Pupils from areas hardest hit by typhoons Sendong and Pablo now have reasons to hope and dream again.
In partnership with local government leaders and the Department of Education, the Aboitiz Group, in two weeks, turned over 37 classrooms to help the rehabilitation in areas hardest hit by the two disasters in 2011 and 2012 — Iligan City and Compostela Valley.
Along with efforts by the public and private sector to rebuild homes, livelihood and infrastructure, the contribution of the Aboitiz group will help pupils — who have now faced almost impossible challenges despite their young years — get back to their feet and start aiming for their dreams again.
“We only have one message to the students here today: never stop dreaming,” Aboitiz Foundation president Jon Ramon Aboitiz said during the turnover in Iligan City.
The Cebu-based conglomerate’s donation, through its Aboitiz Foundation Inc., amounted to more than P30-million and are aimed at not only completing the rehabilitation of the affected areas, but to allow the pupils to get back to their normal lives and pursue their ambitions.
In Iligan City, flours and feeds giant Pilmico unveiled a 24-classroom complex in the center of the 16-hectare Bayanihan Village, which hosts more than 2,000 families that were relocated after typhoon Sendong hit northern Mindanao in 2011.
The classrooms will now be part of the Tomas Cabili National High School.
In Compostela Valley, 11 classrooms were funded by Aboitiz Foundation, power barge operator Therma Marine Inc. and thirft bank City Savings Bank.
The classrooms were distributed to areas hardly hit by typhoon Pablo in the municipalities of Montevista, Compostela and Nabunturan.
In Compostela town, Aurora Elementary School received four classrooms after the entire school was swept by typhoon Pablo.
“Typhoon Pablo shattered a lot of dreams. I hope we can start rebuilding them now,” Therma Marine president and Chief Operating Officer Jovy P. Batiquin said.
The other recipients were Compostela Central School, Nabunturan Central School and Pasi-an Elementary School.
Compostela Valley Governor Arturo T. Uy praised the Aboitiz group for coming into the aid of the province not only to bring relief goods but also to bring hope for the long-term.
“Our job in the local government, the teachers, the parents and the students is to take care of these classrooms so many more students can build their dreams here,” the governor said.