Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

PAGCOR’s aid for school building project reaches P7-B

Monday | October 27, 2014 | 5:00 PM

PAGCOR’s aid for school building project reaches P7-B
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. symbolically turned over the additional P2-billion funding for the “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project to DepEd Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro (4th from left) and DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson (4th from right). Also in photo are officials of the three agencies. The additional funding brought to P7 billion PAGCOR’s total contribution to the government’s school building program.

THE total contribution of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to the government’s school building program has now reached a staggering P7 billion.  The state-run agency released an additional P2 billion for the “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project on October 27, 2014.

The additional funding, according to PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. will further widen the reach of the project and will benefit more schools in far-flung areas.

“Working closely with the education sector helped us see the plight of public schools in remote areas around the country.  While the classrooms donated by PAGCOR improved the learning conditions of many students, numerous buildings are still needed to completely address the problem on classroom shortage.  The P7 billion funding for the education sector is a big investment that will benefit the Filipino youth in the years to come,”Naguiat noted.

PAGCOR’s aid for school building project reaches P7-B
A typical two-storey school building donated by PAGCOR to public schools nationwide.

According to Department of Education (Deped) Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, although the 66,800 classroom backlog in 2010 has already been solved, DepEd still has to address the need for annual repairs and replacements of classrooms that were built 30 to 50 years ago. “We have around 500,000 old classrooms that need to be either repaired or replaced. Since we can’t repair or replace the entire 500,000 in one year, we have to prioritize which of these old classrooms urgently need attention,” he said.

He added that PAGCOR has been very committed to its mission to invest in the education of the Filipino youth. “In good and in bad times, PAGCOR has been our partner in providing better classrooms to students. They have been our biggest and most consistent partner in rebuilding and ensuring that the classrooms of our public school students will outlast the Aquino administration and maybe, our own lifetime,” he said.

Meanwhile, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson reported that in the initial P2 billion released by PAGCOR last April 2013, DPWH has already completed around 75 percent of the total number of classrooms for construction. By 2015, we target to complete 1,070 classrooms. Hopefully, by 2016 we will complete all classrooms to be built using the additional P2 billion allocation that we received from PAGCOR today,” he explained.

Singson added that the classrooms built under the school building project are superior in terms of quality. “Maipagma-malaki natin ang mga PAGCOR classrooms na ito. The PAGCOR classrooms are a lot better than our margin for a typical classroom. This is a good social infrastructure that we should continue to provide all over the country,” he said.

Apart from the ongoing classroom construction, the DPWH has already repaired around 700 classrooms that were damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 using the funds released by PAGCOR. Around 1,293 classrooms in Yolanda-hit areas are either under construction or under procurement.

PAGCOR’s aid for school building project reaches P7-B
The students of Ilocos Norte College of Arts and Trade in Laoag are among the recent beneficiaries of PAGCOR's school building project.

To formalize PAGCOR’s additional P2 billion funding, Naguiat signed a Memorandum of Agreement with DepEd Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro and DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson. This signals the fourth phase of the “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project which will set in motion the construction of an additional 1,500 classrooms more or less in different sites all over the country.

As stipulated in the MOA, PAGCOR will monitor the progress of the construction of the classrooms.

On the other hand, DepEd will provide the teachers and support staff needed for the operation of the new school buildings; classroom furniture such as chairs and tables; and the maintenance and repairs of the buildings.

DPWH meanwhile will build the classrooms and prepare all documentary requirements needed for the construction.

Since the project was launched in 2011, the school building program of PAGCOR, DepEd and DPWH has so far completed a total of 906 classrooms in 201 sites nationwide, while 630 classrooms in 123 sites are under construction using the initial P5 billion funding.

Included in the buildings to be constructed are the 91 classrooms in Bohol which were damaged by the earthquake in October 2013.

Among the areas with completed classrooms include Baguio, Benguet, Ilocos, Pangasinan, Isabela, Cagayan, Nueva Viscaya, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon Province, Antipolo, Rizal, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Albay,  Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Bacolod, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Samar, Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat.

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