SM Foundation continues to strengthen its commitment to providing quality education with the turnover of a new school building to the Marcelo B. Fernan Polambato Elementary School in Bogo City, Cebu on Feb. 22. The two-storey, four classroom school building is the third building donated by SM Foundation to the said school. This is in partnership with the DFS Group Limited, the world’s leading luxury travel retailer, with stores present in various airports worldwide. It also serves as the 80th school building donated by the Foundation across the country to date. The school building is fully furnished with 200 student arm chairs (including 20 left-handed armchairs), 4 teacher’s desk sets, 16 wall fans, 8 blackboards, 4 wall clocks and 4 fully functioning washrooms.
Bogo City was one of the most severely devastated communities when Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the country in November 2013.
“Super typhoon Yolanda not only left physical devastation,” said Linda Atayde, SM Foundation Executive Director for Education Programs. “It left deep scars of trauma and hopelessness to everyone. Upon seeing this, we immediately gathered our resources and leveraged on our relationships to help start rebuilding.”
The Foundation worked with like-minded organizations who share the same mission to improve the lives of the underprivileged members of the community. One of the beliefs of DFS is “We Demonstrate Humanity,” which means that DFS works through humanity, inspiring others to share.
“We, the faculty and staff, are very glad that you came to our lives,” stressed Brigith Jugasan, Principal of the Marcelo B. Fernan Polambato Elementary School. “From our deep distress and misery caused by super typhoon Yolanda, we can now recover from that trauma.”
The new school building will be used by grades 1 and 4 students. Every year, the school is faced with an increasing population from 545 students in 2014 to 679 students this year. Most of the students come from families whose livelihood is dependent on fishing and farming. The school is situated on a donated parcel of land from the family of the late Senator Marcelo B. Fernan, who served as the 20th President of the Senate of the Philippines and as the 118th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.