P2B set aside to build 2,000 new classrooms

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STATE-run gaming firm Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has earmarked P2 billion for the construction of new classrooms for public schools students in the Visayas and some part of Region 4.

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Pagcor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said thousands of public school facilities in the Visayas were destroyed by super typhoon Yolanda.

“The Department of Education (DepEd) said roughly 40 percent to 60 percent of public school children in severely affected areas have resumed their classes in makeshift classrooms. We want to give these kids new school buildings to provide them with decent and comfortable learning facilities. For this reason, Pagcor is donating P2 billion to DepEd. They need a huge amount to rehabilitate and reconstruct thousands of classrooms,” he added.

DepEd’s latest report estimate that about 5,900 classrooms in the Visayas and Region 4 that stood in the path of super typhoon Yolanda were totally ruined and 14,508 were partially damaged.

“The DepEd needs at least P12 billion for the replacement and repair all damaged classrooms,” Naguiat said.

The P2 billion funding from Pagcor will be used to construct approximately 2,000 classrooms in these areas including the provinces of Palawan and Romblon.

DepEd reported that Palawan and Romblon recorded the most number of heavily damaged schools with 47 and 26, respectively. Public schools in Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo, Bogo City, Cebu, Samar, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Ormoc and Tacloban also badly need help in rehabilitating their learning facilities.

“By doing our share in the government’s rehabilitation efforts, we can give hope and provide assistance to the students who are now studying in makeshift classrooms.

These are same students who are still dealing with their loss yet they are trying to move on their lives. For our country to really rise from the tragedy, we must all be willing to help the survivors—especially the youth —to live normal lives again,” Nagulat said.

The state-run gaming firm on Friday signed a memorandum of agreement with the DepEd for the project. Newly appointed rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson was also in attendance during   the signing.

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