SMFI donates its 88th school building to Tuguegarao in its 60 years of operation

 

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

Began in 2002, the school building (and improvement) program of SM Foundation Inc. has completed the donation of its 88th schoolbuilding to the province of Tuguegarao, actually the second it obtained from the foundation since Typhoon Lawin struck in October 2016.

 

Receiving the second school building donation from SMFI was Carig Elementary School, which was hardest hit by Lawin.

 

A grateful Tuguegarao City Mayor Jefferson Soriano said he would match the generosity of SM Prime and UBS Investments Philippines (the donors of the school building), through SMFI, by installing tiles on the flooring and tasking the City Engineers Office to make sure the two donated buildings would stay in tip-top shape for the longest time, to benefit future generations of students.

 

School principal Emely Tango along with the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) vowed to properly maintain the schoolbuildings (the first was a donation of SMFI and SM Prime in 2017). “This is the only way we can repay your generosity,” she said.

 

Tango said the new school building will serve as the “sanctuary of knowledge that will mold students to be better citizens of today’s generation. I will see to it that this sanctuary will stand proud even after many years as it will continue to serve the children of the future.”

 

Juris Soliman, head of SMFI for school building, thanked UBS for participating anew in the foundation’s schoolbuilding program with this second partnership—the first in Yolanda-stricken schools in Ormoc, Leyte last year.

 

This 88th schoolbuilding donation (or a total of 280 classrooms) in the country and the second in Tuguegarao is a testament to the importance given by SM Group to education in its 60 years of operation in the country, Soliman said.

 

The new two-story four classroom building, like others SMFI donated, has individual toilets with lavabos inside to ensure that students lose no time with their studies; new blackboards and 200 desks (with 20 for left-handers); wall fans and wall clocks and teachers’ tables and chairs. The left-handed desks were made by PWDs being assisted by the foundation.

 

CES is a top performing school in Cagayan province with 17 teachers and 525 students. Excelling in both academics and extra-curricular activities, the school has produced many winners in the division, regional and national levels, said Tango.

 

Among the priority programs of the SMFI are education (scholarships both for college and tec-voc and school repairs or new buildings); healthcare (or upgrading existing health centers and medical wards in government hospitals and those of military hospitals and clinics) and wellness programs (through the Felicidad T. Sy wellness centers for children and the elderly in all the hospitals, wards and health centers it improves and for children with cancer. Additionally, SMFI has monthly medical and dental missions throughout the country and a quarterly medical, dental and diagnostic mission for  SM employees, their dependents/families and residents of communities where SM Group operates.

 

Both education, health and wellness and its programs for the environment (such as the green bag, no plastics policy, and recycling plus the installation of solar lights in its malls and smart water use and electric systems) are being pursued by the Group vigorously in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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