Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

President Aquino inspects the PAGCOR-funded classrooms in Bulacan

Tuesday | March 01, 2016 | 2:25 PM

HAGONOY, Bulacan – President Benigno S. Aquino III inspected the two-storey, 10-classroom building donated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to Ramona S. Trillana High School (RSTHS) – Sta. Elena Campus on February 23, 2016. He was accompanied by PAGCOR Chairman Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr., Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson and other local officials of Bulacan.

President Aquino inspects the PAGCOR-funded classrooms in Bulacan
President Benigno S. Aquino III, DPWH Secretary Rogelio Singson (middle) and PAGCOR Chairman Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. (right) inspect the newly-built PAGCOR school building in Ramona S. Trillana High School in Hagonoy, Bulacan. The building was constructed through the “Matuwid Na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” school building project.

All in all, about 52 classrooms have been constructed in nine sites in Bulacan. Additional 52 more classrooms are under construction and 20 more are undergoing procurement.

The donation of school buildings is part of PAGCOR’s “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the DPWH.

President Aquino in his speech said that the school building project is part of the comprehensive initiative of the government to uplift the quality of education in the country. “Ang school building na ito ay bunga ng pinag-isipang stratehiya sa mabuting pamamahala na tinatawag nating convergence, kung saan nagtu-tulungan ang mga ahensya ng pamahalaan para tugunan ang iba’t-ibang pangangailangan.”

The president also commended PAGCOR for its full support to the education sector. “Nagpapasalamat tayo kay Chairman Bong Naguiat at sa PAGCOR hindi lang para sa proyekto, kundi sa lahat ng pagsisikap nilang baguhin ang imahe ng kanilang ahensya, patungo sa isang GOCC na kumakalinga sa taong-bayan,” President Aquino said.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. who also graced the turn-over rites, said the state-run gaming firm was able to allot a huge amount for the education sector due to its prudent management of funds and transparency in the agency’s operations. To date, PAGCOR has already allocated P12 billion for its school building project, which Naguiat considers as the agency’s “biggest legacy to the Filipino youth.”

President Aquino inspects the PAGCOR-funded classrooms in Bulacan
The brand new two-storey, 10-classroom PAGCOR school building at the Ramona S. Trillana High School-Sta. Elena Campus in Hagonoy, Bulacan.

Established in 2009, RSTHS - Sta. Elena Campus offers Grades 7 to 10 and has a student population of around 500 students.

According to the school head Arlene Martin, the Sta. Elena Campus was established since RSTHS could no longer accommodate the huge number of students enrolled in its main campus. “The school administrators of RSTHS decided to borrow four old, abandoned classrooms from Sta. Elena Elementary School just to start the annex high school that will cater to the learning needs of students from nearby barangays.”

Martin added that the opening of the Sta. Elena Campus benefited a lot of students in their vicinity, most especially the out of school youth. “Yung iba dito hindi kayang makapag-aral dahil kahit pamasahe papuntang eskwelahan wala. Pero nung magkaron ng annex, nagkaroon sila ng pagkakataon na makapag-aral.”

However, due to lack of classrooms, the teachers hold classes in tents donated by private organizations. They also use old ply board and curtains as classroom partitions. “Sa labas kami nagka-klase using tents. Kapag tag-ulan, nababasa ang mga estudyante, at kapag high-tide, talagang nalulubog ang mga paa namin sa baha. Kaya laging ready ang bota namin kasi tataas ang tubig,” Martin shared.

The school also implements morning and afternoon shifts to accommodate all enrollees. But with the new classrooms donated by PAGCOR, the school doesn’t have to implement shifting schedules anymore since there will be enough classrooms for their students. They also don’t need to hold classes in tents and submerge their feet in water when there’s high tide or heavy rains.

Martin added that Sta. Elena Campus is expecting an increase in enrollment in the coming school year 2016-2017. “Even students from private schools are transferring here when they saw the new PAGCOR school building. We expect that our enrollment will double next school year,” Martin said.

PAGCOR’s school building donation according to Martin is also timely since they will be implementing the senior high school program. “Among the requirements for the implementation of the senior high is the facility. Now we are ready since we have a new building. Maraming salamat sa PAGCOR sa school building na ibingay nyo sa aming paaralan,” she enthused.

Aside from RSTHS - Sta. Elena Campus, PAGCOR also donated school buildings to two public elementary schools in Bulacan. Segundo Esguerra Sr. Memorial Elementary School (SESMES) in Pulilan, Bulacan received a two-storey, six-classroom building while the Makinabang Elementary School (MES) in Baliuag, Bulacan received a two-storey, eight-classroom building.

SESMES offers Kinder to Grade 6 which has a total student population of 1,132 as of June 2015 while MES offers Kinder to Grade 6 and has a total enrolment of 1,370 students as of June last year.

As of December 2015, PAGCOR and its partners had completed the construction of 2,129 classrooms in 439 sites nationwide while thousands more are under construction, bidding and evaluation.

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