Palo, Leyte—SM Foundation, in partnership with the BDO Foundation (BDOF), starts rebuilding San Joaquin Central School in Palo, Leyte with the groundbreaking of a two-storey, four classroom school building.
The school building is one of the Foundation’s answer to the Department of Education (DepEd)’s call for support from the private sector in helping rebuild classrooms and schools affected by typhoon Yolanda.
Built in 1948, the San Joaquin Central School attends to more than 450 students per year. Its close proximity to Tacloban City, a mere 15-20 minutes away, makes it accessible for families in nearby communities.
Present in the groundbreaking ceremony are DepEd Public School District Supervisor Lilia Tejome, San Joaquin Central School Principal Liberato Cobacha and Education In-charge Fiel Rene Maraya, Tacloban City Councilor Raissa Villasin, San Joaquin Barangay Captain Gregorio Papoose V. Lantajo Jr., Rose Espinosa (BDOF), Ramundita Nalda (BDO-Tacloban) and SM Foundation’s Cristie Angeles.
Linda Atayde, SM Foundation executive director for education, said the project will provide a more stable environment for the children. “I think that the students can benefit from a sense of normalcy brought about by the familiar routine school offers. This can aid them overcome the trauma they have experienced.”
Since 2002, the SM Foundation has been constructing and rebuilding schools inside and beyond the communities they operate in. In 2013, the Foundation has already constructed 56 school buildings with 140 classrooms and repaired 15 school buildings and 34 classrooms.
Aside from school buildings, the Foundation is also active in conducting other programs to help the Yolanda-stricken areas of Visayas. Early this year, the SM College Scholarship Program welcomed an additional 100 students from areas devastated by the typhoon into the SM College Scholarship Program. An ongoing reconstruction of the Tacloban City Hospital and plans for 10 new Felicidad T. Sy Wellness Centers in Visayas are also underway. At least ten livelihood trainings under the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan - Farmers’ Training Program will also be held for marginalized farmers re-introducing them to new farming methods and processes. And under SM Foundation’s SM Cares Housing Project for Yolanda Survivors, one thousand (1,000) houses are targeted tol be constructed.
While the country is still recovering from the destruction left behind by Yolanda, SM is fully committed in supporting the rehabilitation process through its numerous programs for the Yolanda survivors.
San Joaquin Central School in Palo, Leyte was heavily damaged by Typhoon Yolanda.
About SM Foundation
SM Foundation is the corporate social responsibility arm of the SM Group of Companies.
For more than 30 years now, through the Foundation, the SM Group of Companies has been able to help the recovery the less fortunate in the communities it serves. Established in 1983, the SM Foundation has four advocacies namely: education through college and technical-vocational scholarship programs and donation of public school buildings; health through medical missions, mobile clinics and construction of wellness and health centers; community development through various livelihood trainings, greening projects and immediate disaster response/initiatives; and religious projects consisting of construction and renovation of churches and seminaries to support various religious congregations and orphanages.