PHOTO CAPTION: Students from San Pablo Central Elementary School pose together with their new school building.
Security Bank Foundation, Inc. (SBFI) has provided relief to the situation of 7,000 students in Lucena City, Quezon and San Pablo City, Laguna who were enduring makeshift and dilapidated classrooms. SBFI has turned over a two-storey, eight-classroom school building each to Dalahican Elementary School (DES) and San Pablo Central Elementary School (SPCES). A total of 16 classrooms were turned over by SBFI in the two cities after it turned over 12 classrooms in Olongapo City.
Constructing classrooms for public schools is SBFI’s way of helping the government address classroom shortage under the Build a School, Build a Nation: The Classrooms Project launched in 2011. For the past seven years, SBFI has turned over 433 classrooms in 85 public schools located in 46 cities and municipalities, providing conducive learning facilities to more than 57,000 Filipino students. Recently, Build A School, Build A Nation: The Classrooms Project received an Award of Merit under the Corporate Social Responsibility category from The Philippine Quill Awards, the country’s most prestigious awards program in the field of business communication.
Officers from Security Bank graced the inauguration led by SBFI Chairman Rafael F. Simpao Jr., SBFI Trustee Melissa Aquino, Laguna Area Head Jayson Lontoc, San Pablo Branch Business Manager Marcial Azada, Quezon Province Area Head Joey Tolentino and Lucena Branch Business Manager Flor Enriquez. They were joined by community partners headed by San Pablo City Mayor Hon. Loreto Amante, Lucena City Administrator Anacleto Alcala, DepEd Division of San Pablo City District Supervisor Rodel Baclig, Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Lucena City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Aniano Ogayon, SPCES school principal Michelle Morado and DES school principal Dexter Valle.
The school principal of DES expressed great relief during the turnover of the new school building: “[Para sa] 3,600 pupils, mawawala na po ang makeshift classrooms.” Mary Rose Enverga, a Grade 1 teacher in the school, added that the new classrooms will motivate the students to learn: “Meron kasi kaming paniniwala na children learn pag nilagay mo siya sa isang conducive na classroom at masasabi ko naman na napaka-conducive to learning ang mga bagong classrooms.” Carlo Reno, a Grade 4 student who is transferring to the newly-donated building, expressed his excitement: “Masaya po yung nanay ko, pati ako, sa bago naming classroom. Hindi na masikip at mainit. Maliwanag na po.”
In San Pablo, the newly-donated building will bring a new home to SPCES students. “Previously, this site used to house a dilapidated school building. We tried to ask funds for repair, but we were not granted. Eventually, our simple request of repair turned into a construction of a new school building courtesy of Security Bank,” SPCES Principal Morado said. “At Security Bank, you deserve better. Maraming panahon na napabayaan ang paaralan na ito. Sa wakas, dumating din ang gantimpala,” DepEd Division of San Pablo City District Supervisor Baclig added.
SBFI Chairman Rafael Simpao, Jr. reiterated the value of providing a conducive learning environment for students, which is the reason behind The Classrooms Project. He highlighted that this project requires cooperation among the local government units, DepEd, beneficiary schools, teachers and students. Hence, he asked all community stakeholders to ensure proper maintenance of the donated classrooms. “Security Bank is not asking for anything in return. But we do, however, request and expect that the principal, the teachers, the parents and the students of our beneficiary schools will help maintain the condition of these classrooms,” Mr. Simpao stated. San Pablo City Mayor Amante responded that the community will take good care of the donation: “Rest assured, amin pong iingatan para mapakinabangan pa ng mga susunod na estudyante ang mga ipinagkaloob na classrooms.”.
Security Bank Foundation will continue to build conducive learning facilities for public school students in areas where Security Bank has presence. This is Security Bank’s share in securing a better tomorrow for the next generation of Filipinos through better education. This is BetterBanking.