City Savings Bank (CitySavings), the thrift arm subsidiary of the Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and a major partner of the Department of Education (DepEd) Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), readily responded to the need for support in the construction of the Salaknib Tan Namnama Classroom Building of Gaswiling Integrated School (IS) in Kapangan, Benguet. Construction started towards the end of 2022 and the structure was completed this year.
While public schools continue to accommodate learners for face-to-face classes, the significant challenges of classroom shortages, lack of education resources, and facilities that require improvement and rehabilitation persist all over the country, especially in schools that are geographically isolated. This situation is among the priorities that the DepEd’s MATATAG agenda seeks to address.
With the unavailability of a high school in the area, there was a need to construct a one-storey classroom building to cater to the incoming Grade 7 enrollees from Catiaoan Barrio School and Kaliwaga Barrio School, which are 6-8 kilometers away from Gaswiling Integrated School.
DepEd CAR mobilized support to fill in the resource gaps through stakeholder partnerships. Together with CitySavings, the Local Government Unit of Kapangan, along with other minor donors, provided funds and construction materials. The 503rd Infantry Brigade of the 5th Infantry Division and the 51st Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army constructed the classroom building while the Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCOR) gave logistical support.
Public-private collaborative efforts, such as the construction of the Salaknib Tan Namnama Classroom Building, have been instrumental in granting students access to quality education and enhancing the facilities of last-mile schools.
“The coming together of stakeholders helped us fulfill the mandate of providing interventions related to education delivery, improvement of school facilities, and implementation of impactful education programs in the Cordillera region”, said DepEd CAR Regional Director Estela Leon – Cariño during the Salaknib Tan Namnama Classroom Building’s inauguration ceremony held last June 22.
Also during the inauguration, CitySavings External Relations Head Atty. Roel Eric Garcia, reaffirmed the Bank’s unceasing and unwavering commitment to its partnership with the DepEd, “Advocating for quality education has always been a priority of CitySavings. As we scale up and strengthen our stakeholder engagement programs, we ensure that we are aligned with the DepEd’s MATATAG agenda to enhance the delivery of inclusive, accessible, and quality education for Filipino learners”.
Expressing gratitude, Gaswiling IS OIC School Head Daisy Bacuso Ciano, responded, “(o)n behalf of Gaswiling Integrated School, thank you so much to our partners who have pooled together resources for the construction of (the) Salaknib Tan Namnama Classroom Building. Your support enables us to provide a healthy and safe learning environment for our students”.