Overwhelmed by emotion, Leona Cagande, principal of Canlaas High School in Antequera, Bohol, shed tears of joy as she accepted the key to the fully-furnished twin classrooms from PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan at the turn-over ceremonies in Mactan, Cebu recently.
Shown at the turn-over ceremonies of the brand new classrooms are PLDT EVP and Chief Revenue Officer Ernesto R. Alberto, PLDT Global Corp. President and PLDT FVP and Head of International and Carrier Business Katrina Luna-Abelarde, PLDT-Smart Foundation President Esther Santos, Canlaas High School Principal Leona Cagande, PLDT Chairman, President and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan, AVP and Center Head of International & Carrier Business Melanie Manuel, SVP and Head of Enterprise Business Juan Victor Hernandez, and VP and Head of International Network Genaro Sanchez, from left, respectively.
The brand new classrooms were donated by the ACC 2017, the annual telco and ICT conference hosted by PLDT, in partnership with PLDT Gabay Guro, PLDT Smart Foundation (PSF), and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF).
Cagande said students and teachers in Canlaas High School, located six kilometers from the Poblacion of Antequera in Bohol province, have been enduring the inconveniences of makeshift classrooms where they have been holding classes since the devastating earthquake in 2013. “I can’t describe my feelings. We are so thankful to PLDT, ACC, Gabay Guro and PDRF. Kung wala kayo, hindi kami magkakaroon ng
classrooms. Ilang taon nang nagsasakripisyo ang mga mag-aaral at guro sa mga
temporary classroom sa
basketball court kung saan sobrang init at maalikabok kapag mainit ang panahon at maputik naman kung umuulan, kailangan nilang itaas ang mga paa habang nag-aaral para hindi mabasa
,” Cagande related in a tearful, quivering voice.
She said the students are undaunted by the challenges of going to one of the remote schools in Bohol, some of them have to walk four kilometers everyday to get to school since there is only one jeepney that plies the unpaved road from Antequera town to Barangay Canlaas.
Turnkey and ready for classes, the pre-fabricated twin classrooms are furnished with chairs, teachers’ tables, blackboards, electric fans, and lights. Also attached to the typhoon-and-earthquake-proof structure are two comfort rooms.
Over the years, the ACC and its partners and sponsors have undertaken various corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects that have benefitted Mactan, Cebu, the international event’s host location, and its surrounding towns and communities. Apart from classrooms, the ACC’s past projects included computer laboratories, scholarship grants, rain water collector tanks, vermi-composting facilities, fishing boats, and a mini solar power plant.
The flagship program of the PSF, Gabay Guro is the teacher advocacy group led by PLDT Group Controller and Financial Reporting and Controllership Head Chaye Cabal-Revilla. It is composed of volunteers from the PLDT Managers Club Inc. who support the country’s teachers. Among other projects, it has donated numerous classrooms to calamity-ravaged areas like Bohol, Cebu, Capiz and Leyte.