procurement.