Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

Two public schools in Cebu receive multi-storey buildings from PAGCOR

Wednesday | Sep 27, 2017 | 3:00 PM

When a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Cebu City in October 2013, San Nicholas Elementary School (SNES) in Brgy. Duljo-Fatima was one of the structures that greatly suffered from the devastation.

Two public schools in Cebu receive multi-storey buildings from PAGCOR
Casino Filipino Cebu Branch Manager Ricardo Uy (2nd from left) leads the unveiling of the PAGCOR marker at the new four-storey, 20-classroom building donated by PAGCOR to San Nicholas Elementary School in Cebu City. Also in photo are (from left) Cebu City Deputy Mayor for Education Joy Augustus Young, Schools Division Superintendent Officer-in-Charge Buenvenido Jaban, Congressman Rodrigo Abellanosa and SNES Principal Donald Crisologo.

Since eight of their classrooms were destroyed by the earthquake, SNES had to implement morning and afternoon shifts to accommodate all classes. This pitiful situation went on for four years until the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) donated a four-storey, 20-classroom building to the school.

The new multi-storey building which was recently turned over to SNES now houses 854 pupils from Grades 5 and 6. “With the 20 additional classrooms, we no longer have to implement a shifting schedule. All our students are now in whole day classes,” SNES Principal Donald Crisologo reported.

Built in 1927, SNES is one of the most populated public elementary schools in Cebu City with a total enrolment of 3,191 pupils from Kindergarten to Grade 6, including Special Education (SPED) classes.

Crisologo shared that since most of their classrooms need replacement, some of their students are still using dilapidated classrooms that were built 30 years ago. “These classrooms have already been recommended for demolition, but we’re still using them while waiting for replacement. Meanwhile, we are very thankful that PAGCOR provided new classrooms that are not just spacious but are sturdy and safe,” he said.

Grade 6 student Nick Diatoro recalled that during his early years in SNES, he and his classmates used to occupy termite-infested rooms. “Yung pinaka-lumang building po, ang flooring kahoy kaya may anay na. Tapos butas po yung sahig, kaya nag-iingat kami kasi baka mahulog kami sa ilalim,” he recalled.

Two public schools in Cebu receive multi-storey buildings from PAGCOR
Prior to the donation of the multi-storey PAGCOR building, many students of San Nicholas Elementary School in Cebu City held classes in dilapidated classrooms that were recommended for condemnation.

It was a relief for Diatoro when he and his classmates became the first beneficiaries of PAGCOR’s new school building.

Another public school that benefited from PAGCOR’s school building program was the 108-year old Zapatera Elementary School (ZES) which received a four-storey, 20-classroom structure.

Similar to SNES, ZES will now be able to hold whole day classes instead of the morning and afternoon shifts because of the new multi-storey PAGCOR building.

With the additional classrooms, ZES Principal Lana Escario is optimistic that the academic performance of their students will improve.

“During shifting classes, students are required to be in school before classes start at 6:00 a.m. However, many of them miss at least one or two subjects due to tardiness. Hence, they fail in some subjects. With enough number of classrooms, we won’t need a morning and afternoon shift because all classes now start at 7:30,” Escario said.

Likewise, ZES students who lag behind can now attend remedial classes since they already have comfortable classrooms to use even after regular school hours. “We used to hold remedial classes in any available corner. So instead of catching up on their lessons, many students would just go home. Now that we have one classroom per class, our teachers can focus more on students who need extra help,” Escario added.

Casino Filipino Cebu Branch Manager Ricardo Uy, who graced the turnover ceremonies of the school buildings in SNES and ZES shared PAGCOR’s role in nation-building and its contributions to the education sector. “PAGCOR’s school building project has helped many public school children get the quality of education that they deserve by providing them with better learning environment. We are glad to have been a part of this noble mission to improve the learning condition – especially those in remote communities with no decent facilities,” he said.

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