Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

Multi-storey PAGCOR school buildings to rise in Malabon and Pampanga

Wednesday | March 11, 2015 | 1:30 PM

Multi-storey PAGCOR school buildings to rise in Malabon and Pampanga
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. (4th from right) spearheaded the groundbreaking and time capsule laying rites in Pampanga High School (PHS) to kick-off the construction of a four-storey, 24-classroom building in PHS, San Fernando City. With him in photo are (from extreme left) PHS Federated Alumni Chairman Conrado Pacla, DPWH Assistant District Engineer William Bustos, Pampanga 3rd District Representative Oscar Rodriguez, San Fernando City Mayor’s Office Chief-of-Staff Michael Sicat, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Amelia Julian and PHS Principal Jennifer Cunanan.

Thousands of public school students in Malabon and Pampanga are eagerly awaiting the completion of their brand new classrooms which are being built through the funds provided by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

The state-run gaming firm partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to construct multi-storey buildings in several public schools under PAGCOR’s “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid Aralan” project.

The school beneficiaries include the densely-populated Ninoy Aquino Elementary School (NAES) in Malabon City; the 108-year-old Pampanga High School (PHS) in San Fernando, Pampanga; and the Bonifacio V. Romero Memorial High School (BVRMHS) in Angeles City. Thirty two classrooms will be built in Malabon City’s NAES while 33 classrooms are being built in PHS and BVRMHS in Pampanga.

Multi-storey PAGCOR school buildings to rise in Malabon and Pampanga
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L Naguiat, Jr. (2nd from right) and Malabon City Mayor Antolin Oreta III (3rd from right) led the groundbreaking of a four-storey, 32-classroom building at the Ninoy Aquino Elementary School (NAES) in Malabon City. This is part of PAGCOR’s “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project. Also present during the ceremony were Longos Brgy. Captain Angelika dela Cruz (extreme right) and some officials from NAES and DepEd’s Division Office.

During the recent groundbreaking ceremonies of the new school buildings, PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. noted that with the judicious use of funds and its huge savings, PAGCOR was able to raise P7 billion for the construction of classrooms in public schools nationwide.

“Our management's priority has always been to help our public school children. We know that many of them especially those coming from less privileged families have dreams of improving their lives by getting a good education for their children. PAGCOR is helping them realize their dreams by providing them with spacious and modern classrooms,” Naguiat said.

The PAGCOR chief added that apart from constructing school buildings, PAGCOR also plans to put up computer laboratories in public schools nationwide.

Meanwhile, the public schools that had been chosen as recent beneficiaries of PAGCOR’s school building program are relieved to get the timely help from the state-run gaming agency.

Multi-storey PAGCOR school buildings to rise in Malabon and Pampanga
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. (4th from left) led the groundbreaking rites for a PAGCOR-funded school building at the Bonifacio V. Romero High School in Angeles City, Pampanga. The new classrooms, which will be built using PAGCOR funds, will cater to students coming from families living in the resettlement area of Mt. Pinatubo. In photo with Chairman Naguiat are (from extreme left) DPWH Angeles City District Engineer Tito Salvador, Angeles City Councilor Edu Pamintuan, Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, BVRHS benefactor Reghis Romero, BVRHS Principal Edgardo Nuñag, DepEd representative Emerito Nicdao and Barangay Pulung Cacutud Chairman Antonio Trinidad.

According to NAES school principal Dr. Marissa Cristobal, they only have 34 functional classrooms for their 5,573 students. Because of this, many of their students attend classes in the school lobby, stage, library, or any other available space they could find.

Cristobal said that once completed, the new building from PAGCOR will completely solve their backlog of 21 classrooms and will in fact provide additional classrooms to be used as laboratories as well.

Grade One student Princess Palacios is just one among hundreds of students in NAES who is currently affected by the school’s classroom shortage. They are currently attending classes in the school lobby where small makeshift classrooms had been temporarily put up.

Only thin plywoods and wooden planks separate three sections. This is the reason why Princess easily gets distracted. “Hindi ko po maintindihan kung minsan ang tinuturo ni Teacher dahil maingay,” she related.

Despite her tender age, the young girl who is being raised by a single mother knows the value of education. “Gusto ko pong makatapos ng pag-aaral para matulungan ko ang nanay ko na magkaroon ng pera pambili ng pagkain,” Princess said. She also wants to become a teacher someday to teach kids like her how to read and write.

Fortunately, the learning condition of Princess and her classmates is expected to vastly improve once PAGCOR’s four-storey, 32-classroom building is built.

Malabon City Mayor Antolin Oreta who graced the recent school building groundbreaking in NAES related that although the city government is putting high priority on education, many public schools lack classrooms. “Malaking challenge ang migration ng mga bata. May dumadating at may umaalis pero mas madami and dumadating kaya parating kulang ang mga facilities, teachers, classrooms and everything. Napaka-ganda nitong schoolbuilding project ng PAGCOR dahil marami itong natutulungan…hindi lamang sa Malabon kundi pati sa public schools sa buong Pilipinas,” he said.

In the province of Pampanga, the school administrators of PHS and BVRMHS are likewise grateful for the new PAGCOR-funded buildings that will soon rise in their school.

BVRMHS head Edgardo Nuñag said they can finally declare their 20-year old dilapidated classrooms for condemnation. The classrooms – which were built by the Mt. Pinatubo Commission for the use of students whose families were affected by the volcano’s eruption – are now unsafe for use according to Nuñag.

“Labis po ang aming pasasalamat sa PAGCOR. Magkakaroon na kami ng ideal learning environment. Hindi na rin magti-tiis ang marami sa kanila na gamitin ang mga napaka-luma naming classrooms na bukod sa napaka-init na eh nababasa pa sila tuwing umuulan,” Nuñag said.

Meanwhile, Pampanga 3rd District Representative Oscar Rodriguez noted that the classrooms that will be built in his district would greatly help his young constituents. “By having an additional learning facility, they will be able to perform better. I’m sure we can have more classrooms of this kind here in Pampanga with PAGCOR’s generous assistance as their advocacy is geared towards education,” he added.

As of January 2015, PAGCOR’s school building project has already completed a total of 1,080 classrooms in 228 sites nationwide while 958 classrooms are still under construction.

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