PAGCOR to build 40 classrooms in two public schools in Marikina

Monday | May 5, 2014 | 4:10 PM

Holding classes in several shifts and in crowded classrooms are not unusual in public schools, including the two public learning institutions in Marikina City.

PAGCOR to build 40 classrooms in two public schools in Marikina
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr., (3rd from left) and Marikina City 1st District Representative Marcelino Teodoro (2nd from left) were joined by Department of Education officials and administrators of Sta. Elena High School (SEHS) in Marikina City during the recent ground breaking of the four-story, 20 classroom building at SEHS. PAGCOR allocated more than P40 million for the construction of the school building.

Sta. Elena High School (SEHS) has close to 4,000 students yet it has only 39 functional classrooms. The Concepcion Integrated School (CIS) meantime has more than 2,300 high school students using only 20 classrooms. Clearly, both schools are in dire need of additional learning facilities.

This scenario will eventually change when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) together with the Department of Education (DepEd) start building a four-story, 20-classroom building for each school. PAGCOR allocated over P40 million for the construction of each building.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. emphasized the agency’s strong commitment to support the country’s education sector by building thousands of classrooms nationwide for the Filipino youth. “Sa loob lamang ng mahigit tatlong taon ng aming panunungkulan ay nakapag-bigay na ang PAGCOR ng P5 billion sa Department of Education (DepEd). Sa halagang ito ay magpa-pagawa kami ng halos 5,000 classrooms sa mga public schools,” Naguiat said.

The PAGCOR chief noted that as of March 2014, PAGCOR has completed the construction of close to 1,000 classrooms in 187 public schools nationwide while thousands more are about to be built in various areas, including in communities that were devastated by super typhoon Yolanda last year.

Rep. Miro Quimbo of Marikina City’s 2nd District graced the ground breaking ceremony in CIS last April 28, 2014. He praised PAGCOR's steadfast role in nation-building. "Kung noon, ang PAGCOR ay nada-dawit sa kung anu-anong kontrobersya, ngayon ang PAGCOR ay nagbibigay ng mga school building. Ang gobyerno ay umaandar at gumagawa ng paraan para sa edukasyon ng mga kabataan."

PAGCOR to build 40 classrooms in two public schools in Marikina
(From right) Marikina's 2nd District Representative Miro Quimbo, PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr., and Marikina's Schools Division Superintendent Elizabeth Quesada led the recent ground breaking of the four-story, 20 classroom building at Concepcion Integrated School (CIS). The new school building that will rise in CIS is one of the first PAGCOR-funded learning facilities in Marikina City.

Marikina's 1st District Rep. Marcelino Teodoro likewise commended PAGCOR and its partner agencies – the DepEd and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) – for working closely together to help resolve the lack of school rooms in Marikina.

"Pinapa-kita ng proyektong ito na kapag tayo ay tulong-tulong, tayo ay magta-tagumpay. Ang salapi ng Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) ngayon ay inu-ukol sa mas makabuluhang paraan. I am also a proud product of public education. With this project, we are not just constructing buildings, we are also securing the quality of education of the future pillars of our society," Teodoro said.

According to Sta. Elena High School (SEHS) Principal Alberto Villamor, their school is one of the best performing and biggest public high schools in Marikina. “Most students want to enroll in SEHS because it is considered as one of the ‘champion schools’ here – which means it excels not only in academics but also in other co-curricular activities,” Villamor noted.

Last school year, the school had a population of nearly 4,000 students. Although 700 graduated last March, SEHS’s early registration records show that an additional 1,400 students intend to enroll in the school when classes open in June 2014. “Even if we want to accommodate more students, we don’t have the luxury of rooms to create an environment conducive to learning for all of them so we refer them to other schools,” Villamor said.

The construction of the four-story, 20 classroom-building from PAGCOR is very timely since it will provide SEHS with more spacious learning venues for its students. “This improved situation will have a positive impact on their studies. The construction of this new building also marks our new journey to provide better quality education to our students,” he added.

Similar to SEHS, the Concepcion Integrated School (CIS) in Marikina does not have enough classrooms for its more than 2,300 high school students. Enrollees constantly increase every year by five to ten percent, according to Jeffrey Trinidad, Principal of the CIS Secondary School Level.

The situation further worsened when CIS demolished seven of its dilapidated classrooms since they were no longer safe to use. “When these classrooms were demolished, some of the classes were merged and the number of students per classroom reached a maximum of 65. The situation was hard for both the teachers and the students,” Trinidad shared. Ideally, there should only be 45 students in each classroom.

Trinidad lauded PAGCOR’s donation of a four-story, 20 classroom building to CIS as this will help address their problem on classroom shortage. “Although it may not entirely resolve our classroom backlog, it will bring down our school’s student-classroom ratio to at least 55 per classroom,” he said.

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