Newly Constructed Elementary School in Cebu re-opens its doors after Yolanda’s fury

SM Group and Deutsche Bank join forces to reconstruct and rehabilitate Polambato Elementary School which was devastated during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013

A true testament to the Filipino spirit of resiliency, Cebu commemorated the first anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) with the inauguration of two newly built 6-classroom school buildings for Polambato Elementary School in Bogo, Cebu. The project is a joint undertaking of SM FoundationSM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG Manila.

In the aftermath of Yolanda, 97% of Northern Cebu’s infrastructures were severely damaged. The Polambato Elementary School was also heavily affected by the storm, with most of its roofing blown away and three of its six classrooms destroyed. Despite damages, the school endured with temporary repairs to accommodate ongoing classes.

The new school building site was donated by the Fernan family from Cebu and stands in close proximity to the recently inaugurated 200-house SM Cares Village in Bogo.

As with the other school building projects of SM Foundation, SM Prime and Deutsche Bank, the newly constructed Polambato Elementary School comes complete with students’ desks, blackboards, teachers’ tables and chairs, electric fans and a toilet per classroom. Furthermore, SM Foundation will also be handling the maintenance and upkeep of the two buildings.

In addition to the school building donation, employee volunteers of the Deutsche Bank Group flew in from Manila, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, and Japan to help in the construction and paint murals on the classroom walls with the theme ‘Resilience’. Health kits were also distributed to the students.

The turnover and blessing of the newly constructed school building was attended by local town officials led by Mayor Celestino Martinez, Jr.; donors Michael Fernan & Dr. Emiliana Borromeo; Department of Education representative Dr. Nimfa Bongco; Deutsche Bank Country Chief Operating Officer Atty. Rhoneil Fajardo; Deutsche Bank Vice President for Finance-Legal Control Edgar Jose Ampil; Deutsche Bank Director and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Asia Annie Yeo; SM Foundation Executive Director Debbie Sy; SM Foundation Executive Director for Education Carmen Linda Atayde and the Deutsche Bank Group volunteers.

Aside from its regular programs, SM Foundation is also constructing new school buildings in the Yolanda-stricken areas of Aklan, Capiz, Cadiz, Eastern Samar, Iloilo, and Leyte. Other initiatives include the renovation of the Tacloban City Hospital and rural health centers as well as livelihood assistance in 10 areas under its Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Farmers’ Training Program. SM Cares is also constructing 1,000 disaster-resilient houses in Visayas for those whose homes were destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda.