LEGAZPI CITY — The SM Prime Holdings, through SM Foundation, turned over a two-storey, four-classroom building to Bitano Elementary School (BES) in Barangay Bitano here on Monday.
BES Principal Leonila Ante, in an interview, said the donation has resolved their problem on the ‘shifting’ of Kindergarten and Grade 3 pupils due to lack of classrooms.
“The students in the morning shift have to wake up very early while those in the afternoon shift have to go home late in the afternoon, after 6 p.m.,” she said.
Ante thanked SM Foundation for the school building that is equipped with comfort rooms, proper lighting system and ceiling fans.
“This building is a great gift to our learners. We lacked classrooms for the longest time,” she said.
Christian Wesley Vilanueva, regional manager of SM Supermalls, cited the sincerity of the Sy family, the owner of SM Prime Holdings, to give back to the community through various donations that greatly benefit the people such as school buildings.
Mayor Noel Rosal, who was also present during the turnover, thanked the SM Supermalls and hoped for more projects to come from the company, which has recently opened a branch in this city.
Nelson Morales Jr., Department of Education Schools Division Superintendent, said students “will enjoy learning and this building will be their intellectual sanctuary for the next years to come”.
He encouraged the principal, faculty members and other stakeholders to protect and maintain the school building for the next generations of learners.
Morales said the project of SM is not just part of their Corporate Social Responsibility but their Corporate Social Opportunity.
The new school building is also persons with disability (PWD)-friendly, being equipped with 20 armchairs designed for left-handed students, a ramp and special comfort room.
To help in disaster management, SM also provided the school with staircase emergency light, a fire alarm bell and emergency exit stairs and fire extinguishers. (PNA)