he Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and Rebuild project Iloilo conducted an ocular visit last January 13-14, 2015 at Santikan Primary School, Nagsulang Primary School, Cabantohan Primary School and La Fortuna Elementary School - the beneficiaries of the classroom rehabilitation projects.
TWO DAMAGED CLASSROOMS AT SANTIKAN PRIMARY SCHOOL
Santikan Primary School was one of those schools identified by Rebuild project Iloilo. Two classrooms were severely damaged. However, these classrooms could not undergo reconstruction anymore. The classrooms were deemed to be substandard. Materials used were of low quality; notwithstanding the fact that massive funding has been allotted for these projects. The end-products seem to fall short of the expected results. These classrooms are now subject to demolition to prevent any possible harm in the future. The school administration would rather forego the classrooms than put the safety of the students at stake.
A portion of the donations coursed through CFO went to the classroom rehabilitation projects. Santikan Primary School received funding from various donors which amounts to P177,036.12. The funds were initially intended for the repair of one (1) damaged classroom. However, due to the spirit of solidarity, they are on their way to constructing a new classroom given the limited funding. They were able to maximize the use of funds given to them by cutting on the labor cost. Instead of hiring a contractor, the parents of the students and even the Barangay Council collaborated and willingly offered their help. The parents of the students volunteered themselves to do the labor; whereas the Barangay council supplied the other materials needed. The community united for a common noble cause – for the youth’s brighter future. This community-inspired construction scheme was also adopted by the rest of the said school beneficiaries.
Typhoon Yolanda’s wrath indeed left a permanent mark in the lives of these people. Their tales of fear, loss, struggle and helplessness were disheartening. Typhoon Yolanda not only took lives, but also the hopes of those who were left behind – the one thing to which they cling on to. One thing was clear, it is in this point in time that they need help the most.
There was an outpour of donations from various individuals and organizations overseas - which sums up to $44 million in cash and in kind. Everybody came up with an initiative so that help could be directed to their kababayan in the Philippines, by all means possible.
After everything they have been through, it is a delight to see that through these projects hope in their hearts has been restored.
Truly, the spirit of bayanihan goes a long way. It makes a lot of things possible. It is this Filipino value that every community must ignite and imbibe, be there a calamity or not. May all the prayers and support continue to reach them. Let us never cease to help them on their long road to recovery.
(L) CLASSROOM UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND (R) THE NEWLY REHABILITATED CLASSROOMS AT LA FORTUNA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL