Tacloban students thank benefactors for new school building

Last month, SM Foundation turned over its 66th school building to the Tacloban City National High School in Leyte. The newly-constructed and fully-furnished 2-storey, 4-classroom building was a joint undertaking among partners SM Foundation, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., and BDO Foundation.

Included in the turnover of the new school building were 200 student armchairs, 16 wall fans, four blackboards, four teachers’ desk sets, and four toilets.

Established in 1976, the Tacloban City National High School was heavily affected during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) in November 2013, leaving two of its classrooms damaged. As a result, the 1,557 students enrolled for the school year 2014-2015 were forced to take up classes in 6 makeshift classrooms. The school was identified as the fifth beneficiary under SM Foundation's Yolanda Rehabilitation Program in 2014.

Linda Atayde, SM Foundation Executive Director for Education, said that the reconstruction of educational institutions in the Visayas has been a top priority for the Foundation for the past year.

“Accessible education is essential in the rehabilitation of the communities of those who had been affected by Yolanda,” Atayde said. “By restoring education, we are helping the youth, and consequently their families, rebuild their lives and move towards the future.”

SM Foundation believes that the road to recovery should be continuously sustained. In 2014, SM Foundation rolled out its many projects under its Yolanda Rehabilitation Program. These include reconstructing affected school buildings and health centers, conducting medical missions and livelihood development programs, and providing additional scholarship grants to deserving students. SM Foundation also undertook the rebuilding, renovating, and refurbishing of the Tacloban City Hospital as a special priority project which was turned over in August 2014.