PAGCOR celebrates Christmas with special children in Muntinlupa on the 18th day of Pamaskong Handog 2012

Monday | December 17, 2012 | 4:00 PM

Special students under the Special Education (SPED) Program of the Soldiers’ Hills Elementary School in Muntinlupa City can now look forward to happier school days after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) built a playground for them and ensured their safety by improving the school’s perimeter fence.

Pamaskong Handog 2012 - Day 20 (PAGCOR celebrates Christmas with special children in Muntinlupa on the 18th day of Pamaskong Handog 2012)
Students of Soldiers’ Hill Elementary School had fun in their new playground after its inauguration on the 18th day of PAGCOR’s Pamaskong Handog 2012. PAGCOR also granted the school’s wish for a perimeter fence.

The SPED students of the Soldiers’ Hills Elementary School – composed of students with hearing impairment, mental retardation, autism, down syndrome and multiple disabilities – were PAGCOR’s chosen beneficiaries on the 18th day of its ongoing “Bayanihan: Pamaskong Handog ng PAGCOR 2012.”

PAGCOR President and Chief Operating Officer Jorge Sarmiento led the inauguration of the school’s new playground and perimeter fence during the PAGCOR-hosted Christmas party for the school’s students on December 17, 2012 at the covered court of Soldiers’ Hills Elementary School.

Sarmiento said it has been part of PAGCOR’s Christmas tradition to reach out to less privileged sectors including children with special needs. “Tuwing Pasko po ay nagpupunta ang PAGCOR sa mga charitable institutions nationwide. Kami po sa PAGCOR ay masayang-masaya dahil nakikita namin kayong masaya,” he cited.

Apart from the newly constructed facilities, PAGCOR also distributed food and gift packs containing Christmas goodies to 100 SPED students and support staff. PAGCOR spent more than P600,000 for its Pamaskong Handog event in said school.

School Principal Maria Aurora Bartolaba says she is elated that PAGCOR included them in its grand gift-giving activity this year. "Hindi lang regalo ang natanggap ng mga bata at ng teachers namin, kundi pati playground. Naayos na rin ang perimeter fence ng school. Malaking tulong ito dahil dati napasok kami ng magnanakaw. Ngayon mas magiging safe na ang school dahil sa fence na pinatayo ng PAGCOR.”

Bartolaba added that the newly constructed playground for SPED students will encourage them to be more physically active. “Mas gaganahan sila mag-exercise hindi lang ang SPED kundi ang mga normal students namin. Natutuwa ako at mas magiging masaya ang Pasko ng mga bata dahil dito," she said.

The Soldiers’ Hills Elementary School caters to 81 children with special needs. Pupils enrolled under the program are also given the opportunity to be integrated to mainstream class. “Nakatulong na mayroong special education curriculum dito sa aming paaralan dahil mas naiintindihan ng mga estudyante sa regular curriculum ang ating mga estudyante sa SPED,” she added.

Bartolaba also expressed her gratitude for what she believes is one of the best Christmas gifts ever received by their school. “Hindi kami lumapit sa PAGCOR, sila pa ang lumapit sa amin para tumulong. Maraming salamat sa PAGCOR. Hindi lang ang SPED pupils and napasaya ninyo kundi pati ang staff at lahat ng estudyante sa Soldiers’ Hills dahil sa Pamaskong Handog ninyo.”

One of the school’s SPED students is 12-year old Jannel Nicolas who communicated through sign language her joy for the gifts that she and her classmates received from PAGCOR. “Salamat po sa bagong playground at sa gifts ng PAGCOR sa amin. Pinasaya po ninyo ang aming Pasko,” she said.

PAGCOR will continue to spread holiday cheer to the less privileged sectors under the care of several institutions until December 20, 2012. The gaming firm will extend its helping hand to mothers who have just given birth at Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila on December 18; indigent patients at the Tondo Medical Center on December 19 and indigent families in Ilocos Norte under the Provincial Welfare Development Office of Laoag on December 20.

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